Gregory Nava

Gregory Nava

Nava in June 2013
Born Gregory James Nava
(1949-04-10) April 10, 1949
San Diego, California, United States
Occupation Film director, producer, writer.

Anna Thomas,
(married 1975 - separated 1995 - divorced 2006)

Barbara Martinez Jitner

(married 2013)
Children Christopher and Ted

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

Early life

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.


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."[1]

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 1997 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.[2] The film was shot in New Mexico and Mexico.







  1. Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times, film review, August 1, 2004. Last accessed: 1/14/07.
  2. Santiago, Soledad. The Free New Mexican article, December 2, 2006.

External links

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