'Shoplifters' director apologizes for French film awards no-show

Film director Hirokazu Kore-eda apologized for a mix-up that left nobody present to accept a prize his movie "Shoplifters" won at a prestigious awards ceremony in Paris on Friday.
The critically-acclaimed film depicting a family living in poverty in Tokyo won best foreign film at the 44th Cesar Awards, France's equivalent of the Academy Awards. It beat out six other nominated films, including Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" and Pawel Pawlikowski's "Cold War."
In an image posted to the "Shoplifters" official Twitter account, Kore-eda, who is in Los Angeles for the Academy Awards, said that he had prepared comments to be read on stage by a representative if the film won. But due to "some mistake," nobody was at the Salle Pleyel concert hall to read the speech or accept the trophy.
"On behalf of the crew, I'd like to apologize to everyone involved in the Cesar Awards for this rudeness," he said.
"Shoplifters" was the first Japanese work to be named best foreign film by the French Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques since Akira Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" in 1981.
Kore-eda thanked French moviegoers for supporting his film, citing its winning of the prestigious Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes International Film Festival as a "starting point" for the film.
"Shoplifters" is also nominated for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards, which take place on Sunday.

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