The program of the 21st French Film Festival in Japan, which will be held June 19-23, 2014, showcases a selection of recent French films.
The program for the 2013 French Festival in Japan showcases a selection of recent French films: comedies, dramas, documentaries, and animated films, which will be accompanied by artists who will be present to meet with Japanese audiences and media (Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Brutus, Figaro Japon, J Wave, Fuji Télévision, etc).
Eight of the films have already been acquired by Japanese distributors and will be released in the coming months:
*In the House by François Ozon (in his presence, Ernst Umhauer will also be attending)
*Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan (in the presence of Nathalie Baye)
*Lines of Wellington by Valeria Sarmiento (in her presence)
*Stranded, A World Without Women by Guillaume Brac (in his presence)
*Populaire by Régis Roinsard (in his presence, Déborah François will also be attending)
*A Few Hours in Spring by Stéphane Brizé (in his presence, Hélène Vincent will also be attending)
*Becoming Traviata by Philippe Béziat (in his presence, Jean-François Sivadier will also be attending)
*Three Worlds by Catherine Corsini (in her presence,Raphaël Personnaz will also be attending).
Five other films selected by a Japanese journalist will be presented to the public with the aim of finding a local distributor:
*Love Is in the Air by Alexandre Castagnetti (in the presence of Ludivine Sagnier)
*The Day of the Crows by Jean-Christophe Dessaint (in his presence)
*A Child of Yours by Jacques Doillon (in his presence, Lou Doillon will also be attending)
*Thérèse Desqueyroux by Claude Miller
*La Maison vide (short film) by Mathieu Hippeau (in his presence).
Lola by Jacques Demy completes the program, and will be shown at a special heritage film screening.
Besides the customary Q&A sessions with the public held following film screenings along with autograph sessions, some of the French artists will meet with the public at events organized outside the festival. Jacques Doillon will lead a masterclass at the Tokyo Film School, while François Ozon will be present for a Meet the Filmmaker event at the Apple Store Ginza. Likewise, the first retrospective in Japan dedicated to Nathalie Baye (presenting 15 films) will be organized by the French Institut in Tokyo, and will tour several other cities (Kyoto, Osaka, and Kukuoka). A selection of films from the festival lineup will also be presented in these cities, again with support from the French Institute in Japan.
After the recession in 2011, 2012 proved to be a more successful year for movies in Japan. It was a record year for local productions (with a 65% market share for Japanese films) and an excellent year for French films (2.5 million admissions in 2012, compared to 0.9 million in 2011), largely due to the surprise success of The Intouchables (more than 1 million spectators), which outranked Amelie at the Japanese box office.
This good news should, however, not mask the slow decline of the film sector in Japan, notably with regard to theatrical release, and the growing difficulty for French films to gain access to Japanese theaters given the high number of films distributed and the Japanese cinephile audience, which struggles to renew itself.