Still only 24, Yuya Ishii has not only made four feature films in a blazingly short time, but had them screened in his own section (hard to call it a retrospective) at the 2008 Rotterdam Film Festival. Also, at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival, he received the first Edward Yang New Talent Award — a prize for the most promising young Asian filmmaker.

Aren't you hating him already?

But Ishii is less the second coming of Orson Welles, a prodigy blessed by the movie gods with genius and studio backing, than an industrious self-starter with talent who scraped together ¥4 million with four pals for his first feature, "Mukidashi Nippon (Bare-Assed Japan)." That won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Pia Film Festival — and launched him on his so-far fabulous career.