Cary Joji Fukunaga

Using both his educational background and real-life experiences, Cary Joji Fukunaga emerged in a big way onto the filmmaking scene with his debut, "Sin Nombre" (2009), which earned the director widespread critical acclaim and numerous awards following the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. After winning a Student Academy Award for making a short film based on the tragic end for a group of illegal immigrants in Texas, Fukunaga journeyed across Central America atop a railroad car alongside other migrant workers in order to better understand their often harrowing plights in trying to cross the border. An eye-opening experience, his travels led to writing the script for "Sin Nombre," a tension-filled crime thriller about a young Honduran girl being escorted to the U.S. border by a repentant gang member desperately trying to escape certain retribution from his fellow bangers. Thanks to the independent success of the film, which earned several critics and film festival awards, Fukunaga found himself on Hollywood's radar, earning a development deal with a major studio that led to an adaptation of the classic British novel "Jane Eyre" (2011), followed by the first season of dark and gritty cable television mystery "True Detective" (HBO 2014- ). Departing that series after creative clashes with its creator Nic Pizzolatto, Fukunaga returned to the big screen with "Beasts of No Nation" (2015), a chilling tale about an African civil war as seen through the eyes of a child soldier.