Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father's camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. In the summer of 2005, Reichardt directed Old Joy (2006), which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It was the first American film to win the Tiger award at the Rotterdam Film Festival and opened at the Film Forum in New York City. Reichardt's first feature, River of Grass (1994), a sun-drenched noir that was shot in her home town of Dade County, was cited as one of the best films of 1995 by the Boston Globe, Village Voice, Film Comment, the New York Daily News, Paper Magazine, and the San Francisco Guardian.