JA­PAN PAV­IL­ION RULES

Cannes Market News - - NEWS - LF

A TOP LINE-UP of Ja­panese film ex­ec­u­tives, in a con­stel­la­tion rarely seen in Ja­pan, even, gath­ered on the Croisette on Mon­day to talk up the Ja­panese in­dus­try for the All-ja­pan Sum­mit: Power Play­ers Panel Dis­cus­sion. But, per­haps, the most im­pres­sive speaker of all, was an in­ter­ac­tive life­sized robot, dressed in a ki­mono, called Am­bas­sador Asuna who nods her del­i­cate head in the cor­ner of the venue, the Ja­panese Pav­il­ion. Asuna is a cre­ation of A-lab Co Ltd. And if you are feel­ing lonely, order­ing one of her sib­lings might be a good idea. She talks. The pav­il­ion is the first Ja­panese Pav­il­ion in Cannes since 2010, and an ini­tia­tive of Ja­pan­day, a large-scale, gov­ern­ment-backed pro­gram to pro­mote the Ja­panese in­dus­try. One of the high­lights for the pro­gram was the sum­mit whose speak­ers in­cluded: Tsug­uhiko Kadokawa Chair­man of the Board, Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Kadokawa Cor­po­ra­tion; Kyoko Kashi­wabara Direc­tor, Me­dia and Con­tent In­dus­try Di­vi­sion, Min­istry of Econ­omy, Trade and In­dus­try of Ja­pan (METI); Yo­kichi Osato, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Direc­tor and Chair­man, Amuse Inc.; Jay Sakamoto Pres­i­dent & CEO, Shochiku Co., Ltd.; Ya­sushi Shi­ina Direc­tor Gen­eral, Tokyo In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (TIFF); Yoshishige Shi­matani Pres­i­dent, Toho Co., Ltd. Tom Yoda, Chair­man of the Board /Pres­i­dent /CEO – GAGA Cor­po­ra­tion San-e Ichii, sec­re­tary gen­eral, Vis­ual In­dus­try Pro­mo­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (VIPO) mod­er­ated. “Ja­panese con­tent has gar­nered a high rep­u­ta­tion, from an­i­ma­tion to film to tele­vi­sion and books,” said Yoda. “I be­lieve it has great po­ten­tial and that there is a rip­ple ef­fect into other in­dus­tries. There have been a num­ber of suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives since 2004.” Yoda holds mul­ti­ple po­si­tions in the busi­ness world, but speak­ing about his film com­pany Gaga, which dis­trib­utes for­eign films in Ja­pan and has been be­hind Cannes award win­ners in­clud­ing Like Fa­ther,like Son, he said: “We are like a mes­sen­ger for for­eign films in Ja­pan.” Sakamoto also spoke about cul­tural ex­changes work­ing both ways.

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