In 2006, Paul Haggis became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back – “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and “Crash” (2005) which he himself directed. For “Crash,” Haggis won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film also received an additional four nominations including one for Haggis’ direction. “Crash” reaped numerous awards during its year of release from associations such as the IFP Spirit Awards, the Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA.
Most recently, Haggis directed all six episodes of the HBO mini-series “Show Me A Hero,” starring Catherine Keener, Winona Ryder, James Belushi, and Alfred Molina.
In 2013 he wrote and directed the romantic, personal drama “Third Person” which tracked the course of three interconnected love affairs set in Rome, Paris and New York. The film starred Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, and Kim Basinger.
“The Next Three Days,” which starred Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks, was released in 2013 by Highway 61 and Lionsgate Films. Hwy 61 is the production company Haggis formed with his friend and producing partner Michael Nozik.
In 2007, Haggis’ screenplays included the duo Clint Eastwood productions “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” the latter earning him his third screenplay Oscar nomination. He also helped pen “Casino Royale,” which garnered considerable acclaim for reinvigorating the James Bond spy franchise.
In 2007, Haggis wrote, directed, and produced “In the Valley of Elah” for Warner Independent Pictures, Samuels Media and Summit Entertainment. The film, which starred Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon was a suspense drama of a father’s search for his missing son, who is reported AWOL after returning from Iraq.
Jones earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in the film.
Haggis was born in London, Ontario, Canada and moved to California in his early 20s. For over two decades he has written, directed and produced television shows such as “thirtysomething” and
“The Tracey Ullman Show,” and also developed credits as a pup writer on many Norman Lear sitcoms. He created the acclaimed, if short-lived, CBS series “EZ Streets” which the New York Times cited as one of the most influential shows of all time, noting, that without it “there would be no Sopranos.”
Equally committed to his private and social concerns, Haggis is the founder of Artists for Peace and Justice. Under this umbrella, many of his friends in the film business have come forward to build schools and a rehabilitation clinic serving the children of the slums of Haiti (www.APJNow.org). Haggis was a key element in the 25th anniversary updating of the “We Are the World” video which he directed and was used to benefit Haiti relief. He currently resides in New York.