Damien Chazelle, the Hollywood wunderkind behind this year's most loved movie La La Land, became the youngest filmmaker to win best director trophy at the 89th Academy Awards on Monday.
Six years in the making, it was a dream project for 32-year-old Chazelle who wanted to pay tribute to old Hollywood musicals with his LA-set story of ambition and romance.
In his speech, Chazelle recognised his fellow nominees and his stars — Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. He also paid tribute to his girlfriend Olivia Hamilton.
"I want to thank my family, my sister and Olivia, my love. The movie is about love and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it," he said.
Chazelle has said in interviews that movies were always his passion and though he briefly trained as a jazz drummer in school, which inspired "Whiplash", he always knew that filmmaking was his true calling.
In "La La Land", Chazelle has skillfully married his two passions to create a musical that is pulsating with love, life and longing.
The director made a promising debut with jazz Harvard project "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench" in 2009. "La La Land", which comes after "Whiplash", proved that his success was no flash in the pan.
The film swept every award leading up to the Oscars where it won a record 14 nominations tying the record set by "Titanic" and "All About Eve."
Chazelle's other screenwriting endavours culminated in films like "The Grand Piano", staring Elijah Woods, and "10 Cloverfield Lane" which he co-wrote.