Director Cary Fukunaga’s Runaway Train

Following an explosion at Sundance where Cary Joji Fukunaga picked up prizes for best direction and cinematography, "Sin Nombre" came to theaters this weekend almost as if it were propelled there by the sheer force of its buzz. (At Sundance, Fukunaga described the ease with which he sold the story to Focus Features in a video interview with IFC News.)

The film tells of Casper (Edgar Flores), a disgraced gang member who hops a train headed to the States in an attempt to get away from his former crew. When he saves Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) from an attack among the hundreds of would-be immigrants lining the roof of the train, the two go on the run together. But love isn't in the air for Casper and Paulina, only flying bullets, and the gritty thriller becomes a refreshing blast of no holds barred filmmaking that seems to stem directly from Fukunaga's fortitude, a personality trait that likely came in handy for the NYU grad as he researched the film by traveling on the same trains in Mexico and witnessing horrors that eventually made it into the script.

Fukunaga recently brought the film to SXSW, where he took the time to talk about the perils of expanding a short film into a full-length feature and shooting on a moving train.


Directors, Filmmaking

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