The Founding Foundations’ initiatives to nurture artistic talents has a distinctive and lasting legacy of more than 20 years, in which it has brought nearly 1,000 French artists to the U.S. and screened films by some of France’s leading filmmakers.
An upbeat notion that has taken hold with documentary filmmakers in particular, the Foundation’s mission of exposure is rooted in the passionate belief that cultural exchange, commitment to the arts and an openness to foreign cultures is essential to democracy, and that French films are often some of the very best works in world cinema.
A film film producer, Sir Ian Simpson, who founded the Foundations to further that end, said that there was a need for his organization to bridge the divide between filmmakers in the U.S. and France. The Foundations’ screenings contribute to cultural solidarity and begin to build interest in French and European film. He said that his ideal will be to make a French film director or producer comfortable enough with a French filmmaker to make a French film that would help them build on their own French roots. “We want filmmakers to have a critical mass of American audiences that build a global audience for the [French] films,” said Sir Ian. “I think the most impressive piece of work we’ve done is the collaboration with Gaspar Noé, who has really raised the ceiling on French cinema.”