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Film by Japanese director Yamanaka wins Critics Award in Cannes


Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yoko Yamanaka

Cannes, France (Jiji Press) – Japanese director Yoko Yamanaka’s Desert of Namibia won an award from the International Federation of Film Critics at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

“Desert of Namibia” is a story about a 21-year-old woman. “For its fearless exploration of contemporary shades of neurodivergence, captured in images that relentlessly explore the distance between the main characters as they navigate the spaces of 21st century Japan,” said the jury.

Yamanaka, 27, became the youngest woman to win the award. “I would like to express my gratitude to the staff and cast. I still rely on my senses when I make a film, but I want to study and be able to make the film better,” she said in a statement.

She attracted attention with ‘Amiko’, a 2017 film that she first directed at the age of 19.

The International Federation of Film Critics awarded awards to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Pulse” in 2001 and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” in 2021, among others.

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