Atsushi Funahashi was born in Osaka, Japan and graduated from Tokyo University with a B.A. in cinema studies. Utilizing his background cinema criticism, he wrote and directed short films and documentaries in Tokyo. After receiving a scholarship, he went to study directing at the NY School of Visual Arts in 1997, where he made a couple of narrative films. In 1999 he established Village. Productions with Alyssa Jo Black and Eric Van Den Brulle.
His debut feature ECHOES was well-received by critics & film festivals including three Jury & Audience Awards at Annonay International Film Festival in France and the High Hope Award at the Munich International Film Festival. The film was distributed in the US by Arrow Entertainment and in Japan by Slow Learner, Inc, Tokyo.
Atsushi has also directed several HDTV documentaries for Japan’s NHK broadcasting, on social issues and the ethnic culture of New York City. He was selected by the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs for its 2-year overseas grant program to develop his 2nd directorial feature Big River. This project was also selected for the Berlinale Co-Production Market at the Berlin Film Festival and for the Project Involve, a support program for minority filmmakers by the Independent Feature Project, New York.
Also as a film critic Atsushi has been enthusiastically writing articles for Japanese film/art critic magazines such as 10+1, Kinema-Junpo, and Eureka.