Cary Joji Fukunaga is a writer, director, and cinematographer whose first film Sin Nombre, was critically acclaimed and catapulted Fukunaga into the limelight as a director to watch. The film, which Fukunaga wrote and directed, was a thriller about the collision of a gang member on the run from his violent past and a Honduran teenager traveling with her family through Mexico in hopes of finding a better life in the U.S. It premiered in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Dramatic Directing Award and the U.S. Dramatic Excellence in Cinematography Award.
Jane Eyre followed Sin Nombre. Starring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska the film was critically acclaimed and was nominated at both the BAFTA and Academy Awards.
Most recently, Cary created and directed the HBO show True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
Fukunaga launched his career as a second-year NYU Film School student with the short, Victoria Para Chino, which screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and went on to earn more than two dozen international awards, including the Silver Medal at the Student Academy Awards and an honourable mention from BAFTA’s Los Angeles chapter.
The early promise of Fukunaga’s work also led to many prestigious grants, including a 2008 USA Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, the John H. Johnson Film Award, and a 2005 Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship. In 2007, he received a Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Bursary.
His first commercial was a moving :60 piece for the Levi’s Go Forth campaign. Working closely with W+K, Portland, Fukunaga tapped into the unbendable reputation of the Levi’s brand, the optimism of a generation recharged by recent political change, and the authority of an American icon to create the award-winning spot.
This was followed by the launch film for the Sony PS Vita The World is in Play campaign. Another beautifully crafted piece, it embraced the metaphor of gamers interacting with the world around them and each other.
The California native is an M.F.A. candidate from New York University’s Graduate Film Program, and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.