Born in 1982 in Otawara, Tochigi prefecture, Watanabe Hirobumi graduated in Japanese literature and, after graduation, entered the Japan Academy of Moving Images. His graduation project, the 41-minute film The Light Pig of August (Hachigatsu no Karui Buta), received the Grand Prix at the Fuji Film Lovers Festival, as well as other awards. In 2013, together with his brother Yuji, composer of film music, he created Foolish Piggies Films in his hometown of Otawara. Their first production was also the debut in Watanabe's feature film, And the Mud Ship Sails Away..., which was presented at the 26th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival and had several screenings outside Japan. The film was released in Japanese theatres in December 2014. His second film, 7 Days, won the best film award in the Japanese Cinema Splash section of the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival. He has been invited to several other festivals and won the Nippon Vision Jury Award at the 17th edition of the Nippon Connection festival. Subsequently, Watanabe shot at least one film a year, always with his brother Watanabe Yuji as the author of the soundtrack and Bang Woo-hyun as director of photography. However, for his most recent film, I'm Really Good (2020), Watanabe also served as a cameraman. This is also his first title in which his grandmother, who died last year at the age of 102, does not appear. After almost a decade of consistency, more or less with the same people in front of and behind the camera, Watanabe's career seems to have come to a turning point.