Hirokazu Kore-eda, Cannes Prize-Winning ‘Monster’ Filmmaker, Signs With UTA

EXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed Hirokazu Kore-eda, the internationally celebrated Japanese filmmaker known for titles like Monster and Shoplifters, for representation in all areas.

The deal is particularly significant, Deadline hears, as the agency continues to expand its presence in Japan, and throughout Asia more broadly. Kore-eda will work closely going forward with UTA’s Asia Business Development division, which looks to amplify Asian and Asian-American voices by creating and curating a diverse array of opportunities, between Hollywood and Asia, for clients, partner companies, and brands.

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Kore-eda’s most recent feature, Monster, had its North American premiere at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival after world premiering in Cannes, where it was awarded the Queer Palm and the prize for Best Screenplay. The film penned by Yuji Sakamoto watches as a mother confronts her young son’s teacher after she notices him acting strangely. Sakura Andō, Eita Nagayama, and Sōya Kurokawa star.

Kore-eda also earlier this year released The Makanai: Cooking for The Maiko House, his first series project for Netflix, which adapts the Aiko Koyama manga Kiyo in Kyoto as a means of examining modern-day life within a Kyoto, Japan geisha house. Currently working on another new series soon to be announced, he’s perhaps best known for his crime thriller Shoplifters, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival on its way to Best Foreign Language Film noms at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.

Also behind the film Broker, which won both the Ecumenical Jury Award and the Best Actor Award at Cannes — with the latter going to Song Kang-ho — Kore-eda’s other credits include Still Walking, The Truth, Nobody Knows, and Like Father, Like Son, to name just a few. He continues to be represented by his production, management, and advisory company Bunbuku, Inc.

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