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James Gray (film director)

James Gray
Gray at the Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles on March 5, 2010
Born 1969 (age 46–47)[1]
New York[1]
Occupation film director, screenwriter
Years active 1994–Present
Spouse(s) Alexandra Dickson (m. 2005) (3 children)

James Gray (born 1969) is an American film director and screenwriter.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Awards and recognition 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Gray was born in New York City. He is of Russian Jewish descent, with grandparents from Ostropol.[2] His father was once an electronics contractor. Gray attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where his student film, "Cowboys and Angels", helped him get an agent and the attention of producer Paul Webster, who encouraged him to write a script which he could produce.[3]


In 1994, at age 25, Gray made his first feature film Little Odessa, a film starring Tim Roth about a hit man confronted by his younger brother upon returning to his hometown, "Little Odessa," a section of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.[4] The film won the Silver Lion at the 1994 Venice Film Festival.[5]

In 2000, Miramax released his second film, The Yards, a film noir written and shot in 1998. His third film, We Own the Night, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg, played in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in May,[6] receiving widely divergent reviews from international critics. We Own the Night was released theatrically in the US on October 12, 2007.

In November 2012 he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2012 International Film Festival of Marrakech.

His 2013 film The Immigrant was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[7]

He wrote the screenplay for Guillaume Canet's 2013 film Blood Ties with Canet.[8]

Personal life

Gray married Alexandra Dickson in 2005. The couple have three children.[9]


Awards and recognition

Festival Award Year Title Result
51st Venice International Film Festival Golden Lion 1994 Little Odessa Nominated
Silver Lion Won
11th Independent Spirit Awards Best First Screenplay 1996 Little Odessa Nominated
Best First Feature Nominated
2000 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm 2000 The Yards Nominated
2007 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm 2007 We Own the Night Nominated
2008 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm 2008 Two Lovers Nominated
25th Independent Spirit Awards Best Director 2010 Two Lovers Nominated
2013 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm 2013 The Immigrant Nominated


  1. ^ a b Jagernauth, Kevin (November 5, 2013). "James Gray, Nicolas Winding Refn & More Giving Masterclasses At 2013 Marrakech International Film Festival".  
  2. ^ "James Gray Interview For ‘The Immigrant’". Flicks and Bits. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  3. ^ Transcript of Online Conference with Little Odessa Writer/Director James Gray, Fine Line Features, 1995, Accessed May 11, 2008.
  4. ^ James, Caryn (May 19, 1995). "Little Odessa (1994) - Film Review; Russian Emigre Family With a Son in the Mob".  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: We Own the Night". Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  7. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala (May 20, 2013). "Blood Ties - Reviews". Screen International. 
  9. ^ "Cannes: James Gray on 'The Immigrant,' Marion Cotillard and Returning to the Fest (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 

External links

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