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Cary Joji Fukunaga (born July 10, 1977)[1] is an American film and television director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer.

Cary Joji Fukunaga
A picture of Fukunaga as he looks away from the camera
Fukunaga in 2015
BornCary Joji Fukunaga
(1977-07-10) July 10, 1977 (age 41)
Oakland, California, U.S.
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Cruz (BA)
New York University (MFA)
Occupation
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • cinematographer
Years active2003–present

He first gained recognition for writing and directing the 2009 film Sin Nombre, and the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre; he also was the director and executive producer of the first season of the HBO series True Detective, for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. He received acclaim for the 2015 war drama Beasts of No Nation, in which he was writer, director, producer, and cinematographer.[2] In 2018, he was named as the director of Bond 25 (2020).

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Fukunaga was born in Alameda, California. His father, Anthony Shuzo Fukunaga, was a third-generation Japanese-American, born in an internment camp during World War II.[3] His mother, Gretchen May (Grufman), is Swedish-American,[4][5][6] and worked as a dental hygienist, and later as a college history instructor and university assistant professor of history, from whom Cary got his original interest in history.[7] His parents divorced and remarried, his father to an Argentine woman, and his mother to a Mexican-American.[5]

Fukunaga said that his uncles and aunts are all elementary school teachers or scientists.[7] His family moved around a lot within the San Francisco Bay Area, moving to Berkeley, Albany, Vallejo, Benicia, Sebastopol and back to Oakland.[6]

Fukunaga originally wanted to be a pro snowboarder, but switched to filmmaking in his mid-twenties.[8] He got his start as a camera intern and later applied to film school.[9] He attended Analy High School.[10] He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1999,[11][12] and attended Institut d'études politiques (IEP) de Grenoble. He enrolled in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film Program.[13][14]

CareerEdit

Short filmsEdit

Fukunaga wrote and directed the short film Victoria para Chino (2004) while at NYU, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival and received a Student Academy Award in 2005.[15] The film 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 since written and directed the short films Kofi (2008) (shot in black and white) and Sleepwalking in the Rift (2012).[16][17] Fukunaga wrote and directed a segment in the omnibus film Chinatown Film Project (2009).[18]

Feature filmsEdit

Sin NombreEdit

Fukunaga made his feature film debut with Sin Nombre, which he wrote and directed. It received positive reviews.[19][20]

The film received a number of awards, including the Directing award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and a "New Director's Award" for Fukunaga at the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival. In 2009, the film won "Best Foreign Language Film" awards from the Austin Film Critics Association, the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards, the Florida Film Critics Circle Awards, the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards (2nd place for Best Foreign Language Film), and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards. The film's cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, won the Cinematography award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and at the 2009 Stockholm Film Festival, the film won a Best Actor award (for Edgar Flores), as well as a Best Directorial Debut and FIPRESCI Prize for Fukunaga. Fukunaga won a 2010 Premios ACE award for "Cinema – Best First Work".

The film was nominated for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Cinematography from the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards, and was nominated by the 2009 British Independent Film Awards (Best Foreign Film), the 2010 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (Best Foreign Language Film), the 2009 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (Most Promising Filmmaker; Best Foreign Language Film), the 2010 Image Awards (Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture), the Bronze Horse at the 2009 Stockholm Film Festival and the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize.

Jane EyreEdit

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.

The film was nominated for a 2012 BAFTA Award (Best Costume Design), a 2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Award (Best Costume Design), the 2012 Costume Designers Guild Awards (Excellence in Period Film), the 2012 Evening Standard British Film Awards (Best Technical Achievement), the 2011 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards (Best Costume Design), the 2011 Satellite Awards (Best Costume Design).

The 2012 Australian Film Institute awards as well as the 2011 British Independent Film Awards nominated Mia Wasikowska for a "Best Actress" award. The film's screenplay and screenwriter Moira Buffini (as well as author Charlotte Bronte) were nominated for a 2012 USC Scripter Award.

