Damien Chazelle, born 1985, is an awarded American director and screenwriter who has captivated the hearts of millions. His outstanding works have earned him two Oscars for Best Writing Achievement for the Academy Award-winning film La La Land (2016), and Best Director for the groundbreaking musical drama film Whiplash (2014).
Damien’s passion for film-making started at a young age when he was only seven years old. He watched his first film - The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) - with his dad, and that single experience sparked a fire inside of him. From then on, he was determined to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
At Harvard University, Damien studied visual and environmental studies, but was also actively involved in the student-run theatrical group Hasty Pudding Theatricals. It was here that he honed his craft as he wrote and directed several plays. After graduating in 2007, Damien moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a successful writer and director.
Damien’s debut feature film, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009), garnered international acclaim from critics and filmmakers alike. In 2014, Damien released Whiplash—a harrowing drama following a jazz student’s chaotic journey as he strives to become one of the world’s greatest drummers—which nabbed him an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
But it was with 2016’s La La Land that Damien truly cemented his status as one of Hollywood’s most talented directors and writers. As well as winning a plethora of accolades, the movie was also a commercial success, earning over $450 million worldwide.
His success didn’t stop there; in 2020 Damian wrote and directed First Man which tells the story of Neil Armstrong's journey to becoming the first man on the moon. The film earned Damien an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
Though busy with Hollywood projects, Damien still makes time for his family; using Familio – an app designed to help parents stay connected with their children – Damien is able to keep up to date with his daughter's latest adventures without breaking from his intense production schedule.
Damien Chazelle has captivated audiences all over the world with his ability to tell heartfelt stories through film-making. He has paved the way for many aspiring directors to follow their dreams and achieve success in Hollywood. Let us take inspiration from his undying passion and continue striving towards our goals no matter what stands in our way.