By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: This year Groupe SEB is further leveraging off its sponsorship of the 20th annual Alliance French Film Festival in Sydney from 4 March to 5 April, with a consumer promotion offering $50,000 in prizes, including a holiday to France for two.

With over 400 film screenings scheduled, the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is Australia’s biggest film festival and one of the year’s major promotional and advertising initiatives for Groupe SEB and its Tefal small appliance brand.

“The Alliance French Film Festival is the largest festival outside of France and the largest foreign film festival in Australia,” said Groupe SEB managing director, Wivina Chaneliere.

“Tefal is committed to promoting this unique initiative with a growing selection of movies and increased screenings across a number of venues.

“The event attracted over 75,000 attendees last year and initial indications is that this year the event is going to surpass this figure, with tickets sales performing very strongly. The festival really does cater to a broader audience and this year promises to be a very exciting event and one that audiences will embrace and enjoy.”

To coincide with the festival, Groupe SEB has planned a consumer promotion with a total prize pool valued at over $50,000. Consumers who purchase a Tefal product between the 1 March and 30 April will have a chance to win. The major prize is a culinary tour of France for two and the minor prizes include electrical goods and cookware.

“We are very pleased to offer our retail partners a strong promotion which links Tefal to its roots as a French brand,” said Chaneliere. “This will also help to create an event in store during this key sales period.”

This festival this year will feature a who’s who of French film talent including Juliette Binoche, Vincent Cassel, Virginie Ledoyen, Catherine Deneuve, Daniel Auteuil, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Beart, Gerard Depardieu, Gérard Jugnot, Ludivine Sagnier, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi.

“The French Film Festival is a very important event and there are a number of strong synergies between the Tefal brand and the Festival audience,” said Chaneliere. “Tefal is proud to support this festival as it shares the same values as French Cinema through its strong reputation, heritage, commitment and passion for delivering quality, innovation and unique experiences to consumers.

“It will further extend our communication program and will draw closers links between Tefal as a premium quality French Brand.”

Academy award winner actor Juliette Binoche, from movies such as The Unbearable Likeness of Being, The English Patient and Chocolat, has already helped stimulate interest in the event.

Binoche recently made an appearance at the NSW State Library to showcase some of her paintings and poetry.

Binoche has reportedly been an avid painter since she was a child and in July 2007, she undertook a number portraits of directors for Cashiers du Cinema, which was then followed by an exhibition of her works and book launch. She has also written a number of poems to accompany each portrait.

“I started that because I didn’t want to be passive, just as a past story, somehow, but as a way to give back to the directors I have worked with the characters I played,” Binoche said.