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Emmanuel Benbihy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (7)

Overview (1)

Born in Paris, France

Mini Bio (1)

Emmanuel Benbihy demonstrated an early interest in art and international trade. After work experiences in London, New York and Los Angeles where he had the opportunity to help an independent film producer financially set-up a feature film, he came back to France in 1994. He spent over a year working on his passion subject: the co-development of European and Asian cinema, attending many foreign markets. His research was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Film Board, and became his central theme of research at La Sorbonne University. This period of reflection was decisive: cinema should serve diversity and peace. He chose his profession: producing films around the world. In 1996, he joined an independent production company, which he represented in international markets and festivals. He also managed relations with well-known filmmakers, supervised script development, prepared international production and distribution agreements, and built a strong network of contacts and private investors. He also made the first of a long series of trips to Shanghai starting in 1997.

In April 2000, the adventure of Paris, je t'aime began. Emmanuel put together the principal elements needed for its development and production: narrative structure, artistic and technical specifications, framework to approach directors and talent, contracts, agreement with US Guilds, international marketing strategy and the approach to film financing. All these elements are today part of the Cities of Love franchise. Simultaneously, Emmanuel produced Abjad, a period Iranian film shot during the Afghan war, directed by Abolfazl Jalili, and selected in official competition at the Venice Film Festival 2003.

The production of Paris, je t'aime started in July 2005 and the film ended up opening the Cannes Film Festival 2006, Un Certain Regard section, in presence of the talent involved. Paris, je t'aime also enjoyed a tremendous success worldwide. The first episode of the Cities of Love series convinced Emmanuel that the adventure should move forward on other continents, in New York, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai. New York, I Love You was completed in 2009. Today, Emmanuel has started licensing cities to established foreign producers, and the third installment of the franchise Rio, I Love You, was completed in 2014.

Emmanuel has been living in China since July 2009. He is currently structuring an international network of non-profit social enterprises whose purpose will be to launch City, I Love You initiatives doing good for cities, doing good for people and doing more with less. All these endeavors are part of the Cities of Love global initiative, and a Shanghai-based non-profit foundation will be incorporated in 2016 to launch City, I Love You initiatives in 6 different Chinese cities, starting with Shanghai. Several initiatives are under way in about 10 cities.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Emmanuel Benbihy

Trivia (7)

Concept Designer of the Cities of Love (TM) feature film franchise. He has started an extensive copyright and trademark registration process to protect the Cities of Love (TM) franchise and take to a global level on-line. The first licenses were sold in 2009: "Rio, Eu Te Amo" and "Jerusalem, I Love You".
Did not attend the 2006 Cannes Film Festival opening of 'Paris, je t'aime' in solidarity with two directors whose segment had been cut by his co-Producer Claudie Ossard. Went to eat at MacDonald's instead.
Strictly defended a non-smoking regulation in his Production office until the day Jean-Luc Godard showed up with a big cigar.
He collaborated for a few months with Anthony Minghella on his Segment in "New York, I Love You" until he had to go through surgery and quit the project. With Anthony's approval, his Segment was taken over by Shekhar Kapur. He quoted Anthony Minghella saying: "I remember meeting with Shekhar a couple of times and having long conversations with him. We disagreed pretty much about everything. He would be a great choice."
During the 5 years development period of "Paris, je t'aime", Benbihy was calling the Coen Brothers once a year to check if they would be available, until they said "Why not?".
Back in 1996, Benbihy was convinced that the future of the film industry was in Asia. He decided to make movies and produce Asian films. As Cities of Love (TM) took off, he postponed his Asian commitments until he moved to China to produce "Shanghai, I Love You". All his productions are now originated from Shanghai.
Benbihy worked with Natalie Portman for the first time on Tom Tykwer's segment in Paris, je t'aime (2006) as it was shot more than 3 years before the rest of the movie and used as pilot to convince investors. He then worked with her again on _New York, I Love You (2009)_ as she was involved as a segment director and as an actress Mira Nair's segment.

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