Japanese distributors are showing renewed confidence in the Unifrance-organized French Film Festival.
For the second year running, Unifrance is hosting a French Film Festival in Japan, held in Tokyo and Osaka from March 15 through 19. A press conference will be held March 14 in the presence of Unifrance president Margaret Menegoz, Catherine Deneuve, president of the delegation, and Gildas Le Lidec, France’s Ambassador to Japan.
16 films feature in the Festival selection, including 12 titles that have already been acquired in Japan: 7 ans (7 Years) by Jean-Pascal Hattu, L’Avion by Cédric Kahn, Belle Toujours by Manoel de Oliveira, Le Concile de pierre (The Stone Council) by Guillaume Nicloux, Flanders by Bruno Dumont, Le Héros de la famille (Family Hero) by Thierry Klifa, Je m’appelle Elisabeth (Call Me Elisabeth) by Jean-Pierre Améris, Je vais bien ne t’en fais pas by Philippe Lioret, La Demoiselle d’honneur (The Bridesmaid) by Claude Chabrol, Molière by Laurent Tirard, Pars vite et reviens tard (Have Mercy on Us All) by Régis Wargnier, Renaissance by Christian Volckman, La Science des rêves (The Science of Sleep) by Michel Gondry, Truands (Crime Insiders) by Frédéric Schoendoerffer, Un couple parfait by Nobuhiro Suwa, and Une aventure by Xavier Giannoli.
A program of short films completes the selection: By the Kiss by Yann Gonzales, Comment on freine dans une descente by Alix Delaporte, Le Lac-La Plage by Matthieu Salmon, Le Loup blanc by Pierre-Luc Granjon, Ma culotte by Blandine Lenoir, L’Homme de la lune by Serge Elissalde, Odile... by Bénédicte Delgéhier, and La Leçon de guitare by Martin Ritt.
A retrospective of films by Jacques Demy will showcase the director’s most well-known titles along with works by other filmmakers who have been inspired by Demy. This event will be held in the presence of the filmmaker’s son Mathieu Demy.
Delegation members will be on call to meet with Japanese media representatives to discuss the upcoming release of their films in Japan.
Catherine Deneuve, whose visit is eagerly awaited in Japan, will be accompanied by Jean-Pierre Améris, Samuel Boidin, Valérie Donzelli, Bruno Dumont, Romain Duris, Alba Gaïa, Xavier Giannoli, Michel Gondry, Jean-Pascal Hattu, Cédric Kahn, Thierry Klifa, Adélaïde Leroux, Philippe Lioret, Benoît Magimel, Bulle Ogier, Géraldine Pailhas, Frédéric Schoendoerffer, Ludivine Sagnier, Nobuhiro Suwa, Laurent Tirard, Bruno Todeschini, Christopher Thompson, Christian Volckman, and Régis Wargnier.
Organization of the event
Screenings will be held in three multiplexes in Tokyo: Virgin Toho Cinemas, Odaïba Mediage (two complexes owned by the Toho exhibition network, who are a festival partner) and at the Eurospace multiplex in Shibuya. Film screenings will also be programmed in other Japanese cities: in Yokohama to coincide with the inauguration of a new Toho Cinemas multiplex in Osaka, as well as Namba and Takatsuki.
Three professional meetings will be held, focusing on the subjects of “Distribution," "Co-productions," and "Piracy," while Bulle Ogier will lead a masterclass at a film school.
A Film Market held as sidebar event will give Japanese distributors the opportunity to meet with representatives from 18 film export companies. This year for the first time, members of TV France International will be making the trip to Japan along with film exporter members of Unifrance.