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Mon, 05/21/2018 - 01:38
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Koreeda's "Shoplifters" Wins Palme d'Or at Cannes

Cannes, France, May 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda's "Manbiki Kazoku" (Shoplifters), a feature film that portrays human ties of an impoverished family in Tokyo, won the Palme d'Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The motion picture is the fifth Japanese recipient of the best award at Cannes and the first since the late Shohei Imamura's "Unagi" (the eel), which was recognized in 1997. Koreeda has established a presence at Cannes. Yuya Yagura, then 14, received the Award for Best Actor in "Daremo Shiranai" (Nobody Knows) in 2004 and "Soshite Chichi ni Naru" (Like Father, Like Son) won Jury Prize in 2013. The other previous Japanese recipients of the Palme d'Or were Teinosuke Kinugawa's "Jigokumon" in 1954, Akira Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" in 1980 and Imamura's "Narayama Bushiko" in 1983. Shoplifters raises questions about what human connections should be through a "family" in an old town in Tokyo linked by petty crime and sheds light on poverty and other problems in modern Japan. Director Denis Villeneuve, a member of the jury, said that the film is graceful, wonderful and profound. It seized hold of his soul, he said. Actor Lily Franky and actress Sakura Ando played the roles of the parents, while actresses Kirin Kiki and Mayu Matsuoka also took part in the film. "I'm on shaky legs," Koreeda, 55, said, appearing on the podium to applause from the audience. "Every time I come to this film festival, people who continue to create movies keep me going," he said. "I think films have the power of connecting polarized and separated worlds." "Getting this (award) is a significant event," Koreeda said at a news conference. "I've renewed my determination to continue producing decent work befitting a director who received this award." A Tokyo native, Koreeda released his first feature work "Maboroshi no Hikari" (Maboroshi) in 1995. His work has been nominated at Cannes seven times, including five in feature film competition. He has also received awards in other international film festivals, including at Venice. His recent films include "Umimachi Diary" (Our Little Sister), "Umi yorimo Mada Fukaku" (After the Storm) and "Sandome no Satsujin" (The Third Murder). At the 71st Cannes Film Festival, Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi's "Netemo Sametemo" (Asako I & II), failed to win an award in feature film competition. END