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Sofia Coppola grew up in Northern California. After doing costume design on two feature films, she studied Fine Art at California Institute of the Arts.
She then wrote and directed the short film Lick the Star (which world-premiered at the Venice International Film Festival), followed by the feature The Virgin Suicides.
Ms. Coppola wrote the screenplay for the latter film, adapting it from Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides' novel of the same name. The movie starred Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, and Kathleen Turner. A world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival, The Virgin Suicides subsequently earned her the MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker.