One of the most accomplished writer-directors of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Gary Ross received screenwriting Oscar nominations for "Big" (1988), "Dave" (1993) and "Seabiscuit" (2003) while enjoying critical acclaim as a director of the latter picture as well as Pleasantville" (1998) and the blockbuster fantasy "The Hunger Games" (2012). Ross' best work combined a wistful longing for the innocence of times gone by with a deep-rooted passion for the power of the democratic process to effect positive change in the lives of all people. His often-sparkling dialogue, most notably in "Dave" and "Pleasantville," echoed the screwball comedy genre of the 1930s, while the doggedly optimistic tone of "Seabiscuit" and "The Tale of Despereaux" evoked comparisons with Frank Capra and Preston Sturges. Ross weathered some ups and downs after "Seabiscuit" before roaring back to the spotlight with "The Hunger Games," an eagerly anticipated film version of the popular youth fantasy novel series. Ross' ability to imbue genre pictures with resonant emotional and political content made him one of the most skilled filmmakers of the period.