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Damon Laguna is an award-winning filmmaker who aspires to create character-driven, humanistic content that features diverse characters from underrepresented backgrounds.

 

Before discovering his love for storytelling, Damon spent most of his life flipping through the air as a gymnast, eventually competing for UC Berkeley where he earned a degree in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business. In May 2020, Damon graduated from the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts’ MFA Film & Television Production program as a George Lucas Scholar. 

 

Damon’s work has been featured in over 50 film festivals around the world including the Student Academy Awards, Austin Film Festival, HollyShorts, LA Shorts International, Outfest Los Angeles, Frameline, Dances with Films, Urbanworld, and more. Damon’s directorial debut short film, HEADLOCK, was nominated for a Student Academy Award and won the USC First Look Social Change Award and Outstanding Director Award. Damon co-produced the Sloan Science Grant recipient film SWEET POTATOES, which won the Student Academy Award and was acquired by Omeleto in 2021. 

 

Damon worked in Development at Blumhouse (Get Out, Paranormal Activity), Illumination (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets), and Big Beach (Little Miss Sunshine, The Farewell). Damon produced a research and development film project entitled RIPPLE EFFECT for the Entertainment Technology Center, sponsored by Universal, Amazon Studios, Microsoft, and more to test virtual and remote production. Damon has also worked as a producer and editor for a variety of clients and live award shows including the NAACP Theatre Awards. 

 

Damon currently lives in Los Angeles where he is developing his debut drama feature and an original sports-drama pilot, producing the Sloan Science Grant recipient film THIS WILD ABYSS, and co-writing and producing a horror feature adaptation of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for USC with backing from John Wells. 

FESTIVALS & AWARDS

First Look - Winner - Social Change, 2021 First Look - Winner - Outstanding Directing, 2021 Student Academy Awards - Finalist, 2020 Urbanworld Film Festival - Official Selection, 2020 Dances With Films - Official Selection, 2020 Panavision New Filmmaker Award - Winner, 2019 The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors Foundation Award - Winner, 2020 Annenberg Foundation Award - Winner, 2020 The Caucus Foundation Television/New Media Award - Winner, 2019 Outfest Los Angeles - Official Selection, 2019 Bronze Lens Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Madrid International Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 LA Femme International Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Norwegian Short Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Austin Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Frameline Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019 Dances With Films - Official Selection, 2019 NewFilmmakers Los Angeles - Official Selection, 2019 LGBT Toronto Film Festival - Best Short Film, 2020 FilmQuest - Best Student Short Nominee, 2019 San Diego International Kids Film Festival - Best Short Film, 2019 Short Focus Frame Light - Official Selection, 2019