The second day of the French Film Festival in Yokohama featured two master classes, a family photo, four film screenings in the festival's theater (the Aeon Cinema, located at the top of a commercial center that adjoins the Yokohama Harbor), and a gala evening event that paid tribute to Claude Lelouch.
In the morning, Sébastien Marnier and Caroline Bonmarchand, director and producer of School's Out, met with students from the University of Yokohama for a discussion on the theme of "Socially-engaged cinema: What does the world hold for future generations?" The young filmmaker Marnier notably revealed, "I have always felt empathy for sociopaths," a statement that did not discourage a student from later commenting in French, "I like French films because they really express the subtleties of life." Charm was also at play at the Geidai University, where Michel Ocelot held a master class for which he brought along a large number of his own drawings and paper cut-out works, which he invited participants to look at up close.
At 2:00 p.m., the entire French delegation gathered for the traditional "family photo" taken aboard the festival's ship docked in the harbor not far from the hotel.
Four film screenings (two of which were held in the presence of key crew members) were programmed during the day, starting with The Sisters Brothers and Amanda. They were followed by Q&A sessions, photos, and autograph sessions for Vincent Lacoste and Mikhaël Hers. Then it was the turn of The Swallows of Kabul, followed by discussions with the audience and an autograph session for Zabou Breitman and Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. Presenting an animated film in Japan—the homeland of animation—is no mean feat! But the audiences asked pertinent questions, notably regarding the brutality of the film's story, which is based on the realities of contemporary life. "Animation allows us to create the necessary distance from a true representation of this violent story, but it also requires an engagement on the part of the spectator in appropriating it on an emotional level," explained Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. The last daytime screening at the Aeon Cinema was Incident in a Ghostland by Pascal Laugier.
In the evening, a special gala event was dedicated to Claude Lelouch, who arrived in Japan that morning. He was joined for the occasion by the much-acclaimed Japanese actress Keiko Kishi, who is still actively working in the industry and who was once married to the French director Yves Ciampi. Keiko Kishi was, along with Jeanne Moreau, one of the instigators of the first edition of the French Film Festival in Yokohama back in 1993. The evening also featured a magnificent musical tribute to Francis Lai performed by the Keio Light Music Orchestra prior to the screening of The Best Years of a Life to a theater packed to the doors.