Atsuko Hirayanagi was born in Nagano and raised in Chiba, Japan. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of The Arts with an MFA in Film Production. Her second year project, MO IKKAI, won the Grand Prix at the 2012 Short Shorts Film Festival in Asia. Her thesis film, OH LUCY!, received a First Prize Wasserman Award and also won more than 25 awards around the globe, including prizes at Cannes, Sundance and Toronto film festivals. She is currently developing the feature-length version of OH LUCY!, which is a receipient of the 2016 Sundance / NHK Award.