Makoto Shinkai was born in Nagano prefecture in 1973. In 2002, he debuted with his self-produced, award-winning short film Voices of a Distant Star. The Place Promised in Our Early Days, was released in 2004 as Shinkai's feature-length directorial debut. Shinkai's subsequent feature films, 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011), and The Garden of Words (2013), further established him internationally as an award-winning director of critical acclaim.
In 2016, Your Name. was released to great commercial and critical success. At the 40th Japan Academy Prize, it won Excellent Animation of the Year and Screenplay of the Year, a first for an animated film. Weathering With You, Shinkai's sixth feature film, was released in 2019 and became the biggest box office hit in Japan of the year. It was chosen as Japan's entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards in addition to receiving four nominations at the 47th Annie Awards.