James Gray was born in New York City and grew up in Queens. He studied cinema and television at the University of Southern California and made his directorial debut with Little Odessa (1994), which won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival. He went on to direct The Yards (2000), We Own the Night (2007), The Lovers (2008) and The Immigrant (2013), all of which were had their premieres at the Festival de Cannes. The Lost City of Z (2016) had its premiere as the closing film of the New York Film Festival. Gray’s most recent films are Ad Astra (2019), which had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and Armageddon Time (2022), which was presented in competition at the Festival de Cannes.