Independent film director best known for her Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning drama Winter's Bone. Her 2004 debut feature Down to the Bone won her the Sundance Dramatic Directing Award.
She majored in politics at Brandeis University, graduating with a BA in 1985. She began to make educational films for trade unions after school and before attending New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as part of their film program.
In 1998, her short film Snake Feed won a number of Sundance Film Festival awards.
She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
Her film Winter's Bone helped launch Jennifer Lawrence to super stardom.