Filmmaker Morgan J. Freeman made several short films while studying at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Sorbonne in Paris, and N.Y.U. before getting his M.F.A. in 1994. As an assistant director to Todd Solondz during production of Welcome to the Dollhouse, he met actor Brendan Sexton III, who he cast in the lead role of his own directorial debut, Hurricane. The gritty coming-of-age drama won several awards at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Freeman also cast Sexton in his next film, Desert Blue, an ensemble comedy drama set in his home state of California. After its meager release, he turned to directing television shows, music videos, and commercials. In 2002, he made the straight-to-video sequel American Psycho 2: All American Girl starring William Shatner and Mila Kunis (from That '70s Show).