My favourite directors

Image of Krzysztof Kieslowski
1.
Krzysztof Kieslowski

Mr. Kieslowski started his career shooting documentaries and later became associated with the “cinema of moral anxiety” movement. It grouped several Polish directors, includingKrzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, and aimed at depicting the conditions of Poles under communism. His best known work was the Three Colors trilogy: “Red”…
Image of Ingmar Bergman
2.
Ingmar Bergman

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born 14 July 1918, son of a priest. The film and TV-series, The Best Intentions is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film ‘Söndagsbarn’ depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the TV-mini Private Confessions is the trilogy closed. Here, as in ‘Den Goda Viljan’Pernilla August play his mother…
Image of Akira Kurosawa
3.
Akira Kurosawa

Writer, Yojimbo
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 withSanshiro Sugata. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom…
Image of Andrey Tarkovskiy
4.
Andrey Tarkovskiy

Writer, Solaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein,Andrey Tarkovskiy (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school VGIK. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan’s Childhood, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival…
Image of Stanley Kubrick
5.
Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was born in New York, and was considered intelligent despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance, Kubrick’s father Jack (a physician) sent him in 1940 to Pasadena, California, to stay with his uncle Martin Perveler. Returning to the Bronx in 1941 for his last year of grammar school…
Image of Luis Buñuel
6.
Luis Buñuel

Writer, Viridiana
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca
Image of Federico Fellini
7.
Federico Fellini

Writer, 
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 devil herself said the priests who ran his school)…
Image of Sidney Lumet
8.
Sidney Lumet

Director, 12 Angry Men
Sidney Lumet is a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors — and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York — he has made over 40 movies, often emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. He often tells intelligent…
Image of Darren Aronofsky
10.
Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film…
Image of Milos Forman
11.
Milos Forman

Because his parents died in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, Jan Tomás became an orphan very early on. Later, he studied screenwriting at the Prague Film Academy (FAMU). In his Czechoslovakian films, Black PeterLoves of a Blonde, andThe Firemen’s Ball, he created his own style of comedy….
Image of Vittorio De Sica
12.
Vittorio De Sica

Director, Bicycle Thieves
Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee idol of the Italian theatre…
Image of Martin Scorsese
13.
Martin Scorsese

Director, Goodfellas
Martin Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942, in New York City, and was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films. Scorsese earned a B.S. degree in film communications in 1964, followed by an M.A. in the same field in 1966 at New York University’s School of Film…
Image of Woody Allen
14.
Woody Allen

Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. As a young boy he became intrigued with magic tricks and playing the clarinet, two hobbies that he continues today. He broke into show business at age 15 when he started writing jokes for a local paper, receiving $200 a week. He later moved on to write jokes for talk shows but felt that his jokes were being wasted…
Image of Mike Leigh
16.
Image of Frank Capra
17.
Frank Capra

One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. “There’s no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They’re all miserable. It’s the most degrading place you could ever be,” Capra said about his Atlantic passage…
Image of Tim Burton
18.
Tim Burton

Tim Burton was raised in Burbank, California. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons and watching old movies (he was especially fond of films with Vincent Price). When he was in the ninth grade, his artistic talent was recognized by a local garbage company when he won a prize for an anti-litter poster he designed…
Image of Orson Welles
20.
Orson Welles

Actor, Citizen Kane
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago’s Dr…
Image of Jean-Pierre Jeunet
21.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Director, Amélie
Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a self-taught director who was very quickly interested by cinema, with a predilection for a fantastic cinema where form is as important as the subject. Thus he started directing TV commercials and video clips (such as Julien Clerc in 1984). At the same time he met designer/drawer Marc Caro with whom he made two short animation movies: L’évasionand Le manège
Image of Quentin Tarantino
22.
Quentin Tarantino

Actor, Pulp Fiction
In January of 1992, Reservoir Dogs appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, by first-time writer-director Quentin Tarantino. The film garnered critical acclaim and the director became a legend immediately. Two years later, he followed up Dogs success with Pulp Fiction which premiered at the Cannes film festival…
Image of Alfred Hitchcock
23.
Alfred Hitchcock

