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John Singleton

Extraordinary Contribution to Film Awardee

John Singleton grew up in South Central Los Angeles and his work as a film director, producer, and screenwriter frequently depicts these turbulent, often violent roots. He studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, winning three writing awards from the university, which lead to a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year.

In 1991, Columbia Pictures bought his script for Boyz n the Hood. The film portrayed life in crime-ridden South Central LA and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 1991, making Singleton the first African-American and the youngest person ever nominated for the award. The film also garnered a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Singleton followed the win with Poetic Justice in 1993 and Higher Learning in 1995. Subsequent works include 1997's historical drama Rosewood, 2000's Shaft remake starring Samuel L. Jackson, and 2001's Baby Boy. In 2005, he produced the critically acclaimed indie film Hustle & Flow and directed the box office hit Four Brothers. Additional credits include directing 2 Fast 2 Furious, Abduction, and the episode “Dangerous Bonds” on Empire.

Singleton is currently developing Snowfall, an original TV series for FX, set in LA in the early 80s amidst the infancy of the cocaine epidemic.