Born in Fukuoka, Aoyama Shinji is a film and stage director and screenwriter. He made his feature debut with Helpless (1996) and won the FIPRESCI Award and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Eureka (2000). His film Desert Moon (2001) was invited to compete at the Cannes Film Festival, and Mike Yokohama: A Forest with No Name (2002) was invited to the Berlin International Film Festival’s Forum section. In 2001, he novelized his own film Eureka, which earn him the Mishima Yukio Prize. Eli Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (2005) was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, and Crickets (2006) and Sad Vacation (2007) were presented in the Orizzonti section at the Venice Film Festival. His films Tokyo Park (2011) and Backwater (2013) won the Golden Leopard and the Boccalino Award, respectively, at the Locarno Film Festival.