Director, Psycho
Alfred Hitchcock was the son of East End greengrocer William Hitchcock and his wife Emma. Raised as a strict Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College, a school run by Jesuits, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing. His first job outside of the family business was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company…
Image of Sergio Leone
24.
Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema – he was the son of Roberto Roberti (aka 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 American directors working in Italy (usually making Biblical and Roman epics…
Image of Lars von Trier
25.
Lars von Trier

Writer, Melancholia
Lars von Trier (the “von” was adopted during his stay at the Danish Film School) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in April 1956. He graduated from the Danish Film School in 1983 with his short film “Images of a relief” (“Befrielsesbilleder”) which won the Best Film award at the Munich Film Festival the following year…
Image of Francis Ford Coppola
27.
Francis Ford Coppola

He was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he 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, had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University…
Image of David Fincher
28.
David Fincher

Director, Fight Club
David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials and music videos after signing with N…
Image of Fritz Lang
29.
Fritz Lang

Director, M
Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. From 1910 to 1914…
Image of Lasse Hallström
30.
Image of Elia Suleiman
31.
Image of Abbas Kiarostami
32.
Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30…
Image of Roman Polanski
33.
Roman Polanski

Director, The Pianist
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA he is considered one of the few “truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski’s parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began: on Germany’s invasion in 1939 as a Jewish family they were all sent to the Krakow ghetto…
Image of Emir Kusturica
34.
Emir Kusturica

Director, Underground
A Serbian film director. Born in 1954 in Sarajevo. Graduated in film directing at the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. During his studies, he was awarded several times for his short movies including Guernica (1978), which took first prize at the Student’s Film Festival in Karlovy Vary…
Image of David Lynch
35.
David Lynch

Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised early in small town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a 3 year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn’t take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977…
Image of Joel Coen
36.
“ Joel and Ethan Coen ” – Mohamed Waleed
Image of Charles Chaplin
37.
Charles Chaplin

Writer, Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular “Little Tramp” character; the man with the toothbrush mustache…
Image of Michelangelo Antonioni
38.
Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer, Blow-Up
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” studying directorship at the School of Cinema…
Image of Pedro Almodóvar
39.
Pedro Almodóvar

Writer, Talk to Her
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 filmmaking because he didn’t have the money to afford it…
Image of Robert Bresson
40.
Robert Bresson

Writer, A Man Escaped
Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Public Affairs in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Angels of the Streets in 1943. His next film, Les dames du Bois de Boulognewould be the last time he would work with professional actors…
Image of Wim Wenders
41.
Wim Wenders

Director, Wings of Desire
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until reunification)…
Image of Jean-Luc Godard
42.
Jean-Luc Godard

Director, Vivre Sa Vie
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 Switzerland and attended school in Nyons (Switzerland)…
Image of François Truffaut
43.
François Truffaut

Writer, The 400 Blows
François began to assiduously go to the movies at 7. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who becomes his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army…
Image of Hiroshi Teshigahara
45.
Hiroshi Teshigahara

Hiroshi Teshigahara was born as the son of Sofu Teshigahara who was the founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana (Flower arrengement). In 1950, he was graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in oil painting. In 1958, he became the director of Sogetsu Art Center and took a leading role in avant-garde activities in all fields of art…
Image of Theodoros Angelopoulos
46.
Theodoros Angelopoulos

Theo Angelopoulos began to study law in Athens but broke up his studies to go to the Sorbonne in Paris in order to study literature. When he had finished his studies, he wanted to attend the School of Cinema at Paris but decided instead to go back to Greece. There he worked as a journalist and critic for the newspaper “Demokratiki Allaghi” until it was banned by the military after a coup d’état…
Image of Tom Tykwer
47.
Tom Tykwer

Soundtrack, Run Lola Run
Image of Jim Jarmusch
49.
Jim Jarmusch

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.
Image of Jan Svankmajer
50.
Jan Svankmajer

