James Ponsoldt was raised in Athens, Georgia, and received his bachelor’s degree from Yale and received an MFA in directing from Columbia University. His first feature, "Off the Black," premiered at Sundance in 2006; his second, "Smashed," won a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Festival, received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for lead Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and went on to critical acclaim worldwide.

Ponsoldt also writes for Filmmaker magazine and co-wrote the award-winning graphic novel, "Refresh, Refresh." His most recent film, "The Spectacular Now," received a Special Jury Prize at the the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for multiple Independent Spirit Awards, and was released in theaters via A24 Films.  He recently wrapped "The End of The Tour," based on the book “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace” by David Lipsky, starring Jessie Eisenberg and Jason Segel.

James Ponsoldt
Grady College Of Journalism and Mass Communication