Cannes jury prize goes to Koreeda’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’

The Japanese film “Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi ni Naru)” directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, received the Prix du Jury at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival on Sunday.

It is the first Japanese film to receive an award in the competition division since Naomi Kawase’s “The Mourning Forest,” which won the Grand Prix in 2007. Kawase served as a member of this year’s jury, which was headed by U.S. director Steven Spielberg, becoming the first Japanese in 17 years to join the jury.

“I would like to share my joy in receiving the award with the cast and crew of the film, including (lead actor Masaharu) Fukuyama,” Koreeda said in his acceptance speech at the ceremony’s closing.

The Palme d’Or top prize went to Abdellatif Kechiche’s lesbian love story “Blue is the Warmest Color,” winning over Joel and Ethan Coen’s folk music comedy “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which took home the Grand Prix runner-up award.

Other Japanese films “Shield of Straw,” by Takashi Miike, which was running in the competition, and “The Meteorite and Impotence,” by Omoi Sasaki, which was selected for the short film competition, went home empty-handed.

“Like Father, Like Son” is a family drama depicting a middle-class couple who learn the child they have brought up for six years is not their biological son, who was switched at birth with the child from a family of modest means.

It is the third of Koreeda’s works to be screened at the Cannes competition in 12 years, and follows “Nobody Knows” for which Yuya Yagira won the Best Actor award in 2004.

The award for best actor at the Cannes festival went to Bruce Dern for Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” while Berenice Bejo won best actress for her performance in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past.”

Best Director went to Mexican director Amat Escalante for his “Heli,” and best screenplay went to “A Touch of Sin” written by Jia Zhangke.

This year’s festival opened May 15 with director Baz Luhrmann’s 3-D movie “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.