Spectacle Horizon de Chloé Moglia
© Vinciane Lebrun-Verguethen


Foreign professionals
FOCUS is a major influence plan for artistic scouting to feed the programmes of prescribing foreign partners and to contribute to better distribution of French artists.

The Institut français organises the Focuses in partnership with unifying events in France or around partners which enlist the interest of foreign professionals.

They meet together for several days, around a dedicated artistic programme, professionals invited by the French cultural network abroad. Their aim is to facilitate identifying French cultural creation sectors and encourage their distribution in the world. They also enable professionals in a sector to be put in contact with each other.


2021 Focus

● Visual Arts Focus at Art Basel Hong Kong (19 to 21 May)

Online French Encounters,  an online visual arts FOCUS presented by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau and the Institut français in partnership with the contemporary art fair Art Basel Hong Kong. Professionals coming mainly from Asia, France and elsewhere, directors of institutions, exhibition curators, are invited to digital meetings programmed over three days and including live visits of the fair and exhibition place in Hong Kong (museums, galleries, art centres, non profit art spaces) with Hong Kong professionals, visits of French and Hong Kong artists’ studios, as well as conversations between artists and curators online, digital meetings with professionals from the French and Asian scenes., B2B on demand from 1 to 4 June.

More information


● Dance Focus at the Lyon Dance Biennale – from 8 to 11 June 2021

The 7th edition of the Dance Focus, organised by the Lyon Dance Biennale, Onda and the Institut français, during the 19th Lyon Dance Biennale (26 May – 16 June), plans a programme combining physical attendance and digital in 2021.


● Territories and Arts Focus in partnership with the Cratère Surface festival in Alès – from 29 June to 3 July 2021

Architects, artists, institutions and personalities from various disciplinary fields will express themselves. This Focus is part of the Territories and Arts roadmap developed by the Artistic Cooperation and Development Department. It is organised in partnership with Artcena / National Centre for Circus, Street and Theatre Arts and uses the axes it has developed. It will strike a chord for some with the project proposed by Christophe Hutin at the 17th Venice Biennale Architettura. This Focus will take place with physical attendance subject to health conditions.

More information


● Theatre Focus in Avignon – from 7 to 11 July 2021

The Institut français is organising a Focus as part of the Festival d’Avignon for the first time. It has partnered with the In Festival and three emblematic places of the Off Festival, recognised for their artistic demand and ability to defend contemporary writing and forms: the Manufacture, Théâtre des Doms, Théâtre du Train Bleu. It will offer a four-day tailored circuit for 20 European professionals and end on 11 July with the Institut français day in Avignon, the highlight of meetings and debates for many professionals attending the In and Off festivals.

At this stage, this Focus has been planned as a physical attendance format only, and a digital interpretation is being looked at.


● Emerging Theatre Focus, Paris and Tours, from 22 to 26 September 2021

The Focus on young theatre creation and emerging forms, initially planned in March 2020, was postponed to 22 to 26 September 2021. It will take place in Paris, then Tours, for the occasion of the WET Festival, the key moment dedicated to young contemporary creation and proposed by the Tours National Drama Centre – Théâtre Olympia.

This meeting is for European programmers (25 maximum), who have already shown notable interest in supporting emerging creation. Beyond the artistic scouting path, the Institut français wishes to encourage these invited professionals to make up a European network supporting young creation.


● Music FOCUS: MaMA 12th edition – 13 to 15 October 2021

After the 2020 edition was cancelled, MaMA will repeat its unique event concept in France in 2021, and will take place over 3 days.

From Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 October 2021, MaMA will organise conferences, meetings dedicated to professionals, as well as concerts open to a wide audience in the Pigalle and Montmartre quarters.

The Institut français remains partner of the “AVANT-GARDE, UN SOUTIEN A L’EXPORTATION” (Avant-Garde, support for Export) operation dedicated to exporting and showcasing new French artists. Avant-Garde is developed in partnership with the Yourope network, SACEM and the Institut français. Almost 150 professionals, representing the most important European and international festivals, but also major agents, film-makers and producers, take part in this operation each year.


● Visual Arts Focus in Paris and Bordeaux, from 18 to 22 October 2021

The autumn Visual Arts Focus will take place for the occasion of the Contemporary art week in Paris and the FIAC (Foire internationale d’art contemporain – International Contemporary Art Fair). It will continue in Nouvelle Aquitaine with discovering Bordeaux, its top sites and artists.

Number of professionals targeted for physical attendance: 15-20 professionals

In Paris: FIAC – Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain; new foundation openings in the Paris region: the Pinault collection in the Bourse de commerce; the Ricard foundation; Fiminco foundation (Komunuma); Emerige. Collaboration with the AWARE (Archive of Women Artists) prize and Marcel Duchamp prize.

In Bordeaux: CAPC Musée d’art contemporain, MECA / FRAC Aquitaine, Fabrique Pola.

And also: artist studio tours, professional meetings...

This Focus will take place with physical attendance. A digital format may be envisaged subject to how health conditions develop.


● Photography/Image Focus for the occasion of Paris Photo in partnership with the Diagonal network – 8-12 November 2021

Fifteen personalities from the art world, mainly based in Europe, will be invited to discover an emerging French artistic scene, confirmed through a programme of visiting places, meetings with French professionals and artists, in Paris, Île-de-France (or even in the regions). Sequences with DIAGONAL, a national network of 25 photography distribution and production structures, will aim to foster mobility and promotion of the French photographic scene and cooperation between European actors.

This Focus is planned to have physical attendance with “remote” sections that will be detailed according to how the health situation develops.


● Children’s Literature Focus (December 2021: TBC)

The “Children’s Literature” Focus will take place as part of the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse (children’s book fair) in Seine-Saint-Denis during the first weekend of December 2021.

This Focus is dedicated to meetings and exchanges between foreign and French professionals in children’s books, and aims to familiarise participants with French publishing and cultural engineering of children’s books to encourage its distribution around the world and foster new partnerships.

Through a “training” section, cultural network participants will be invited to take part in the Fair alongside foreign guest professionals and themed workshops to design innovative and federating projects to promote the French language as much as children’s books for export.

The Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse in Seine-Saint-Denis (SLPJ) is the partner of this Focus.


● Design

In the design field, physically attended professional meetings are planned as part of European events:

- For the occasion of the second edition of the Porto Design Biennale (June-July 2021) with France, guest country.

Alter-realities: Designing the Present is the general theme proposed by Alastair Fuad-Luke, curator. Caroline Naphegyi (former programme director – Lille Métropole Capitale Mondiale du Design) has been appointed co-curator of the French section alongside the French designer living in Portugal, Sam Baron, thereby creating bridges in Lille and Porto.

- At the Milan Furniture Show (September 2021):

For the occasion of the Constance Guisset monography at the IF in Milan and the PAINT FICTION project of Studio Stéphane Villard and Gabelle Gabillet – in connection with the French Design operation in Milan coordinated by the Institut français and the France Design Week operation supported by the APCI (Association de promotion du design).

A “training” section is also attached to these proposals