Fast Facts

  • Grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, but moved to Vancouver at the age of 18.
  • Did computer-graphics projects while still a teen for Sharlto Copley's company in South Africa, and later cast Copley as the lead in District 9.
  • Studied animation and visual effects at the Vancouver Film School, and produced live-action shorts to promote video game Halo.
  • Made commercials for such products as Nike and Gatorade.
  • Was scheduled to make the movie Halo with producer Peter Jackson, but financing collapsed.
  • Adapted his short Alive in Joburg for his directorial feature debut, 2009's District 9. It was nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars.
  • Was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2009.


  • 2010, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2009, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
  • 2010, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Director: Nominee
  • 2010, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
  • 2010, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee


  • Terri Tatchell — Wife

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  • Birth Place: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Profession: Director, Writer, Visual effects

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