Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda took home the top prize -- the Palme d’Or -- for his film “Manbiki Kazoku” (“Shoplifters”) at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. Kore-eda is only the second Asian Palme d’Or winner this millennium (after Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul for “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” 2010). This is the seventh time that a director from Asia has bagged the coveted trophy.
A new film by the enfant terrible of Russian theatre — who is under house arrest in Moscow — received a standing ovation and rave reviews on Thursday after it was shown at the Cannes film festival. The cast of Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Leto,” a fast-paced biopic of the Soviet-Korean rock legend Viktor Tsoi, were cheered as the movie premiered at the world’s top film festival. Influential US critic David Ehrlich of the IndieWire website called it “a sort of ‘24 Hour Party People’ for the early 1980s Leningrad underground rock scene.”
The “MeToo” campaign for sexual equality will have “no direct impact” on who wins at the Cannes Film Festival, Cate Blanchett, the head of this year’s majority-female jury, said.
Of the 21 films vying for the Palme d’Or, only three are directed by women, the same as last year’s festival which happened before the sexual abuse and harassment allegations that gave birth to a global campaign to get greater female participation in the film business.