Japapese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s much anticipated “Manbiki Kazoku” (“Shoplifters”) has been awarded the top prize – the Palm d’Or – at the closing of the 71st edition of the prestigious Cannes film festival. An important night for Japanese Cinema whose most recent winner of the Palme D’Or was director Shohei Imamura for “The Eel”, back in 1997.

Mr. Koreeda is a regular of the French glamorous festival, “Shoplifters” being his fifth movie to be nominated for an award at Cannes and this year his movie was chosen within a pool of 21 other competitors. In the acceptance speech at the Closing Ceremony the director dedicated the Award to the to the whole production team and crew involved in the movie as well as to young directors.

Written, directed and edited by Kore-eda and inspired by everyday accounts of petty crimes, “Shoplifters” focuses on an alternative family of small-time crooks in Tokyo, living on the grandmother’s pension and on whatever the kids manage to steal in shops. The family takes in a child found on the streets and this will take them to unexpected turn of evenys

“Shoplifters” features two of the director’s regular collaborators, veteran Dame of Japanese Cinema Kirin Kiki and Lily Frankly, alongside Sakura Ando, Sōsuke Ikematsu, Mayu Matsuoka and few very young actors. Based on his previous films we know how masterfully Kore-eda directs chilfdren and family dramas and we are looking forward to his latest work.