Japanese Auteur Sion Sono Hospitalized After Heart Attack

Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Sion Sono

The cult director's first child was born to his actress wife last week.

Film festival favorite Sion Sono, 57, is in a hospital in Tokyo after undergoing emergency surgery on Thursday following a heart attack.

The cult Japanese director reportedly called an ambulance on Thursday afternoon when he began experiencing chest pains at his home in Tokyo's Shinjuku district.

His agency confirmed that Sono had suffered a heart attack, saying: "He now requires time to recuperate." Sono's wife, Megumi Kagurazaka, who has appeared in seven of his films, gave birth to their first child last week.

Sono debuted in 1990 with Bicycle Sighs (Jitensha Toiki) and has built a cult following around the world with quirky and challenging films, such as Love Exposure (2008) and Cold Fish (2010), alongside winning awards at numerous international film festivals.

Sono's Himizu competed at the Venice International Film Festival in 2011, winning best young actor and actress prizes for Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido, respectively.

Last year, Sono was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The director is working on a drama for Netflix which due to run this year, his second TV series after 2017's Vampire Hotel for Amazon. He is also set to direct Nicolas Cage in a crime thriller, Prisoners of the Ghostland, his first overseas production. At the Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday, it was announced that Imogen Poots would also star in Ghostland.