Held for the 12th time this year, the Yokohama French Film Festival (June 16-20, 2004) once again drew spectators in droves, from both the host city and the neighboring capital. Just under 20,000 admissions were registered in 5 days at the 19 screenings programmed.
The selection put together by Unifrance, with assistance from a newly appointed artistic advisor, Ms. Kuriko Sato, reflected, as is the case each year, the diversity of current French film production. Included were popular successes (such as "Podium," "Mariages!" and "Father and Sons"), films by new generation filmmakers (such as Sébastien Lifshitz, François Favrat and Jean-Marc Moutout), grand-scale entertainment movies ("Bon Voyage," "Janis & John" and "Love Me If You Dare") as well as jewels from the 2004 Cannes Festival selection ("Comme une image," "Brodeuses" and "À tout de suite").
400 interviews in 4 days!
The French films presented at Yokohama were accompanied by one of the most impressive artistic delegations to date, headed by Festival President Emmanuelle Béart, star of "Nathalie…" by Anne Fontaine, which closed the festival. The artists present included actors Ariane Ascaride, Patrick Bruel, Maryline Canto, Marion Cotillard, Christophe Lambert, Isild Le Besco, Lio, Géraldine Pailhas, Benoît Poelvoorde, Jérémie Rénier, Jules Sitruk and Jonathan Zaccai; and directors Richard Berry, Michel Boujenah, Anne Fontaine, Benoît Jacquot, Nadir Moknèche, Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Pierre Salvadori. (To see the complete selection and delegation, refer to the Festival file).
On hand to meet with Japanese media representatives, these artists gave 400 individual and group interviews during the festival.
This year, the French directors present also accepted to take part in a brand new exercise: to present films by their colleagues to the audience. Thus Sébastien Lifshitz introduced "After You," Pierre Salvadori, "Bon Voyage," Jean-Paul Rappeneau, "Mariages!," Valérie Guignabodet, "Brodeuses," Anne Fontaine, "À tout de suite" and Thierry Klifa, "Podium."