France's Michel Hazanavicius on Sunday took home the Oscar for best director for silent movie The Artist, at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony.
The 44-year-old, who triumphed over veterans including Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, had already won a series of gongs for his black-and-white homage to the silent movie era.
"I am the happiest director in the world right now," he said in his acceptance speech.
He is only the second French filmmaker honored by his Hollywood peers, following in the footsteps of Franco-Polish director Roman Polanski, who won a best director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist.
Hazanavicius is married to Berenice Bejo, with whom he has two children, and who starred in The Artist along with Jean Dujardin.