Haruka Ayase (Sachi Koda) was born in 1985 in Hiroshima, Japan. After appearances in several TV series, Ayase attracted much attention with the TV series "Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World" (2004). In 2008, she appeared in Kwak Jae-Young's "Cyborg She", in which her portrayal of a cyborg brought her international popularity. In the same year, she appeared as a blind swordswoman in "ICHI," the remake of the internationally acclaimed "The Tale of Zatoichi" (1962). With "Oppai Volleyball" (2009), she was nominated for the Best Actress at Japan Academy Prize. In 2013, she starred in the nationally popular NHK historical drama series "Yae's Sakura" as the leading character. In the same year, she appeared in "Real", directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi, which was premiered at Locarno and Toronto International Film Festivals. Her filmography includes Mitani Koki's "The Magic Hour" (2008), Yaguchi Shinobu's "Happy Flight" (2008), Nakata Hideo's "The Incite Mill - 7 Day Death Game" (2010) and Sato Shinsuke's "All-Round Appraiser Q - The Eyes of Mona Lisa" (2014).
Masami Nagasawa (Yoshino Koda) was born in 1987 in Shizuoka, Japan. Nagasawa made her screen debut with "Pyrokinesis" in 2000. In 2003, she received the award of Newcomer of the Year at the Japan Academy Prize for her leading performance in "Robot Contest". The following year, she received the Best Supporting Actress prize at the Japan Academy Prize for director Yukisada Isao's "Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World," which ranked as box office No. 1 among the Japanese films released in 2004. From 2013, she has participated in international projects such as the Taiwanese TV series "Chocolat" (2013) and John Woo's "The Crossing" (2014). Her filmography includes "Touch" (2005), "Tears for You" (2006), "Say Hello for Me" (2007), "The Last Princess" (2008), "Love Strikes!" and "Beyond the Memories" (2013) among others. "Our Little Sister" marks her second appearance in a Kore- eda film, after "I Wish" (2011).
Kaho (Chika Koda) was born in 1991 in Tokyo, Japan. Kaho was highly praised for her first leading role in the film "A Gentle Breeze in the Village" (2007), directed by Yamashita Nobuhiro, and received the award of Newcomer of the Year at the Japan Academy Prize among other awards. The film was internationally premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and well received on the international festival circuit. Aside from her career in TV drama series, her filmography includes "Sing, Salmon, Sing" (2008), "Sand Clock" (2008), "Trick: Psychic Battle Royale" (2010), "Police Dog Dream" (2010), "Beautiful World" (2012), "Blindly in Love" (2013), "Time Scoop Hunter" (2013), and "Puzzle" (2014). Her next film will be Yukisada Isao's "Pink and Gray," which will be released in 2016.
Suzu Hirose (Suzu Asano) was born in 1998 in Shizuoka, Japan. Discovered by the management company of her elder sister Hirose Alice, Hirose started her modeling career in 2012 in the monthly fashion magazine "Seventeen", and made her acting debut a year later in TV series "Kasukana Kanojo" (2013). The same year, she made her screen debut with "The Apology King," followed by "CROWS: EXPLODE" (2014). In 2014, her popularity in Japan sky-rocketed following her appearance in a TV commercial for the wedding information magazine 'Zexy' ('Recruit'). With the success of the TV series "Gakko no Kaidan" (2015) which she joined as the lead for the first time, she is now known as 'The Busiest 16-Year-Old in Japan" and recognized as one of the brightest young actresses in Japan.
Hirokazu Kore-eda was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Waseda University in 1987, Kore-eda joined TV Man Union where he directed several award-winning documentary programs. In 2014, he launched his production company BUN-BUKU.
In 1995, his directorial debut, "Maborosi", based on the original novel by Miyamoto Teru, won the 52nd Venice International Film Festival's Golden Osella. "After Life" (1998), distributed in over 30 countries, brought Kore-eda international acclaim. In 2001, "Distance" was selected in the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival; and Yagira Yuya, the star of his fourth work "Nobody Knows" (2004), garnered much attention for becoming the youngest person ever to receive the Cannes Film Festival's Best Actor Award. In 2006, "Hana", a film centered on vengeance, became his first attempt at a period piece. In 2008, he presented the family drama "Still Walking", which reflected his own personal experiences, and received high praise from around the world. In 2009, "Air Doll" made its world premiere in Un Certain Regard at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival and was widely-praised for marking a new frontier in its depiction of a sensual love fantasy. In 2011, "I Wish" won the Best Screenplay Award at the 59th San Sebastian International Film Festival. In 2012, he made his TV series directorial debut with "Going Home". "Like Father, Like Son" (2013), won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, received the audience awards at San Sebastian, Vancouver, and Sao Paulo International Film Festivals and broke the box office records of his previous films in many territories.
Kore-eda has also produced films for young Japanese directors. "Kakuto", directed by Iseya Yusuke, premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2003. "Wild Berries" (2003) was written and directed by Nishikawa Miwa whose second feature "Sway" premiered in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes in 2006. "Ending Note: Death of a Japanese Salesman" (2011) by Sunada Mami moved audiences worldwide.