Japan is not a bad place to be a young filmmaker. There are a number of festivals here that feature the work of up-and-coming directors, including the pioneering Pia Film Festival, which has been discovering and nurturing directorial talents since 1977.

Additionally, many festivals abroad are also constantly on the hunt for the next hot first- or second-time director. In other words: first Pia, then the world. Dozens of Japanese filmmakers have followed this path (or something like it) for decades, including Aya Igashi.

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