Director Todd Haynes

Todd Haynes (Director) is an acclaimed American independent film director and screenwriter. Born in Los Angeles, Haynes grew up interested in the arts and attended Brown University, where he received his B.A. in arts and semiotics. After college, Haynes moved to New York City, where he made his controversial short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987), using Barbie dolls to portray the life and death of singer Karen Carpenter. 

Haynes made his directorial feature debut with the provocative 1991 film, Poison, which went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, spearheading what would become known as the New Queer Cinema. In 1995, Haynes’s second feature film, Safe, starred Julianne Moore as a Los Angeles housewife who becomes environmentally ill. The film would be voted, by decade’s end, the best film of the ’90s by the Village Voice’s Critic Poll. Haynes’s next film, Velvet Goldmine, an homage to the glam rock era of the early ’70s, premiered in Official Selection at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Prize. 

Haynes’s next film, Far from Heaven (2002), inspired by the ’50s melodramas of Douglas Sirk, also starring Julianne Moore, earned both critical and mainstream success, receiving four Academy Award® nominations, including one for Haynes’ original screenplay. Haynes won several other awards for this film, including the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director. His 2007 film, I’m Not There, imagined the life and work of Bob Dylan through the guise of seven fictional characters, and once again won him critical acclaim, especially for the cross-gender casting of Cate Blanchett, who received the Academy Award® nomination and Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2011, Haynes directed and co-wrote “Mildred Pierce,” a five-hour miniseries starring Kate Winslet, which garnered 21 Emmy® nominations, winning five of them, in addition to three Golden Globe Awards. 

He next made 2015’s Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt. Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Carol received much critical acclaim and many accolades, including six Academy Award® nominations, five Golden Globe Award nominations and nine BAFTA Award nominations. It has also been voted the #1 LGBT Film of All Time by BFI. 

Haynes’s recent Wonderstruck, from the book by Brian Selznick (and adapted for the screen by the author), garnered nominations and acclaim across multiple critics associations and film organizations, including a nomination for Haynes for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Haynes’ inventive and singular telling of two children’s search for connection across time was his fourth collaboration with Julianne Moore.

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