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The French Season in Japan 2021

Foreign professionals / French professionals
The French Season in Japan will take place throughout the Japanese archipelago from Okinawa to Hokkaido, from April to October 2021. Through seven months of celebratory, innovative and participatory programming, this Season will represent the diversity of French artistic creation, as well as scientific, culinary, touristic and entrepreneurial creation, and will especially highlight Franco-Japanese creations and co-productions. It will be aimed at all audiences.

Click below to view the project submission procedures.
Terms and conditions

How to submit a project


To be able to submit a project, you must already have an identified Japanese partner


As the Institut français cannot act as a broadcaster or film maker, producer or programmer, persons wishing to present a project in Japan (artists, researchers, teachers, chefs, entrepreneurs, etc.) must also be supported by a French project sponsor (organisation, company etc.) and a Japanese project sponsor.


Projects submitted for approval by the steering committee must at least meet one of the criteria defined in the General Commission’s editorial guidelines, namely:

-Be celebratory and participatory (high-visibility events for the general public)

-Involve younger audiences and civil society (particular interest will be given to projects involving the Japanese general public or which seek to develop mediation actions and participatory workshops)

-Be innovative (particular interest will be given to technological innovations)


In addition to these criteria, and given the deadlines set for preparing the French Season in Japan on the one hand and the Japanese calendar on the other (with the fiscal year running from March to April), priority will be given to: 

-co-creations devised with Japanese partners, or original creations combining French artists (or foreign artists based in France) and Japanese artists (any broadcast in the strict sense will not be considered)

-projects resulting from a dialogue already established with identified Japanese partners.


Lastly, the steering committee will pay particular attention to territorial coverage, and especially to projects presented outside Tokyo and in major Japanese cities.


If your project meets these criteria, we invite you to contact the General Commission (see contacts at the bottom of this page) by sending a pre-project including at least:

-a short presentation about your organisation (+ contacts)

-the name of the Japanese partner organisation (+ contacts)

-the dates of your project

-a detailed description of your project

-your experience in setting up projects in Japan


Based on this information, and if your project meets the criteria defined above, the General Commission will contact you, and may propose that you formally apply for designation according to procedures that will then be communicated to you (you will be asked to provide a provisional budget for your project, which should be balanced in terms of income and expenditure).

This project will then be presented to one of the steering committees (see calendar below) which will decide on its designation status.


Please note that designation does not in any way entail the allocation of financial support by the Institut français or its partners. This is conditional on the General Commission’s interest in your project, its suitability with the criteria indicated above, and the validation of the Season’s steering committee.

Context of the Season

During President Macron's official visit in June 2019, France and Japan renewed and strengthened the strategic partnership which has linked our two countries since 2013. Based on a community of values, this partnership highlights our joint positions on international policy (peace and security) and an innovative and digital economy for a necessary transition that is both energetic and responsible and for culture in the broadest sense, with a view to developing the mobility of students, creators, researchers and athletes. 

While Japan is fascinating, as evidenced by the great success of “Japonismes 2018, âmes en résonnance” or “Japonismes 2018: Souls in Harmony” (and its three million visitors), and our country projects a strong and positive image of itself there, it is clear that this is somewhat outdated. Without turning our backs on the fundamentals of our representation in the Japanese imagination, at this time when relationships are deep and fulfilling, the real challenge of the Season will be to serve as a platform to renew this imagination by focusing from the outset on contemporary creation and innovation. 

In addition, the Season is part of the context for major international events for which our countries will be respectively responsible: 

  • Organisation of the G20 in Japan and the G7 in France in 2019 
  • The Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019 and then in France in 2023 
  • The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan in 2020 and then in France in 2024 

It will endeavour to act as a link between these global events.

The founding principles: From a shared heritage to a world to build together

The Season will aim to: 

  • celebrate the abundance of creations between our two countries by favouring co-productions between French and Japanese professionals and institutions in order to develop a space for dialogue and exchange between contemporary creators from our two countries; 
  • revive the imagination by showcasing our capacity for innovation, particularly through cultural and creative industries and innovative approaches (scientific research) and societal approaches (corporate social responsibility); 
  • develop new partnerships focused on creativity and innovation in their most contemporary aspects, so that from the outset of projects sustainable perspectives are taken on board.

The editorial approach of the Season

  • will reflect all the creative and innovative aspects of contemporary France and will embrace as widely as possible all areas of exchange between our two countries: economics, science, gastronomy, arts and culture (including heritage), education, higher education and research, sport, tourism and art through public events and high-level conferences and meetings; 
  • will showcase the dynamism and imagination of the creators, companies and institutions that drive the relationship between our countries, favouring Franco-Japanese collaborations and creative platforms for the highlights; 
  • will be celebratory and accessible to all audiences, extending throughout the archipelago and especially aimed at younger audiences; 
  • will promote a spirit of dialogue and working together with civil society to deal with a new way of living together that will integrate the necessary technological, societal and environmental changes to try to together build our common future and the Francophile friendships of tomorrow.


Provisional timetable (2020)

  • 1st steering committee: from 13 to 21 January 2020
  • 2nd steering committee: from 14 to 24 April 2020 
  • 3rd steering committee: from 15 to 24 June 2020
  • 4th steering committee: September-October 2020


Please note that the project submission form sent to you by the Commission must be completed one month before the date of the steering committee indicated above. This information will be communicated to you by the General Commission if your pre-project is pre-selected.

To find out more about designation requests for the Season, go to

Contact us

General Commissioner for the French Season in Japan: Diane Josse

To contact the General Commission for the French Season in Japan, please use one of the following addresses depending on your project’s primary discipline:

For multidisciplinary projects, and any general questions, please use this address: