Jim Jarmusch

Jim Jarmusch Photo


Date of Birth: January 22, 1953

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Jim Jarmusch moved to New York at the age of 17 to attend Columbia University. He earned his B.A. in English in 1975 and then was accepted into New York's Tisch School of Arts to study filmmaking. He also studied film at the Cinématheque Française in Paris, France. He first worked as an assistant on the documentary film, Lightning Over Water (1980), then wrote and directed his first feature film, Permanent Vacation (1980), which won the Josef von Sternberg Award at the International Filmfest Mannheim-Heidelberg.

Although Jarmusch has never had a box office success, almost all of his work has been richly rewarded by film societies and festivals around the world. His second feature film, Stranger Than Paradise (1984), won the Golden Camera at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. His third film, Down by Law (1986), won an Amanda Award (Norway) and a Bodil Award (Denmark).

For Mystery Train (1989), he won for Best Artistic Contribution at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. Made on a budget of $9 million, Dead Man (1995), starring Johnny Depp, grossed just slightly over $1 million at the box office, but won a Screen International Award at the European Film Awards.

Over the years, Jarmusch filmed several shorts called Coffee and Cigarettes. He wrote the first one with Italian director/actor Roberto Benigni and actor/comedian Steve Wright. It was six minutes in length and starred his co-writers. The second one was eight minutes long, starring Steve Buscemi, while the third one featured Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. In 2003, Jarmusch took the three shorts and melded them together with new footage to create a feature film starring actors such as Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Alfred Molina talking about various topics while enjoying coffee and cigarettes.

Jarmusch is married to director/writer/producer Sara Driver, whom he met while studying film in New York City.


Coffee and Cigarettes (2004)
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002) (segment "Int. Trailer Night")
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
Year of the Horse (1997)
Dead Man (1995)
Night on Earth (1991)
Mystery Train (1989)
Down by Law (1986)
Stranger Than Paradise (1983)
Permanent Vacation (1980)