Born in 1978 in Kanagawa, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi is the most important Japanese director to emerge in recent years, a fan of a stripped-down realism that meticulously portrays the turmoil of feelings. After completing his degree in Aesthetics at the University of Tokyo in March 2003, he worked as an assistant director in film and television for three years. In March 2008, he completed a Masters in Film at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts. In 2015, he surprised audiences with Happy Hour, a film for which he won the Best Actress Award (for the ensemble of the film's actresses) and a Special Mention for Script, at the Locarno Film Festival, where the film was part of the Official Selection. He also received the Best Director Award at the Singapore Film Festival and the Best Screenplay Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Asako I & II (2018), based on the novel Netemo Sametemo by Tomoka Shibasaki, was part of the Official Selection in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021) won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Festival and Drive My Car (2021) won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, Best Screenplay Award and FIPRESCI at the Cannes Film Festival.