The alumnus of the inaugural Screenwriters Workshop in Tokyo received his award at a private ceremony at Sundance.

Hagiwara co-wrote his upcoming feature directorial debut Spectacled Tiger with Kyohta Fujimoto. The coming-of-age film follows a high school trivia quiz wunderkind whose rigid world view is turned on its head.

Hagiwara is a graduate of the Art Center College Of Design in Los Angeles and writer-director of the short film Super Star.

The Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award was created in 1996 to celebrate 100 years of cinema and recognises and supports a “visionary filmmaker on his or her next film.”

Previous recipients include Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild and May In The Summer by Cherien Dabis, which premiered at the festival last week.