Cannes: Japan's Kore-eda Celebrates Fourth Festival Selection

Hirokazu Kore-eda at Cannes in 2013

Two years after his 'Like Father, Like Son' took the jury prize and was picked up by DreamWorks for a remake, he is bringing 'Our Little Sister' to the Croisette.

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary) will mark his fourth appearance in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, just two years after his Like Father, Like Son took the jury prize there and got picked up by Steven Spielberg for a DreamWorks remake.  

Another family drama, Our Little Sister features three of the same cast members as Like Father, Like Son. They are Kilin Kiki, Lily Franky and Jun Fubuki. The movie tells the story of three sisters in their twenties who get to know their 14-year-old half-sister after meeting her for the first time at their father's funeral.

"My last film Like Father, Like Son was my first in nine years to be selected for Cannes, so I'm really surprised to be chosen again. I'm genuinely happy," said Kore-eda. "My goal is not international film festivals themselves, but for them to be a starting point for my film to reach as many people as possible. But in terms of film festivals, Cannes is the greatest launch pad."

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Kore-eda previously appeared at the Cannes festival in 2001 with Distance and 2004 with Nobody Knows. Like Father, Like Son was his biggest commercial success in Japan, taking in around $30 million (3.2 billion) to make it the seventh biggest-grossing domestic film in Japan in 2013.

Our Little Sister is based on the comic series Umimachi Diary by Akimi Yoshida, which has been published by Shogakukan since 2007. The film was produced by Gaga, Fuji TV, Toho and Shogakukan Productions.  

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Films from Japanese directors Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata) and Cannes favorite Naomi Kawase both failed to make the cut for this year's festival competition on Thursday, but organizers said a couple of more films would be added later.

Our Little Sister is set for a June 13 release in Japan.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair