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Serge Toubiana to Preside Over French Film Promoter UniFrance

Variety logo Variety 7/6/2017 Elsa Keslassy
© Provided by Variety

PARIS – Serge Toubiana, the former boss of the French Cinematheque, is set to preside over UniFrance, the French promotion organization.

Toubiana was elected Thursday by the 48 members of UniFrance’s executive committee and will take over from Jean-Paul Salomé, who served for four years alongside the organization’s managing director, Isabelle Giordano.

Toubiana will continue to work with Giordano on several events aimed at helping French sales agents and promoting Gallic movies abroad, notably via the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema event in Paris, New York (with the Film Society of the Lincoln Center), and Tokyo, among others.

A well-regarded French industry figure, Toubiana ended his 13-year tenure at the Cinematheque in 2015 and joined Pathe, the venerable French film studio, as advisor to company president Jerome Seydoux in 2016. Toubiana also sits on Pathe’s board.

While at the Cinematheque, Toubiana built bridges with foreign partners and filmmakers to broaden the appeal of the institution. Some of the most successful retrospectives organized by Toubiana at the Cinematheque celebrated Tim Burton (an exhibit produced with the Museum of Modern Art), Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese.

A film buff, Toubiana was co-editor of the prestigious magazine “Cahiers du cinéma” with Serge Daney from 1973 to 1981, and then its editor during the following decade. He has directed three documentaries: “Francois Truffaut: Stolen Portraits” (co-directed with Michel Pascal), TV doc “Isabelle Huppert, une vie pour jouer” and the short “Chaplin Today: The Great Dictator.”

Toubiana beat out the other two candidates for the presidency of UniFrance, including Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, an industry veteran who co-founded EuropaCorp and launched his own production vehicle, Stone Angels, in 2012.

Le Pogam is preparing for the release of Michaël R. Roskam’s “Racer and the Jailbird,” a romantic thriller with Matthias Schoenaerts (“Bullhead”) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), in the fall. Pathe will be distributing in France, while Neon will be handling the North American release.

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