A gifted comic writer and director in his native France, Michel Hazanavicius parlayed his skill at parodying past film genres and conventions with the spy spoof "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies" (2006) before capturing international audiences' attention with "The Artist" (2011), a loving tribute to Hollywood's silent film era. Hazanavicius developed a cult following through a trio of "diversions," comic experiments that took footage from Hollywood films and television, then redubbed and edited them into dizzyingly surreal comedies. He soon graduated to feature films, where he struck gold with "OSS 117" and its 2009 sequel, both starring comic actor Jean Dujardin as a hapless '60s-era spy. The pair reunited in 2011 for "The Artist," a completely silent black-and-white film about a 1920s-era star on the decline; it won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival that year before storming international theaters and ultimately garnering Hazanavicius a Best Director Academy Award and his film, a win for Best Picture. Its global success was an appropriate showcase for Hazanavicius' talents, as well as a terrific calling card for his potential as a filmmaker in America.