Justin Lin: Renowned Taiwanese American Director

A film director’s job involves careful coordination and good communication with his team. Though the process of making a film can be exhausting, nothing compares when it finally hits the big screen. Taiwanese-American Justin Lin has directed numerous films with genres of crime, drama, sci-fi and action. He is most notable for his films in the Fast and Furious franchise. Get to know about his beginnings as a film director and some of his films that you should add to your list of movies to be watched.

Born in October 1971 in Taipei, Lin’s family eventually moved to California. It was there at Orange County where he went to Cypress high school. After his college years at the University of California in San Diego, Lin transferred to the University of California in Los Angeles. There, he finished as a graduate of Bachelors of Arts in Film and Television as well as a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Directing and Production. Growing up, Lin loved to watch all kinds of movies.

Lin co-directed his very first film entitled Shopping for Fangs released in 1997 with his classmate Quentin Lee at the time they were both at UCLA. It was screened internationally in different festivals which included the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. It stars John Cho and tells the story of a married woman who has been receiving phone calls from a lesbian and a man who just might be a werewolf.

Photo Courtesy of IMDB

In 2002, Lin was able to release his first film Better Luck Tomorrow as a solo director. It is a drama film that is about Orange County honor students that are engaged in petty crime and unexpected violence. It was the first Asian-American film that was distributed by a major studio.

Photo Courtesy of IMDB

Probably the most famous among numerous works of Lin are some installments in the Fast and Furious franchise. Starting in 2001, the series has continuously told the story of family and racing with Lin directing the following films in the franchise: The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious 4, Fast Five, Fast and Furious 6, Furious 7 and the latest installment F9 released last year.

Photo Courtesy of IMDB

Quoting Lin as he looks back on making F9: “I think it wasn't until coming back for this film that I felt how special and unique this experience has been. I think especially in Hollywood, I think people are just doing all these things, and you're trying to... find the right group, and you do something, it's intense, and then boom, that's gone, it's over. To be able to go on this journey and to be able to have the shared experience and grow with this amazing group of people... it was not expected [when we started], like ‘we made a movie, we're gonna make another one.”

With all of his films that are released and screened in numerous movie theaters around the world, Justin Lin is truly an inspiration to many, especially in the AAPI community.

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The Orange County Register

Written by Jan Marbella

Jan Marbella is a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of De La Salle University Dasmariñas.


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OBRAA.org: Justin Lin: Renowned Taiwanese American Director
Justin Lin: Renowned Taiwanese American Director
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