Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky secured a reputation as a brash, intelligent filmmaker at the age of 29, with Pi, his 1998 feature directorial and screenwriting debut which garnered Aronofsky the 1998 Sundance Festival's Directing Award for Dramatic Competition. A self-described "Brooklyn hip-hop kid," Aronofsky was born in the borough on February 12, 1969. His upbringing was marked by his Jewish heritage (although in an interview he once disparagingly referred to himself as a "classically hypocritical high holiday Jew"), painting graffiti art on subway cars, and filmgoing in Times Square. An alumnus of the New York public school system, he attended Harvard, where he studied live action and animation and met future collaborator and Pi star Sean Gullette. He received international acclaim for his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which also starred Gullette, and went on to earn an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. After the critical success of Pi, which Aronofsky made with $60,000 borrowed from family and friends and what must have been half of New York City's abandoned computer equipment, the maverick embarked on his next major project. Entitled Requiem for a Dream. Issued on October 6, 2000 Requiem drew critical raves from coast to coast from all but the most discerning of reviewers. Meanwhile, Aronofsky worked on additional projects and pursued additional leads. In-between Pi and Requiem, he had co-authored (with David N. Twohy and Lucas Sussman) the screenplay to Below, a much more conventional screen vehicle. Aronofsky ducked out of the limelight for a few years, but made a return in 2006 with The Fountain. Darren Aronofsky won the Feature Film award at The Hamptons International Film Festival in 2006 for The Fountain