French connection: Rendez-Vous heads to Japan

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After a successful visit to New York, French films will continue their world tour as Unifrance's third annual "Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Japan" kicks off Thursday in Tokyo and Osaka, organizers said Monday.

Gallic actress-turned-director Sophie Marceau will preside over a festival that will feature 14 Gallic feature films, including Marceau's own "Trivial," Eric Rohmer's "The Romance of Astree and Celadon" and Claude Miller's "A Secret." Seven short films will complete the selection.

Unifrance also is planning a special retrospective devoted to French New Wave director Jacques Rivette. Bulle Ogier and Pascal Bonitzer will present Rivette works including "Mad Love," "The Gang of Four," "La Belle Noiseuse," "Celine and Julie Go Boating" and "Joan the Maiden."

French talent expected to make the trip across the globe include actors Patrick Bruel and Christopher Lambert, actresses Ludivine Sagnier and Julie Depardieu and directors Cedric Klapisch and Denis Dercourt, who will meet with Japanese press throughout the five-day event.

Gallic producers and international sales agents also plan to make the trip on their way to the Hong Kong Filmart, which begins the day after Unifrance's event wraps.

Japanese distributors will meet with 23 French sales agents on March 12 as part of Unifrance's simultaneous market.

All screenings will be held at the Toho multiplex and in the Eurospace Shibuya movie theater in Tokyo and films will screen at the Toho Namba in Osaka beginning March 16.
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