Koji Fukada's black comedy "Hospitalite" ("Kantai") won best film in the Tokyo International Film Festival's Japanese Eyes section in 2010 and since then he has become accustomed to stepping up on stages to receive prizes for his work.

Fukada is part of a new generation of Japanese filmmakers challenging the long-held primacy of directors often referred to as the "4K": Naomi Kawase, Takeshi Kitano, Hirokazu Koreeda and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The 4K rose to prominence in the 1990s and have dominated international discussion of contemporary Japanese cinema ever since.

Even though his profile at home is still relatively low, Fukada has been catching up to the 4K in terms of respect overseas. His human-centered, multilayered films, strongly influenced by French cinema, have garnered raves from foreign critics (including this one).