Karyn Kusama (born March 21, 1968) is an American film director who had her breakthrough with Girlfight, her first feature film. She wrote the screenplay and directed the film at age 27. It was released in 2000 and won the Director's Prize and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival. The independent feature film with a budget of around US$1 Million was critically well received. It brought in US$1,667,000.
It took two years to find financing for the film. After financing fell through shortly before shooting began, Girlfight was fully financed by film-maker John Sayles, for whom she worked as an assistant at that time.
Since Girlfight, Kusama has moved on to direct commercial Hollywood productions. To date, she only directed three more feature films, Aeon Flux, Jennifer's Body, and The Invitation, as well as one episode of the TV series The L Word.
Kusama's films have been set in varying genres. Whereas Girlfight was a contemporary American drama, Aeon Flux is set in the future, and Jennifer's Body is a horror film. The Invitation is a thriller. She is one of only a few American female directors who serve a variety of genres and direct sci-fi and horror movies as well.
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