Date of Birth: 1973
Birth name: Yipin Lin
Born in Taipei, Justin Lin moved with his family to Orange County, California when he was nine. He earned a BA and MFA in film direction at UCLA's School of Film and Television. While in the graduate program, he met fellow student Quentin Lee, and the two first worked together on Quentin's film Flow (1996), with Lee directing and writing, and Lin working as the cinematographer. They subsequently wrote the screenplay for their next film, Shopping for Fangs (1997), sharing directorial duties. The film screened internationally at numerous festivals, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.
Lin went on to write and direct his own screenplay, Better Luck Tomorrow (2003), about a group of Asian-American high school students who, despite excellent grades and wealthy backgrounds, turn to crime for entertainment. Lin financed the movie using his life savings, 10 credit cards, help from family and friends and M.C. Hammer. He met the rapper at a Las Vegas convention while he was trying to raise funds to make the film, and Hammer asked Lin to send a script. After reading it over, Hammer decided to contribute to the film's funding. Lin received a 2002 Visonary Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival for his work.
Since then, he has helmed major motion pictures such as Annapolis (2006), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), and Fast & Furious 6 (2013).
More recently, Lin directed a couple episodes of the critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective. He has also taken the reins from J.J. Abrams to direct the next installment of the Star Trek series with Star Trek Beyond (2016).
He then returned to the Fast & Furious series with F9: The Fast Saga (2021) starring Vin Diesel, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Michelle Rodriguez.