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School of Media and Communication

Diego Velasco

Diego Velasco was born in the United States but raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He received his bachelor’s degree in film from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1995. Velasco has written and directed five short films that have screened at over 50 festivals and have garnered 26 awards including an Academy Award consideration for “Cédula Ciudadano.”  In 2001, Velasco was hired to direct the first ever Latin American sitcom, “Planeta de 6,” for the Venezuelan network Televen.  The show was nominated for “Best Television Comedy” at the International Spanish Language Television Awards after its first season.  After the second season of “Planeta de 6,” Velasco was invited to be a member of the very exclusive Fox Searchlab program created for aspiring filmmakers. Diego took the opportunity to make a clever award-winning comedy called Day Shift.   In 2010, Velasco premiered his first feature, “La Hora Cero” (“The Zero Hour”), which broke all box office records in Venezuela, making it the highest grossing Venezuelan film of all time.  It has won over 20 awards, screening at many different festivals, and the film has secured distribution in the United States and Latin America. Mr. Velasco was inducted into the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2011.