Pierre Viot, a figure in the cultural world who had been president of the Cannes Film Festival for more than 15 years, died Thursday at the age of 95, his son told AFP. The former advisor to the Court of Auditors had headed the Center national de la cinématographie (CNC) from 1973 to 1984 for more than ten years, before being elected in 1985 to the presidency of the Cannes Film Festival, replacing Robert Favre Le Bret. "I lived a great passion, and this passion does not leave me", he said sixteen years later to AFP during his last Festival in June 2000.
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Cannes is first and foremost "films and artists" , he insisted then before handing over to Gilles Jacob, who had until then been general delegate. “From 1984 to 2000, I worked with Pierre Viot every day. He was our president and my dear accomplice. Protector of a close-knit team, he brought nobility, moral elegance and a sense of state to the Festival, ” Gilles Jacob reacted to AFP on Thursday. "His height of vision, his smiling lucidity, his class have left an indelible mark," he added. "His story has crossed history: from the Resistance through the ENA to the Cinéfondation, his last functions," his son François Viot told AFP.
In Cannes, he was "the legal, economic and moral guarantor of the Festival and at the same time the freedom of mind to Gilles Jacob to bring the festival almost already into the 21st century", for his part commented the current president of the Pierre Lescure Festival, saluting a man of "insane modernity" . But “Pierre Viot, it goes beyond the Cannes festival. It's 75 years in the service of culture, ” he added, underlining his “ phenomenal ”work at the CNC where “ he presided over the new dynamic of cinema financing ”.
"It is with affection that I pay tribute to Pierre Viot, one of those who, with an unabashed public commitment, made the history of the Cannes festival" , greeted the general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Frémaux. In the 1980s, Pierre Viot, enarque passed through the senior civil service, also chaired the board of directors of the public establishment responsible for building the Opera Bastille.