Director, Greedy Guts
After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after becoming involved with the mixed-media productions of Prague’s Lanterna Magika Theatre…
Image of Christopher Nolan
51.
Christopher Nolan

Best known for his cerebral, often non-linear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of a decade plus of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever. At an early age…
Image of Youssef Chahine
52.
Youssef Chahine

Director, September 11
Youssef Chahine (born in Alexandria, Egypt, 1926) started studying in a friars’ school, and then turned to English College until the High School Certificate. After one year in the University of Alexandria, he moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Pasadena Play House, taking courses on film and dramatic arts…
Image of Georges Méliès
55.
Georges Méliès

Georges Melies, a professional magician by training, first saw the new “moving pictures” in 1895. Little over a year later, Melies was filming and projecting his own creations. By accident, he discovered that he could use stop-motion photography to render trick visual effects. Melies was also the first to use techniques such as the fade-in…
Image of Jean-Pierre Dardenne
56.
Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Producer, The Child
After studying drama in the arts institute, Jean Pierre Dardenne and his brother Luc made some videos about the rough life in blue-collar small towns in the Wallonie. After their meeting with filmmaker Armad Gatti and cinematographer Ned Burgess, they decided to enter in the movie business. In 1978 they shot their first documentary…
Image of Buster Keaton
57.
Buster Keaton

Actor, The General
Joseph Frank Keaton VI, was born in Piqua, Kansas, October 4, 1895 to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were vaudeville comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In their earliest days on stage they traveled with a medicine show which included illusionist Harry Houdini, a family friend…
Image of Paul Thomas Anderson
58.
Paul Thomas Anderson

Like Jean Renoir and Max Ophüls, Paul Thomas Anderson’s films are characterized by a constantly moving camera. Like François Truffaut and Martin Scorsese, his films are the work of a true “cineaste”, someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of film and film technique, who is able to make tried-and-true techniques as fresh and as vibrant as when D.W. Griffith first started to discover them…
Image of Michael Curtiz
59.
Michael Curtiz

Director, Casablanca
American director of Hungarian origin, Oscar-winner. He received his diploma from the School for Dramatic Arts in 1906. He then went to live in Pécs, then Szeged. He made his first film in 1912. The next year he went on a study tour to Denmark to study the newest achievements of the new art in the studios of the then flourishing Nordisk company…
Image of Carl Theodor Dreyer
60.
Carl Theodor Dreyer

The illegitimate son of a Swedish farmer and his housekeeper, Dreyer spent his early years in Danish foster homes before being adopted by a strict Lutheran family. He became a journalist in 1910, and entered films as a title writer, then scriptwriter and eventually director. His first film showed little promise or talent…
Image of Fatih Akin
61.
Fatih Akin

Director, Head-On
Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg of Turkish parentage. He began studying Visual Communications at Hamburg’s College of Fine Arts in 1994. His collaboration with Wueste Film also dates from this time. In 1995, he wrote and directed his first short feature, “Sensin – You’re The One!” (“Sensin – Du Bist Es!”)…
Image of Asghar Farhadi
62.
Asghar Farhadi

Writer, A Separation
Asghar Farhadi was born in 1972 in Iran. He became interested in cinema in his teenage years and started his filmmaking education by joining the Youth Cinema Society of Esfahan in 1986 where he made 8mm and 16mm short films. He received his Bachelors in Theater from University of Tehran’s School of…
Image of Alejandro González Iñárritu
64.
Alejandro González Iñárritu

Director, Babel
Alejandro González Iñárritu was born in Mexico City on August 15, 1963 to Hector González Gama and Luz María Iñárritu. Though raised in middle class neighborhood in downtown Mexico City their family was shaken when his successful father, a banker, declared bankruptcy, forcing them into lesser circumstances…
Image of Ki-duk Kim
65.
Ki-duk Kim

He studied fine arts in Paris in 1990-1992. In 1993 he won the award for best screenplay from the Educational Institute of Screenwriting with A Painter and A Criminal Condemned to Death. After two more screenplay awards, he made his directorial debut with _Ag-o (1996)_. Then he went on to directWild Animals
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