Beasts of No NationEdit

Fukunaga directed, wrote and filmed Beasts of No Nation, based on the novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, in which Idris Elba stars as Commandant, a lead character.[21] The movie was picked up by Netflix for a reported $12 million as part of an effort to expand into original films.[22] On November 25, 2015, Fukunaga was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director and Best Cinematography for his work on Beasts of No Nation, and the film received a nomination for Best Feature.[23]

TelevisionEdit

Fukunaga directed all eight episodes of the first season of the 2014 HBO TV series True Detective, which was written and created by novelist and screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto.[24] The series stars Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan. Fukunaga 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, who won. For the second season of True Detective, Fukunaga did not return as director, but continued to serve as executive producer.[8][25][26][27][28][29]

Fukunaga directed all ten episodes of the dark comedy series Maniac for Netflix.[30] It premiered on September 21, 2018.[31][32]

Writing and producingEdit

Fukunaga has written most of the films he has directed. The short films that he has written the screenplays for include Kofi (2003) and Victoria para chino (2004). He wrote the screenplay to his feature film, Sin Nombre (2009), as well as his segment for the omnibus film, Chinatown Film Project (2009).

Through his production company, Parliament of Owls,[33] Fukunaga has produced or served as executive producer on most of the projects he has directed. He was the executive producer for his short films Kofi (2003) and Victoria para chino (2004). He was an executive producer on Andrew Okpeaha MacLean's feature film thriller, On the Ice, which won "Best Debut Film" and the "Crystal Bear" (Best Feature Film for the Generation 14+) at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, among other awards.

Fukunaga served as an executive producer for the HBO series he directed, True Detective. Warner Bros. chose Fukunaga to develop, direct, and write its adaptations of Stephen King's It (2017), the first of which was initially due to start shooting in summer 2015.[34]

Fukunaga was set to direct the first film and was expected to co-write the second.[34][35] Three weeks before production was slated to begin, Fukunaga left the project.[36]

Cinematography and other workEdit

Fukunaga served as a cinematographer on a number of short film projects, including Handmade [37] (2013; documentary short directed by Rob Meyer), Sikumi (2008; also known as Sikumi (On the Ice) about an Inuit hunter on the frozen Arctic Ocean, directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean), Team Queen (2007) (a short film directed by Leah Meyerhoff), the feature documentary Death of Two Sons (2006; directed by Micah Schaffer), the short films Clear Water (2005; directed by Natalie Mooallem), White (2005; directed by Sebastian Mantilla), Kinnaq Nigaqtuqtuaq (2005; directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean), Two Men (2005) (directed by Ian Olds) and Mating Call (2004; directed by Patricio Serna).

He served as a camera operator on the short Glory at Sea (2008) (directed by Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin), as a gaffer on the short film Just Make Believe (2008) (directed by Jadrien Steele), as an additional cinematographer on the TV documentary Small Steps: Creating the High School for Contemporary Arts (2007), assistant camera on the short film Dock (2004; directed by Nina Martinek), additional photography for the documentary Lockdown, USA (about the "War on Drugs" campaign and directed by Rebecca Chaiklin and Michael Skolnik), additional camera for Autumn's Eyes (2006; directed by Paola Mendoza and Gabriel Noble), a grip on the feature film Mango Kiss (2004; directed by Sascha Rice), and as an additional film loader on the feature film Black Cadillac (2003; directed by John Murlowski and starring Randy Quaid).

Future projectsEdit

Fukunaga was originally slated to direct the 2018 TNT TV series The Alienist.[38][39] However, due to scheduling conflicts he was replaced by Jakob Verbruggen, although he retained a "created by" credit and remained as an executive producer.[40] He is planned to also serve as executive producer for the follow-up series The Angel Of Darkness, based on the novel of the same name.[41]

In February 2017, it was reported Fukunaga was in talks to direct Shockwave, a drama about the lead-up to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.[42]

On September 20, 2018, it was announced that Fukunaga would be the director of the upcoming James Bond film with the working title Bond 25 (2020).[43] He will be the first American filmmaker to direct an official Bond film (Irvin Kershner directed Never Say Never Again, a film that is not part of Eon canon).

Since 2016, it was reported that Fukunaga, alongside Spielberg, could finalize the long-sought epic film about Napoleon that Stanley Kubrick worked on until the last days of his life.[44] Two years later Fukunaga confirmed the reports, saying that he is already working with HBO on the film. In the same interview he said he was working on a project about Hiroshima and another on a book written by Alexandre Dumas.[45]

Personal lifeEdit

Fukunaga lives in New York City. He has lived in France, Japan, Mexico City, and London,[46][5] and is fluent in French and Spanish.[5] He counts screenwriter Naomi Foner as a mentor.[47]


FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Director Writer Producer Cinematographer Notes
2006 Death of Two Sons No No No Yes Documentary film
2009 Chinatown Film Project Yes Yes No Yes
Sin Nombre Yes Yes No No Deauville Jury Special Prize
FIPRESCI Prize
Sundance Directing Award (Dramatic)
Nominated- Deauville Grand Special Prize
Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Nominated- Stockholm Bronze Horse
Nominated- Sundance Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic)
Nominated- Golden Venice Lion
2011 On the Ice No No Executive No
Jane Eyre Yes No No No Nominated- Goya Award for Best European Film
2015 Beasts of No Nation Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Film
Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
2016 Little Boxes No No Executive No
2017 It No Yes No No Nominated- Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay
Thumper No No Executive No
2020 Bond 25 Yes Yes No No

Short filmsEdit

Year Title Director Writer Producer Cinematographer Notes
2003 Kofi Yes Yes Executive No
2004 Mating Call No No No Yes
The Adventures of Supernigger: Episode I - The Final Chapter No No No Yes
Victoria para chino Yes Yes Yes No Aspen Shortsfest Jury Award for Best Student Film
Austin Festival Audience Award for Best Narrative Short
Britannia LA Award for Excellence
Student Academy Award for Best Narrative Short
Nominated- Ashland Independent Film Award for Best Student Film
2005 Two Men No No No Yes
Kinnaq Nigaqtuqtuaq No No No Yes
White No No No Yes
Clear Water No No No Yes
2007 Team Queen No No No Yes
2008 On the Ice No No No Yes
2012 Sleepwalking in the Rift Yes Yes Executive No
2013 Handmade No No No Yes

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2014-19 True Detective Yes No Yes Director (8 episodes)
Executive producer (24 episodes)

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Nominated- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series
Nominated- PGA TV Award for Outstanding Producer of an Episodic Series

2018 The Alienist No Yes Yes Writer (2 episodes)
Executive producer (10 episodes)

Nominated- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series

Maniac Yes Yes Yes Creator
Director (10 episodes)
Writer (1 episode)
Executive producer (10 episodes)

Nominated- PGA TV Award for Outstanding Producer of a Limited Series
Nominated- WGA Award for Television: Long Form – Adapted

