Atsuko Hirayanagi

After “Mō ikkai”…
Congratulations on celebrating the 20th anniversary of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. This is the reward of strong will and the enthusiastic support of a lot of people. To me, a great point of short films is that we are able to experience ridiculous situations, and really empathize with a character. This is probably because many filmmakers are not making films for box-office. They are making films to follow their purpose, which is to express what they really want to say and convey that to audiences. I think filmmaking is rooted in short films and can help nurture originality, right? I remember making my student project “Mō ikkai” together with my crew in the cold Tokyo winter, and it won the Grand Prix 6 years ago. I feel like it happened just yesterday and I definitely think that this experience was a turning point in my career. I really appreciate that you gave me a spotlight. It shined a light towards making feature films for me. I hope Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia continues to get bigger.

Atsuko Hirayanagi was born in Nagano, and raised in Chiba, Japan. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of The Arts with an MFA in Film Production. Her second year project, MO IKKAI, won the Grand Prix at the 2012 Short Shorts Film Festival in Asia. Her thesis short film, OH LUCY! won more than 35 awards around the globe, including prizes at Cannes, Sundance and Toronto film festivals. Her feature adaptation of OH LUCY! is nominated for the 33rd Independent Spirit Awards for the Best First Feature and Best Female Lead categories.