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Gregory Nava

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Gregory Nava

Film director

Full name
Gregory James Nava

Anna Thomas (m. 1975)

Gregory Nava Gregory Nava Director Films as Director Publications

Full Name
Gregory James Nava

April 10, 1949 (age 66) (
San Diego, US

Film director, producer, writer.

Christopher Nava, Ted Nava

St. Augustine High School, University of California, Los Angeles

Bordertown, Selena, My Family, El Norte, Frida

Similar People
Anna Thomas, Jackie Guerra, Maya Zapata, Edward James Olmos, Clancy Sigal

Gregory nava selena frida interview

Gregory James Nava (born April 10, 1949) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter.


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Early life

Gregory Nava Photo of the Week 131 In Motion Magazine

Nava was born in San Diego, of Mexican and Basque heritage. Nava graduated from St. Augustine High School in San Diego and went on to attend film school at UCLA where he earned an MFA in 1976. At UCLA he directed the short film The Journal of Diego Rodriguez Silva (based on the life of García Lorca), and for this work, won the Best Dramatic Film Award at the National Student Film Festival.


Gregory Nava Gregory Nava Photos 20130620

While an instructor at Moorpark College teaching classes in cinematography, Nava's first feature film, The Confessions of Amans, won the Best First Feature Award at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1976. Later, he came to the attention of Hollywood producers due to the success of El Norte, which garnered Nava and his wife Anna Thomas an Academy Award nomination, among other accolades, for the screenplay. In 1995 the film was registered by the Library of Congress, National Film Registry. According to Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, "El Norte tells the story with astonishing visual beauty, with unashamed melodrama, with anger leavened by hope. It is a Grapes of Wrath for our time."

Further collaborations with his wife Thomas include: The Confessions of Amans, A Time of Destiny, My Family, and Frida (screenplay), and other works.

Nava had further directing success in 1996 with the film Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez, who was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.

From 2003 to 2004, Nava executive produced the television series American Family: Journey of Dreams for PBS. He also directed a few episodes.

Recent projects

In 2006, Nava produced, wrote, and directed the film Bordertown which made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival on February 15, 2007. The film, based on true events, is a political thriller about a series of unsolved murders in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. It stars Jennifer Lopez as a Chicago-based reporter who follows the story. The film was shot in New Mexico and Mexico.


  • The Confessions of Amans (1976)
  • The End of August (1982), screenplay only
  • El Norte (1983)
  • A Time of Destiny (1988)
  • My Family (1995)
  • Selena (1997)
  • Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998)
  • Frida (2002), screenplay only
  • Bordertown (2006)
  • Television

  • The 20th Century: American Tapestry (1999, Documentary)
  • American Family (2002–2004)
  • Accolades


  • Chicago International Film Festival: Gold Hugo Award, Best First Feature Award, for The Confessions of Amans; 1976.
  • Montréal World Film Festival: Grand Prix des Amériques, for El Norte; 1983.
  • Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival: OCIC Award, for My Family; 1995.
  • Bravo Awards: Outstanding Feature Film, for My Family; 1995.
  • Taos Talking Picture Festival: Cineaste Award, 1995.
  • ALMA Award: Outstanding Latino Director of a Feature Film, for Selena; 1997.
  • ALMA Award: Outstanding Latino Director of a Feature Film, for Why Do Fools Fall in Love; 1998.
  • Santa Fe Film Festival: Luminaria Award; 2006.
  • Nominations

  • Academy Awards: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, for El Norte; 1983.
  • Writers Guild of America Award: Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, for El Norte; 1983.
  • Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival: Golden Seashell Award, for My Family; 1995.
  • Emmy Awards: Outstanding Miniseries, for American Family: Journey of Dreams, for episode "Journey of Dreams"; 2002.
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Golden Berlin Bear, Gregory Nava; for Bordertown; 2007.
  • References

    Gregory Nava Wikipedia