Directors

by joostkemperman | created - 10 months ago | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

1. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

2. Romain Gavras

Director | Notre jour viendra

Romain Gavras is a director and actor, known for Notre jour viendra (2010), M.I.A.: Bad Girls (2012) and Le monde est à toi (2018).

3. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

4. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | À bout de souffle

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

5. Jacques Audiard

Writer | De rouille et d'os

Born in Paris, France, in 1952. Jacques Audiard's family has always been involved in movie business. His father, Michel, was a popular screenwriter and director and his uncle a producer. But in his teens he refused that world and wanted to be a teacher. He studied literature and philosophy at the ...

6. Takeshi Kitano

Actor | Zatôichi

Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw ...

7. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

8. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

9. Josef von Sternberg

Director | The Devil Is a Woman

Josef von Sternberg split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Forced by poverty to drop ...

10. Elia Kazan

Director | On the Waterfront

Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...

11. Masaki Kobayashi

Director | Ningen no jôken

Masaki Kobayashi was born on February 14, 1916 in Hokkaido, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Ningen no jôken (1961), Ningen no jôken (1959) and Seppuku (1962). He died on October 4, 1996 in Tokyo, Japan.

12. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 7, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...

13. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

14. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

15. Roberto Benigni

Actor | La vita è bella

Roberto Benigni was born on October 27, 1952 in Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy as Roberto Remigio Benigni. He is an actor and writer, known for La vita è bella (1997), La tigre e la neve (2005) and Down by Law (1986). He has been married to Nicoletta Braschi ...

16. Chan-wook Park

Director | Bakjwi

Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for Bakjwi (2009), Ah-ga-ssi (2016) and Oldeuboi (2003).

17. Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer | The Neon Demon

Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teenage years...

18. Takashi Miike

Director | Koroshiya 1

Takashi Miike was born in the small town of Yao on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. His main interest growing up was motorbikes, and for a while he harbored ambitions to race professionally. At the age of 18 he went to study at the film school in Yokohama founded by renowned director Shôhei Imamura, ...

19. Sion Sono

Director | Ai no mukidashi

Shion Sono is a Japanese director, writer and poet. Born in Aichi Perfecture in 1961 he started his career working as a poet before taking his first steps in film directing. As a student he shot a series of short films in Super 8 and managed to make his first feature films in the late 80s and early...

20. Michaël R. Roskam

Director | The Drop

Michaël R. Roskam was born as Michaël Reynders. He is a director and producer, known for The Drop (2014), Rundskop (2011) and Le Fidèle (2017).

21. Pedro Almodóvar

Writer | Hable con ella

The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...

22. László Nemes

Director | Saul fia

László Nemes was born on 18th Feb. 1977 in Budapest, Hungary. He moved to France at 12 with his mother. He grew up in Paris, where he studied History, International Relations and Political Science at the Institut d'Études Politiques, because he couldn't go to film school. After that he started ...

23. Sean Baker

Writer | The Florida Project

Sean Baker is a writer/director known for the Spirit Award nominated films Take Out (2004), Prince of Broadway (2008) and Starlet (2012) (winner of the Robert Altman Spirit Award). His latest film Tangerine (2015) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Magnolia Pictures in ...

24. Hong-jin Na

Writer | Chugyeogja

Na Hong-jin born in 1974 is a South Korean film director and screenwriter. His debut film The Chaser (2008) won Best Director at the 45th Grand Bell Awards in 2008. The film also won the award for Best Film. His follow up film, The Yellow Sea, was released in South Korea on December 15, 2010. It is...

25. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sugata Sanshirô (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him ...

26. Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer | Blowup

Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...

27. Luchino Visconti

Director | Rocco e i suoi fratelli

Luchino Visconti was born on November 2, 1906 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy as Luchino Visconti di Modrone. He was a director and writer, known for Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960), Morte a Venezia (1971) and Le notti bianche (1957). He died on March 17, 1976 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

28. Paolo Sorrentino

Writer | Youth

Paolo Sorrentino was born on May 31, 1970 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He is a writer and director, known for Youth (2015), La grande bellezza (2013) and This Must Be the Place (2011). He is married to Daniela D'Antonio. They have two children.

29. Federico Fellini

Writer | Amarcord

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

30. Mike Leigh

Director | Happy-Go-Lucky

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Secrets and Lies (1996) and Another Year (2010). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.

31. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

32. Oliver Stone

Producer | JFK

Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success.

William Oliver Stone was ...

33. Ciro Guerra

Director | El abrazo de la serpiente

Ciro Guerra was born on February 6, 1981 in Río de Oro, Cesar, Colombia. He is a director and writer, known for El abrazo de la serpiente (2015), Los viajes del viento (2009) and Pájaros de verano (2018).

34. Gaspar Noé

Director | Irréversible

Gaspar Noé was born on December 27, 1963 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a director and producer, known for Irréversible (2002), Enter the Void (2009) and Seul contre tous (1998).

35. FKA Twigs

Actress | FKA Twigs: M3LL155X

FKA Twigs was born on January 16, 1988 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England as Tahliah Debrett Barnett. She is an actress, known for FKA Twigs: M3LL155X (2015), FKA Twigs: Two Weeks (2014) and Russian American.

36. Jody Hill

Writer | Observe and Report

Jody Hill was born in North Carolina, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Observe and Report (2009), Vice Principals (2016) and Eastbound & Down (2009).

37. Jonas Carpignano

Writer | A Ciambra

Jonas Carpignano was born in 1984 and grew up between New York City and Rome. His first feature film Mediterranea debuted at the Cannes Film Festival -Semaine de la Critique in 2015 before receiving the award for the best directorial debut of 2015 by the National Board of Review. That same year he ...

38. Mel Gibson

Actor | Braveheart

Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is ...

39. Jonathan Glazer

Director | Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer was born on March 26, 1965 in London, England. He is a director and writer, known for Under the Skin (2013), Birth (2004) and Sexy Beast (2000).

40. Damien Chazelle

Writer | Whiplash

Damien Sayre Chazelle is an American director and screenwriter. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island. His mother, Celia Sayre (Martin) Chazelle, is an American-Canadian writer and professor of history at The College of New Jersey. His father, Bernard Chazelle, is a French-American Eugene Higgins...



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