Karyn Kiyoko Kusama


About Karyn

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Karyn Kusama is an Emmy-nominated film and television director. Her singular work utilizes elements of genre to explore complex human relationships and emotions such as grief, identity, and anxiety.

Karyn made her feature debut with the sports drama Girlfight (2000), which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Director’s Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Prix de la Jeunesse at Cannes. She went on to direct sci-fi love story Æon Flux (2005), cult horror comedy Jennifer’s Body (2009), indie thriller The Invitation (2015), and Golden Globe-nominated crime drama Destroyer (2018). She has also worked extensively in television, directing numerous episodes of such series as Halt and Catch Fire, Masters of Sex, Billions, and most recently, Yellowjackets, which garnered seven Emmy nominations, including one for her direction of the pilot episode.

Most recently Karyn has directed an important and impactful spot for Planned Parenthood, where she utilizes her genre storytelling to tell a story aimed at voters for the 2022 midterm elections. On this project she also acted as creative director helping craft the creative approach, and overseeing all aspects of the post production alongside the brand team. 

Karyn co-owns the film and television production company Familystyle Film along with her husband, screenwriter Phil Hay, and his writing partner Matt Manfredi.