Director Kathryn Bigelow has been hailed as one of the preeminent stylists of contemporary Hollywood filmmaking. After making her entrance into cinema by way of the art world, Bigelow put her distinctive stamp on standard genre films like the Western-tinged vampire flick Near Dark (1987) and the feminist-themed cop thriller Blue Steel (1990). With the financial success of the surfer bank heist picture Point Break (1991), Bigelow enjoyed newfound status as a mainstream director with an artistic bent.
Bigelow continued to turn out an impressive body of work, including the war drama The Hurt Locker (2009), which won six Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, giving Bigelow the unique distinction of being the first and only woman director to win. Her follow-up theatrical film, Zero Dark Thirty (2012), was met with critical and box-office success earning a nomination for Best Picture.