June 21, 2018, marked the launch of the 26th French Film Festival in Japan. This date also marked the celebrations for the festival’s return, after being held for 13 years in Tokyo, to Yokohama, the city where it was founded in 1993.
On stage, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Alliance, a partner of the festival, was joined by the Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (winner of the 2018 Palme d’Or at Cannes for Shoplifters), Fumiko Hayashi, mayor of Yokohama, and Laurent Pic, the French Ambassador in Japan, who made their introductory speeches before giving leave for cinema to express itself, with the screening of the opening film, C’est la vie!, presented by its directing duo, Toledano and Nakache.
Earlier in the day, in Tokyo, the second and final day of French Film Market wrapped up, at which around forty Japanese distribution companies came to meet with twenty French sales companies, who had traveled to Japan to present their film slates. In sum, the 360 meetings scheduled over this two-day event will decide which French films will hit Japanese screens in the upcoming year. In 2017, 60 French films were released in Japan.
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