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People in Film | Cary Fukunaga

Posted January 11, 2011 to photo album "People in Film | Cary Fukunaga"

Get to know Cary Fukunaga, the acclaimed director of Focus Features’ Jane Eyre and Sin Nombre.

Cary Fukunaga | Beginnings
Cary Fukunaga | The Sundance Labs
Cary Fukunaga | Sin Nombre
Cary Fukunaga | Commercials and Cinematography
Cary Fukunaga | Jane Eyre
Cary Fukunaga | Beginnings

Cary Fukunaga | Beginnings

As the story goes, after attending a screening of the restored version of Orson Welles’ Mexican-set Touch of Evil, Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga met the great editor Walter Murch, who oversaw the restoration. Murch invited Fukunaga, who had grown up in East Bay and attended U.C. Santa Cruz, to sit in on the sound mix for The Talented Mister Ripley and then gave the erstwhile director simple, sage advice: “Travel.” “There was no reason I should be rushing out to intern at a company just because I wanted to make movies,” recalled Fukunaga to Time Out New York. “I should be having experiences in the world and be able to comment on them when I end up directing films.” So, before attending graduate film school at NYU, Fukunaga spent a year traveling the world, returning with an internationalist cinematic agenda. He told Filmmaker magazine, “I love what Michael Winterbottom’s been doing recently. He’s making films all over the world and investigating all these different cultures. Ideally, that’s what I’d like to do.” Fukunaga’s first filmic border crossing was to Mexico, where he made Victoria Para Chino, a riveting, tragic short about 17 illegal Mexican immigrants who die of suffocation while being smuggled across the border to Victoria, Texas. With a budget of only $5,000, Fukunaga made us feel not only the desperate, stifling heat of the immigrants’ locked trailer but also the larger social injustices that resulted in this tragic true story. The film went to numerous festivals, including Sundance, won a silver medal at the Student Academy Awards and announced Fukunaga as one of the day’s most promising young directors.