Both films tackled topics studio heads would usually blanch at. "Thank You for Smoking" made a hero of Aaron Eckhart's rather amoral tobacco lobbyist; "Juno" celebrated a pregnant teenager.
"If I have a skill as a filmmaker, it's finding accessible ways into tricky material," the 32-year-old director told CNN.
What did I tell you?
And here's from actress Dana Kaminski:
The more you get rejected, the harder you work on your craft. Become unstoppable. PERIOD. Become unrejectable.