Erik Shirai is an Japanese-American born and raised in the US. He was raised by the strength and will of his mother, Yoko Shirai, who to this day is still his biggest influence. Erik began painting when he was 14 and took up photography soon after. He began working on film sets as a lighting technician at the age of 19 and patiently worked his way to becoming a cinematographer. His camera work can be seen on many award winning commercials and TV shows including the Emmy award winning show No Reservation with Anthony Bourdain. His paintings and photography has been included in many group shows around the US.
In 2008, Shirai launched his own production company, Cebu Osani Creative, as a foundation for his creative ideals and, to create films that are compelling, original and visually cinematic. Shirai's food series Eye What You Eat was featured at TED Conference in NYC and was later bought by Scripps Networks. He most recently received The Best Documentary Director Special Jury Mention at Tribeca Film Festival for his first feature film 'The Birth of Saké'. The film also won Best Documentary Film at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival and was also an Official Selection at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Erik is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.