Alumnus Cary Fukunaga earns Emmy nomination for HBO's 'True Detective’

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Cary Fukunaga--who graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1999 with a B.A. in history--first gained notice when he received the best "Directing, U.S. Drama" award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for his debut feature film "Sin Nombre."

UC Santa Cruz alumnus Cary Fukunaga has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of “Outstanding Director for a Drama Series” for the HBO show True Detective.

And he’s in good company.

Fukunaga is competing in the category against the directors of Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Boardwalk Empire.

True Detective picked up a total of 12 Emmy nominations.

One of the most highly praised new shows of the year, it premiered in January, starring actors Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

Fukunaga--who graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1999 with a B.A. in history--first gained notice when he received the best "Directing, U.S. Drama" award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for his debut feature film Sin Nombre.

He wrote and directed Sin Nombre, based on his own firsthand experiences with Central American immigrants seeking a better life in the U.S.

Two years later, he followed up with Jane Eyre, Fukunaga’s take on the classic 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte. That film featured Australian actress Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are Alright) and Irish actor Michael Fassbender (Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, HBO’s Band of Brothers).

In addition to his role as director of True Detective, Fukunaga also serves as executive producer of the HBO series.

The 2014 Emmy Awards will air live on NBC August 25, hosted by Late Night's Seth Meyers.