Christopher Edward Nolan, (; born 30 July 1970) is a British-American film director, screenwriter, and producer, who is known for making personal, distinctive films within the Hollywood mainstream. His films have grossed over US$4.7 billion worldwide and garnered a total of 34 Oscar nominations and ten wins.
Born and raised in London, Nolan developed an interest in filmmaking from a young age. After studying English literature at University College London, he made his feature debut with Following (1998). Nolan gained international recognition with his second film, Memento (2000), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He transitioned from independent to studio filmmaking with Insomnia (2002), and found further critical and commercial success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), The Prestige (2006), and Inception (2010), which received eight Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. This was followed by Interstellar (2014), and Dunkirk (2017), which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Nolan has co-written several of his films with his brother Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife Emma Thomas.
Nolan’s films are typically rooted in epistemological and metaphysical themes, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His work is permeated by unconventional narrative structures, cross-cutting, practical special effects, experimental soundscapes, large-format film photography, materialistic perspectives, and analogous relationships between visual language and narrative elements.
Throughout his career, Nolan has received many awards and honours. Time magazine named Nolan one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and in 2019, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to film. In addition to his filmmaking, he is an advocate for film preservation and the analog medium.