Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda to develop multiple projects for Netflix

Kore-eda became the first Japanese director in 21 years to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his 2018 film ‘Shoplifters’

Celebrated Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda is working on a film and a series for Netflix as the streamer expands its live-action lineup from the country.

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Kore-eda, known for his humanist stories, became the first Japanese director in 21 years to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his 2018 film “Shoplifters”. The critically-acclaimed film looks at a ragtag bunch of shoplifters who welcome a lonely young girl in their unusual family.

His other films include “Nobody Knows”, “Still Walking”, “After the Storm” and “Like Father, Like Son”. “Netflix and I are teaming up to create a drama series and a big-budget movie that is different from my previous works. You still need to wait for a bit before they’re finished and delivered to you. I incorporate different elements from those in theatre movies and try to create exciting works. Please look forward to them,” the director said in a video message, shared and translated by the streamer.

Kore-eda said the film he is making for Netflix will be different in scale from his previous movies while the drama series could only be realised through his collaboration with the streamer.

The noted Japanese director, 59, said he will be working with several young directors on the drama as he is also involved as a showrunner.

Though he will direct several episodes by himself, Kore-eda said, “this time I try to incorporate young directors and work with them. This is also a big appeal for me to work on this project.” The filmmaker, who fell in love with films while watching them with his mother, a huge movie buff and made his showbiz start in television, made a case for “breaking old boundaries and limitations” to give birth to new creators and new works in his video.

“Realistically, radical films normally have little chance of being screened in theaters. In the end, they would not be seen by the audience. It’s not just in Japan but in every country. Through streaming, these films can be actually born into the world. I think it’s important,” he said giving the example of American films and documentaries on streaming that have won Oscars.

“It’s definitely a stage for that. I think it’s a very positive situation,” he said.

Netflix is expanding its lineup in Japan where it will work with a diverse roster of creators.

“We hope to play a role in the history of great local talent finding their voices and delivering them to audiences everywhere, from Japan to the world,” the streamer said.

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