Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back – Million Dollar Baby (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash (2004/I) which he himself directed. For Crash (2004), he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film also received an additional four nominations including one for Haggis’ direction. Crash (2004) reaped numerous awards during its year of release from associations such as the IFP Spirit Awards, the Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA.
In 2006, Haggis’ screenplays included the duo Clint Eastwood productions Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), the latter earning him his third screenplay Oscar nomination. He also helped pen Casino Royale (2006), which garnered considerable acclaim for reinvigorating the James Bond spy franchise.
In 2007, Haggis wrote, directed and produced In the Valley of Elah (2007) 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’ latest film, The Next Three Days (2010), stars Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks, produced by Highway 61 and Lionsgate Films. Hwy 61 is the production company Haggis formed with his friend and producing partner Michael Nozik. This is their first feature released in November 2010.
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” (1987) and “The Tracey Ullman Show” (1987), “Due South” (1994), “The Black Donnellys” (2007) and also developed credits as a pup writer on many ‘Norman Lear’ sitcoms. He also created the acclaimed, if short-lived, CBS series “EZ Streets” (1996) 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.”
Haggis is equally committed to his private and social concerns. He 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 medical clinics serving the children of the slums of Haiti.