Princess Grace Statue Award, 1998

Princess Grace Award
Graduate Film Scholarship, 1989
Columbia University



American director Gregory Mottola attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he received a BFA in art. He went on to complete an MFA in film at Columbia University in New York, while also supporting himself by working as an amusement park carnie in Long Island. He had a small acting part in the film Loser(1991) before making his directorial debut with the short film Swingin’ in the Painter’s Room (1989). In 1996 he directed his first feature film, the independent movie The Daytrippers (1996). The film won several awards, including the Grand Jury prize at the Slamdance festival in Utah, the Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review. It also caught Woody Allen’s attention, who was such a fan he chose Mottola to act in his films Celebrity (1998) and Hollywood Ending (2002).

Mottola’s career began to take off when he teamed up with Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen to direct episodes of their television series Undeclared (2001-2002). This led to him directing the teen comedy Superbad (2007), which was written by Rogen and produced by Apatow. He also directed episodes of the popular Fox television series Arrested Development (2003-2004), The Comeback (2005), and one episode of Cracking Up (2004).

Mottola used his previous amusement park job as inspiration for Adventureland (2009), which he wrote and directed. Claiming it was one of the worst jobs he’d ever had, he decided to write about the incidents that had come out of it, seeing potential for a funny coming-of-age story. He says the film fits into a small genre of stories that are about the worst summer turning into one of the most transformative experiences of your life. Next up for Mottola is the comedy Paul (2010). He is married to Woody Allen’s assistant Sarah Allentuch, with whom he has a 21-month-old son named Max.


Keeping up the with Jonses (2016)
“The Newsroom,” HBO (2012-2014)
Paul (2010)
Adventureland (2009)
Superbad (2007)
The Daytrippers (1996)

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