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Work Result
2005 Sundance Film Festival Honorable Mention in Short Filmmaking Victoria para Chino Won
2009 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Directing Award Sin Nombre Won
Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Nominated
Edinburgh International Film Festival New Director's Award Won
2010 Independent Spirit Award for Best Director Nominated
2012 Goya Award for Best European Film Jane Eyre Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series True Detective Won
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
2015 Producers Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Drama Nominated
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Drama Series Nominated
British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme Won
Golden Lion Beasts of No Nation Nominated
2016 Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature Nominated
Independent Spirit Award for Best Director Nominated
Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography Nominated
American Society of Cinematographers Spotlight Award Nominated
Peabody Award Won
2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series The Alienist Nominated
IndieWire Honors Auteur Award Won
2019 Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Long Form – Adapted Maniac Nominated
Producers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television Nominated
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Cary J Fukunaga – California Birth Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  2. ^ Polowy, Kevin (September 18, 2015). "15 Early Oscar Contenders Coming Out of Toronto, Telluride, and Venice". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "Film Captures the Joy and Terror of Immigrants' Trip North Through Mexico". Creators.com. 2009. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  4. ^ "Anthony Shuzo Fukunaga mentioned in the record of Anthony Shuzo Fukunaga and Gretchen May Grufman". FamilySearch. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Johnson, Reed (March 8, 2009). "Crossing borders with 'Sin Nombre'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Stone, Judy (March 15, 2009). "Cary Joji Fukunaga on the (Very) Bay Area Story Behind 'Sin Nombre'". SF360. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Brown, Emma (January 2014). "True Director". Interview Magazine. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Stern, Marlow (February 26, 2014). "True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga's Journey from Pro Snowboarder to Hollywood's Most Wanted". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  9. ^ Coombs, Molly J. (March 12, 2011). "Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga and star Mia Wasikowska – The Blast Interview". Blast. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  10. ^ Taylor, Dan. "Cary Fukunaga, a graduate of Analy High School in Sebastopol, has been named director of the next James Bond film". Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Rappaport, Scott (January 25, 2009). "UCSC alumnus wins 2009 Sundance directing award for first feature film". UCSC Newscenter. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  12. ^ "Alumnus Wins Film Award". UC Notes – Campus News. September 2005. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  13. ^ "Featured Guest: Cary Fukunaga". Focus Features. August 21, 2008. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "66th Primetime Emmy® Nominees". NYU Tisch. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  15. ^ Rappaport, Scott (June 27 – July 10, 2005). "Awards and Honors: Alumnus wins Student Academy Award". Currents Online. Vol. 9, No. 42: UC Santa Cruz. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  16. ^ "Kofi". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  17. ^ "Sleepwalking in the Rift". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  18. ^ "Chinatown Film Project". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  19. ^ McCarthy, Todd (March 12, 2009). "Review: 'Sin Nombre' – A big new talent arrives on the scene with "Sin Nombre."". Variety. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  20. ^ Hill, Logan (March 23, 2009). "Sin Nombre Director Cary Fukunaga on Poverty Porn and Why His Next Film Might Be a Musical". Vulture. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  21. ^ Prudom, Laura (August 25, 2014). "'True Detective' Emmy Winner Cary Fukunaga Talks HBO Drama". Variety. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  22. ^ Kit, Borys (March 2, 2015). "Netflix Picking Up Cary Fukunaga's African Drama 'Beasts of No Nation'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  23. ^ "'Carol,' 'Spotlight,' 'Beasts of No Nation' lead Spirit Awards nominations". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  24. ^ St. John, Allen (February 9, 2014). "'Let The Actors Do Their Work:' A Conversation With 'True Detective' Director Cary Joji Fukunaga". Forbes. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  25. ^ Couch, Aaron (August 25, 2014). "Emmys: Cary Fukunaga Wins Outstanding Directing for 'True Detective'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  26. ^ Finnegan, Leah (August 25, 2014). "Cary Fukunaga: Hottest Straight Guy at the Emmys". Gawker. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  27. ^ Dobbins, Amanda (March 5, 2014). "Are You into Cary Fukunaga Yet? You Should Be". Vulture. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  28. ^ Dobbins, Amanda (August 25, 2014). "And Now, Cary Fukunaga's Beautiful Man-Braids". Vulture. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  29. ^ Nessif, Bruna (August 25, 2014). "Oh, Hello, Cary Joji Fukunaga! Internet Gushes Over True Detective Director After 2014 Emmys Win". E! Online. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 1, 2017). "Emma Stone-Jonah Hill Series 'Maniac' For Netflix & Paramount TV Gets Production Start Date With Cary Fukunaga Directing". Deadline. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  31. ^ Meechan, Lauren (February 2, 2017). "Emma Stone and Jonah Hill set to reunite in new Netflix series Maniac". Express.co.uk. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  32. ^ "A Netflix Limited Series from Cary Joji Fukunaga. September 21". Twitter. July 29, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Cary Fukunaga". Variety.
  34. ^ a b Buchanan, Kyle (December 5, 2014). "Cary Fukunaga Will Shoot Stephen King's It Next Summer". Vulture. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  35. ^ Squires, John (March 3, 2015). "Re-Adaptation of Stephen King's It Looking for New Pennywise". Dread Central. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  36. ^ Robinson, Will (May 25, 2015). "Cary Fukunaga leaves Stephen King adaptation 'It'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  37. ^ "Cary Fukunaga". IMDb. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  38. ^ Ali Jaafar. "'The Alienist' TV Series: Cary Fukunaga Aboard To Direct & Produce – Deadline". Deadline Hollywood.
  39. ^ Cynthia Littleton. "'The Alienist' Lands Big Bucks Series Order From TNT". Variety.
  40. ^ McLehman, Cindy (September 26, 2016). "The Alienist: Jakob Verbuggen Replaces Cary Fukunaga as Director of TNT Series". TVseriesfinale.com. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  41. ^ Petski, Denise (August 16, 2018). "TNT Orders 'Alienist' Sequel 'The Angel Of Darkness' Limited Series". Deadline. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  42. ^ Kit, Borys (February 16, 2017). "Cary Fukunaga in Talks to Direct Atomic Bomb Drama 'Shockwave'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  43. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (September 20, 2018). "'Bond 25' Gets Cary Joji Fukunaga As New Director For 007 Daniel Craig". Deadline. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  44. ^ Young, Alex (May 20, 2016). "It's official: Cary Fukunaga and Steven Spielberg will finish Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon". consequenceofsound.net. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  45. ^ Baron, Zach (September 27, 2018). "Cary Fukunaga Doesn't Mind Taking Notes from Netflix's Algorithm (Interview)". GQ. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  46. ^ "Interview: Cary Fukunaga (BEASTS OF NO NATION)". Writers Guild of America East.
  47. ^ Greco, Patti (March 29, 2012). "Cary Fukunaga Is Addicted to Cabin Porn". Vulture. Retrieved August 26, 2014.

External linksEdit