Sylvain Chomet was born in France in 1963. He obtained his baccalauréat in fine arts in 1982 and in 1987 graduated with a diploma in animation from the school of visual arts in Angoulême.
In 1986 he published his first graphic novel ‘Le secret des libellules (The Secret of Dragonflies)’ and adapted Victor Hugo’s first novel, ‘Bug-Jargal’, into a comic book.
Sylvain began his career in animation in September 1988 working as an assistant at Richard Purdum’s studio in London. Soon afterwards he began a freelance career, working for several London animation studios where he directed a number of animated TV commercials. In 1989 (whilst continuing to write and publish graphic novels) he embarked on his first animated short film, La vieille dame et les pigeons (The Old Lady and the Pigeons) which was completed in 1996 and was nominated for an American Academy Award® in 1997.
In 1997 Sylvain worked briefly for Disney Animation Studios in Toronto, before being given the go-ahead by his producers to start the storyboard for his first animated feature film, The Triplets of Belleville. The Montreal-based movie took five years to make and was sold to more than 33 countries worldwide, including the USA and Japan. The Triplets of Belleville was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Song at the 2004 Academy Awards®.
More recently, Sylvain wrote and directed a five-minute live action slot for the collaborative feature film involving 20 internationally acclaimed directors, Paris je t'aime. A live action musical feature film set in 1970s Paris is currently in development in partnership with Paris je t’aime producer Claudie Ossard. During the pre-production and production period of THE ILLUSIONIST Sylvain lived near Edinburgh, Scotland, where his studio, Django Films, was based and where THE ILLUSIONIST was created. He now lives and works in Provence.