He was previously nominated for his debut feature, the Oscar-winning “Whiplash,” in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Chazelle was long favored to take home the award, after previously winning the Directors Guild Award The four other filmmakers competing for Oscar were: Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”), Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”), Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”), and Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”).The Oscar-winner spent years pitching “La La Land” to various studios, only to have everyone in town turn it down. Like the aspiring Hollywood dreamers in his film, his persistence paid off on Sunday night. Posted February 26, 2017 by Phil PirrelloDamien Chazelle just made Oscar history with his Best Director win.The “La La Land” director is the youngest filmmaker to ever win the Academy Award for this category. (The film was based on a short he directed).