Cary Fukunaga is an American film director, writer and cinematographer. He is best known for writing and directing the 2009 film "Sin Nombre" (for which he won the Directing Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival), directing the 2011 film "Jane Eyre" and for directing and executive producing the 2014 HBO series "True Detective" (for which he won the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series).
Fukunaga got his start as a camera intern and later applied to film school. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1999, and attended Institut d'études politiques (IEP) de Grenoble. He enrolled in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film Program.
Fukunaga wrote and directed the short film "Victoria para Chino" while at NYU, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival and received a Student Academy Award in 2005. The short film also won an Audience Award for Best Narrative Student Short film at the 2004 Austin Film Festival, a "Best Student Film" award at the 2006 Ashland Independent Film Festival, a "BAFTA/LA Award for Excellence - Honorable Mention" award at the 2005 Aspen Shortsfest, Best Student Film at the 2005 BendFilm Festival, Best Short Film and an Audience Award for Best Short Film at the 2005 Gen Art Film Festival, Best Short film at the 2005 Milan International Film Festival and the Jury Prize for Best Student Short at the 2004 Woodstock Film Festival.
He has also wrote and directed the short films "Kofi" (shot in black and white) and more recently, "Sleepwalking in the Rift," described as a color film about "a young woman on her first visit to East Africa who crosses paths with the Ranger charged with being her guide.
Fukunaga made his feature film debut with "Sin Nombre," which he both wrote and directed and received positive reviews. In 2010, Fukunaga directed a new film adaptation of "Jane Eyre" starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell and Judi Dench. The film was released in 2011 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Costume Design for Costume Designer Michael O'Connor and a 2012 Goya Award for Best European Film.
Fukunaga directed all eight episodes of the 2014 HBO TV series "True Detective," which was written and created by novelist, fiction writer and screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto. The series stars Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan. Fukunaga also served as an Executive Producer on the show. The series received critical praise and was nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for Fukunaga. For the second season of True Detective, Fukunaga will not be directing-- but will continue to executive produce.
Warner Bros. has also chosen Fukunaga to develop, direct and write a new adaptation of Stephen King's "It," which would be split into two films.
Fukunaga lives in New York City, New York. He is fluent in French and Spanish.
He has received several grants, including a USA Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, the John H. Johnson Film Award / Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship and a Katrin Cartlidge Foundation bursary.
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