Franco-American Cultural Fund 5th Anniversary Screening of Restored Masterpiece Belle de Jour

March 22, 2018

We had a full house at our fifth annual Brussels screening on behalf of the Franco-American Cultural Fund (FACF).  This year we, alongside our FACF partners from the French authors’ society SACEM, showcased the 4K restoration that was carried out by HIVENTY laboratory for Studiocanal, with the support of the CNC, La Cinémathéque Française, the Franco-American Cultural Fund and La Maison Yves Saint-Laurent, of Luis Buñuel’s drama Belle de Jour, starring Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel and Michel Piccoli.

The film is based on the 1928 novel by Joseph Kassel and won the Golden Lion and the Pasinetti Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival in 1967. The FACF was one of several organizations that helped fund its restoration (see trailer on The Playlist).

At its heart, the Franco-American Cultural fund is a vehicle for collaboration, passion and innovation, operating under the apt motto “two countries, one passion.”

The relationship between filmmakers of different nationalities – their ability to work and innovate together – is one of the great strengths of the sector. The FACF is always striving to promote French cinema and develop ties with American producers to bring more French filmmakers to the American audiences. Seeing a full crowd at yesterday’s event, enjoying this French classic, acknowledges the hard work of the Fund and its members, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), Motion Picture Association, Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), and their lasting commitment to promoting Franco-American cinema culture.

As the challenges our industry faces evolve, collaboration is ever more important.  On the policy front, for example, in the context of the Digital Single Market, the MPA has working alongside European producers and creators to demonstrate why territorially exclusive licensing is critical to everyone in the sector.  Together we reminded policy makers that producers of all sizes need to be able to control how they license their works, and that that weakening copyright and eroding the freedom to license films on a territory-by-territory basis will harm the ecosystem that produces these wonderful films that European citizens enjoy so much.

We are also working together to tackle illegal content online. Last year, there were an estimated 21.4 billion total visits to streaming piracy sites worldwide. Our collaborative efforts on a policy level in fighting piracy and shaping the Digital Single Market emulate what our sector is doing so well on the creative side. We must continue to share our ideas and share stories that resonate with audiences and policymakers everywhere.

Evenings such as these give strength to the sector and remind us that we represent a universal art form. Through partnership, we can build a future where creativity thrives, where storytellers are protected, and their creations are celebrated around the world.