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Director Hirayanagi bags student award at Cannes

Kyodo

Atsuko Hirayanagi’s graduation film from the Singapore branch of a New York school was selected for second prize in the Cinefondation student film division of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival on Thursday.

It was the first time a Japanese has won an award in this category since it was created in 1998.

Hirayanagi, 38, directed “Oh Lucy!” a 22-minute film featuring actress Kaori Momoi, who plays a 55-year-old working single woman in Japan who begins to notice her inner desires when her English teacher gives her a blonde wig and the new name Lucy.

At the award ceremony, Hirayanagi thanked her family for their support while shooting the film, which was her graduation project at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore.

First prize in the division, which screens works from film schools around the world, went to “Skunk,” directed by Annie Silverstein of the University of Texas.