As a first time writer and director, Jared Hess earned considerable success right out of the gate with his debut film, "Napoleon Dynamite" (2004), which he made on a shoestring budget, only to see the quirky comedy become a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and in theaters after its wide release. Having created a near-cultural phenomenon, which included celebrities wearing iconic "Vote for Pedro" tee-shirts, Hess became a darling of the Gen-X crowd and Hollywood at large, despite some crustier critics declaring his film cruel and sophomoric. But Hess had the last laugh when "Napoleon Dynamite" earned a king's ransom at the box office - at least in relation to its budget - and opened the doors for making movies within the studio system. He followed up his successful debut with another hit, "Nacho Libre" (2006), a medium-budgeted comedy that capitalized on the rising popularity of its star, Jack Black. Though he hit a speed bump with his third feature, the little-seen and critically maligned comedy "Gentlemen Broncos" (2009), Hess returned to the character that launched his career with an animated version of "Napoleon Dynamite" (Fox, 2012), reminding critics and audiences why he became a noteworthy filmmaker to begin with.