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In 1975, the American Film Festival was still only an abstraction, a concept, an idea in the air ...
Nothing predisposed Deauville to become a high place of cinema and yet it was in the spotlight since 1966 with the film by Claude Lelouch "A man and a woman".

In reality, in 1975, around fifty films had already been produced in Deauville since 1950, including The Baron de l'Ecluse by Jean Delannoy with Jean Gabin, Micheline Presle in 1959; Dangerous Liaisons by Roger Vadim with Gérard Philippe, Jeanne Moreau, JL Trintignant in 1959.
When the idea for the Festival comes to them, André Halimi and Lionel Chouchan have two or three possible host cities in mind. It is with the Mayor of Deauville, Michel d'Ornano that they find the greatest attention. With conviction, they obtain the support of Lucien Barrière, CEO of the Group bearing his name. André Halimi and Lionel Chouchan want to quench a passion and Michel d'Ornano and Lucien Barrière are looking for a way to attract tourists beyond the horse-racing season. Thanks to this quartet, the American Film Festival was born in September 1975.


Placed under the sign of discovery, the Deauville festival has lived for 20 years with no other ambition than to be the showcase of American cinema in Europe, so no competition. From the start, this is the condition set by the big American firms to lend their films. (04/09/1992: opening of the CID for the 18th festival.) In 1995, the festival won a prize list, but only independent films entered the competition.
Today, the festival aims, among other things, to help the dissemination and promotion on the European market of previously unreleased American films produced independently. The festival also has the mission of celebrating the great American cinema of the past through retrospectives, tributes or carte blanche to great figures from across the Atlantic.