Paul Haggis

 Paul Edward Haggis, writer, director, producer (born at London, Ont, 10 Mar 1953). Paul Haggis attended high school in London and studied cinematography at Fanshawe College. In 1975 he left home for Los Angeles to pursue a writing career in television. It took more than 3 years to sell his first script. With the support of his family back in Canada he persisted, and the legendary producer Norman Lear gave him his first real writing job on the series Diff'rent Strokes in 1983. A succession of series followed: The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, The Tracey Ullman Show, thirtysomething, Walker: Texas Ranger, L.A. Law and EZ Streets. Paul Haggis began directing and producing episodic television in 1988, establishing himself as a trusted triple-threat creative talent. He returned to Canada to produce the pilot and write for the first two seasons of the popular series Due South (1994-96), starring Paul GROSS, before heading back to Los Angeles for more work in television.

In 2000 Paul Haggis moved on to the riskier business of writing and producing movies. He discovered an unpublished collection of short stories, Rope Burns, by F.X. Toole, and secured the film rights. He wrote the script for Million Dollar Baby and submitted it to Clint Eastwood's production company. To his surprise, Eastwood wanted to direct and star in it himself and Million Dollar Baby went on to be a box-office hit in 2004, securing Paul Haggis an Oscar nomination for his adapted screenplay. This was quickly followed by Crash, a low-budget film based on an original script by Haggis and his writing partner Bobby Moresco. Crash, about racial tensions in Los Angeles, with complex, overlapping storylines taking place during a hectic 24 hours, became a sleeper hit in 2005 and earned Paul Haggis an Oscar nomination for best director and Oscar awards for best picture and best original screenplay.

In 2005 Paul Haggis was hired to polish the script for the 21st James Bond film, Casino Royale, released in 2006 and regarded by some critics to be the best Bond ever. Clint Eastwood hired Haggis to adapt James Bradley and Ron Powers's novel Flags of Our Fathers, about the bloody WORLD WAR II battle for Iwo Jima Island and the iconic photo of the raising of the American flag in victory. The result was 2 films released back to back in 2006: Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, which told the story from the Japanese point of view. Unprecedented in Oscar history, Haggis secured a third consecutive nomination in the screenplay category for the latter film. Other films include the Iraq war drama In the Valley of Elah (2007) with Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon, which he produced, directed and wrote; co-scripting credit on the 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace (2008); and Haggis wrote and directed The Next Three Days (2010) for Russell Crowe.

In addition to his Oscar awards and nominations, Paul Haggis has received the best original screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America for Crash; the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for best writer for Crash and a nomination for best director; the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Crash; a nomination from the Directors Guild of America for outstanding directorial achievement in motion pictures for Crash; an Emmy Award for outstanding drama series and one for outstanding writing in a drama series for thirtysomething in 1988; and 6 Gemini Awards and 2 nominations for Due South in 1994. He was also awarded the 2005 Discover Screenwriting Award from the American Screenwriters Association for Million Dollar Baby, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award (the British Oscars) for best adapted screenplay for Crash and BAFTA nominations in 2007 for the Alexander Korda Award for best British film and best adapted screenplay for Casino Royale.