Born into a family of artists, James pursued visual arts at the California Institute of the Arts and then got his MFA in film at Columbia, studying under film great Milos Forman.  Forman helped him get his first film, Heavy, off the ground which went on to win the Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 1995.  James continued to make a name for himself as an A-List director by directing Angelina Jolie and Reese Witherspoon in performances that won them both Oscars. 

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