French Film, TV Promotion Org Unifrance Launches Asia Bureau in Tokyo, Unveils Lineup of 30th French Film Festival in Japan

Unifrance, the prolific French and TV promotion org, has launched a bureau in Tokyo to spearhead industry events across Asia, including in Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and India.

Emmanuel Pisarra, who has been appointed to lead the new office, pointed the creation of this bureau came at the right time. “While we haven’t been on the ground for the last two years due to the pandemic, Japan remains the forth biggest overseas B.O. market for French movies, said Pisarra, who added that Korea and Southeast Asia are also becoming key markets. The org already has an office coordinating events in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan which is headed by Isabelle Glachant.

Unifrance will be hosting the 30th edition of its French film festival in Japan, in the city of Yokohama, on Dec.1-4. The festival will kick off with “Eiffel,” Martin Bourboulon’s period drama starring Romain Duris and Emma Mackay (pictured). Other films slated for the fest include Audrey Diwan’s Venice prizewinning “Happening,” Xavier Giannoli’s “Lost Illusions,” Eric Gravel’s “A plein temps,” Lola Quivoron’s “Rodeo” and Mia Hansen-Love’s “One Fine Morning,” among other films.

A film market will also be hosted on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 with sales agents from 19 French banners, including Charades, Film Constellation, france tv distribution, Gaumont, Indie Sales, Kinology, Le Pacte, Les Films du Losange, Loco Films, Luxbox, mk2 films, Pathé International, Pulsar Content, SND, Studiocanal and The Party Film Sales.

Besides its annual festival and market, Unifrance’s Tokyo office will also be in charge of coordinating events with local partners and events, such as the Busan et Hong Kong film festivals. The org has recently handed out special rescue funding for independent exhibitors in Japan.

Pisarra previously worked for several French sales companies, including TF1, Doc & Film and Kinology (“Annette”). The executive, who is fluent in Japanese, completed a number of internships in the country and has worked on Japanese co-productions, such as Leos Carax’s “Annette.”

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