[Film director] Biographies & Profiles

Homi Adajania

Film Director, Writer

Robert Dornhelm

Film director

Paul Henreid

Paul Henreid was an Austrian actor, director, producer and writer, famous for his roles in the movies Casablanca and Now, Voyager. He was born in 1914 and started his career in Austria before emigrating to the United States in 1937. His first American role was in the film Joy of Living in 1938. He achieved international fame with his roles in Casablanca and Now, Voyager which both released in 1942 and 1943. Henreid also starred in other films such as Of Human Bondage, Delilah and Dead Ringer. Throughout his career, he was also a writer and producer, his works including the film Tomorrow is Forever. He strived to bring quality and integrity to his works, making sure that people's feelings were respected. Paul Henreid passed away in 1992 at the age of 77. He is remembered for his exceptional performances and overall talent.

Morgan Pehme

Film director, Screenwriter

Bruce Kessler

Film director

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an acclaimed Indian filmmaker, director, screenwriter, and music composer who has won several awards, including four National Film Awards, ten Filmfare Awards and a BAFTA nomination, as well as the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award. He has directed successful films such as Khamoshi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Black, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Mary Kom, Bajirao Mastani, and Padmaavat, which have all been critically praised and have gone on to become some of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. His most recent work, Gangubai Kathiawadi, focused on a female protagonist and received both critical acclaim and commercial success. He also produces films under his own Bhansali Productions banner.

Jack Garfein

Film director

Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer, and screenwriter renowned for pioneering the Spaghetti Western genre and being one of the most influential directors in cinema history. His films, such as the Dollars Trilogy of Westerns starring Clint Eastwood (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and the Once Upon a Time series (Once Upon a Time in the West, Duck, You Sucker!, and Once Upon a Time in America), feature extreme close-up shots and lengthy long shots which have become synonymous with his filmmaking style.

Tosca Musk

Tosca Musk is a South African filmmaker, executive producer and director who co-founded the streaming service Passionflix. She has worked on films such as K. Bromberg's Driven and Rachel van Dyken's Matchmaker's Playbook, plus her own web series, Tiki Bar TV. Tosca is the younger sister of tech moguls Elon and Kimbal Musk, and daughter of designer Maye Musk and engineer Errol Musk.

Jeethu Joseph

Film director, Screenwriter

Frank Capra

Frank Capra was an Italian-American director, producer, and writer who achieved great success in the 1930s and 1940s. He rose from a poor background to become an influential director, winning three Academy Awards for Best Director and other Oscar wins, and his iconic films such as It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Capra then served in the US Army Signal Corps during World War II, producing propaganda films before his career declined after the war though critics later revisited his films favorably. Apart from directing, he was also a prominent fixture in the film industry, serving as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and working with the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

Ed Harris

Edward Allen Harris is an acclaimed American actor and filmmaker. He has been nominated for Academy Awards for his performances in Apollo 13, The Truman Show, Pollock, The Hours, and more recently The Lost Daughter. He has received critical acclaim for his roles in The Right Stuff, The Abyss, State of Grace, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Firm and Nixon, as well as for directing the Western film Appaloosa. On television, Harris is known for his roles as Miles Roby in Empire Falls, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, and as US Senator John McCain in the television movie Game Change, for which he earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. He currently stars in HBO's science fiction-Western series Westworld.

David Lean

Sir David Lean CBE was a renowned British film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor, widely considered one of the most important figures in British cinema. Over his career, he directed the epics The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India, as well as adaptations of two Charles Dickens novels (Great Expectations and Oliver Twist) and the romantic drama Brief Encounter. Beginning as a film editor in the 1930s, his first directorial effort was 1942's In Which We Serve, the first of four collaborations with Noël Coward. With 1955's Summertime, he began making internationally co-produced films financed by the big Hollywood studios; however, after a critical failure in 1970, he took a fourteen-year break from filmmaking before returning with A Passage to India in 1984. Highly acclaimed for his inventive editing techniques, Lean received 9th place in the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound poll of the "Directors' Top Directors" in 2002 and won Best Director for The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, both of which are included in the BFI's Top 100 British Films. He was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1990.

Aaron Norris

Film director

Christopher Reeve

Christopher D'Olier Reeve was an American actor known for playing Superman in four films. He was also an author, environmental and human-rights activist, and philanthropist. He began his career on Broadway, went on to appear in critically acclaimed movies such as The Bostonians, Street Smart, and The Remains of the Day, and wrote two autobiographical books. In 1995, he suffered a severe spinal injury during an equestrian competition which left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Despite this adversity, Reeve returned to creative work, lobbying for stem-cell research, founding the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. For his work, he received several awards including a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Emmy Award, and a Grammy Award. Reeve died on October 10, 2004.

Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan was an American film and theatre director, producer, screenwriter and actor known for his "issue" films exploring personal and social issues of the time. He co-founded the Actors Studio and introduced "Method Acting" under the direction of Lee Strasberg, as well as influencing later films of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1952 he testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which caused controversy throughout his career. He was highly praised by Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Ian Freer and many others for his work and for his influence on acting and directing.

Bo Johan Renck

Bo Johan Renck is a Swedish director of music videos, TV and film, originally a singer-songwriter from 1991 to 2001, using the moniker Stakka Bo and having an international hit with his single "Here We Go" in 1993. His work as a director earned him an Emmy Award in 2019 for his work on the mini-series Chernobyl.

Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Niitsu, better known as Makoto Shinkai, is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, author, and manga artist. He began his career as a game animator with Nihon Falcom in 1996, and gained recognition with the release of his original video animation "She and Her Cat". Since then, he has been associated with CoMix Wave Films and has released several successful animated films such as "Voices of a Distant Star", "The Place Promised in Our Early Days", "5 Centimeters per Second", "Children Who Chase Lost Voices", and "The Garden of Words". His 2016 fantasy romance "Your Name" was the highest-grossing anime film of all time, and he followed it up with the successful "Weathering with You" in 2019 and his upcoming film "Suzume" in 2022.

John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes was an influential actor and filmmaker who helped pioneer American independent cinema. His acting work in Hollywood films such as Edge of the City, The Dirty Dozen and Rosemary's Baby played an instrumental role in financing his directing career, which saw the creation of his iconic works Faces, Husbands, A Woman Under the Influence, Opening Night and Love Streams. His films, characterized by an improvisational, cinéma vérité aesthetic, emphasized character relationships and raw emotions over traditional storytelling or stylization. His contributions to film were rewarded with an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for The Dirty Dozen and nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Faces and A Woman Under the Influence respectively. The Independent Spirit Awards created the John Cassavetes Award in his honor.

Apoorva Lakhia

Film Director, Writer, Producer

Raja Amari

Film director

Vittorio Gassman

Vittorio Gassman Knight Grand Cross OMRI , popularly known as Il Mattatore, was an Italian actor, director and screenwriter. He is considered one of the greatest Italian actors, whose career includes both important productions as well as dozens of divertissements.

Robby Benson

Film director

Dyan Cannon

Film director

George C. Scott

George C. Scott was an American actor, director and producer with a celebrated career on both stage and screen. He is most known for his portrayal of stern but complex authority figures such as General Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Lt. Kinderman in The Exorcist III and his Oscar-winning role as General George S. Patton in the biopic Patton. His performances won him widespread recognition and numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe, a Genie Award and two Primetime Emmys. In addition to his film roles, Scott had a prominent stage career, earning five Tony nominations for Best Actor in a Play, and directing several of his own films and plays. He was described by The Guardian as “a battler and an actor of rare courage”.

Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau was an American actor, comedian and film director who was best known for his roles in A Face in the Crowd, King Creole, The Bad News Bears, and 10 films alongside Jack Lemmon. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Fortune Cookie and received two British Academy Film Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. He also starred in Broadway productions of The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, Kotch, Charley Varrick, The Sunshine Boys, and Hopscotch, as well as Stanley Donen's Charade, Gene Kelly's Hello, Dolly!, Elaine May's A New Leaf and Herbert Ross' California Suite. In 1982, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Casey Neistat

Casey Owen Neistat is an American YouTube personality, filmmaker, vlogger and co-founder of the multimedia company Beme, which was later acquired by CNN. In 2018, he founded 368, a creative space for creators to collaborate with each other.

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is an acclaimed American film director, writer, and producer. He is a major figure of the New Hollywood era, and a pioneer of the modern blockbuster. He has won numerous awards for his work, including three Academy Awards, a Kennedy Center honor, four Directors Guild of America Awards, two BAFTA Awards, a Cecil B. DeMille Award, and an AFI Life Achievement Award. Seven of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry. Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, before studying film in college. He directed several episodes for television, before making his directorial debut with the movie The Sugarland Express. He became a household name with the 1975 summer blockbuster Jaws and continued directing box office successes such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and Indiana Jones trilogy. Spielberg went on to explore drama in The Color Purple and Empire of the Sun, before taking a hiatus and returning with the sci-fi thriller Jurassic Park, followed by the Holocaust drama Schindler’s List. He has also produced many successful films and TV series, and has worked with the composer John Williams in all but five of his feature films. Several of those works are among the highest-grossing and greatest films of all time.

Justin Theroux

Justin Paul Theroux is a renowned American actor and filmmaker who has gained widespread recognition for his work with director David Lynch in films such as Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, as well as for his appearances in comedies like Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, American Psycho, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Strangers with Candy, and Wanderlust. He is also a screenwriter for films including Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2, and Rock of Ages. In addition, Theroux has garnered critical acclaim for his role as Kevin Garvey in the HBO mystery drama series The Leftovers and Dr. James Mantleray in the Netflix comedy drama miniseries Maniac. Most recently, he played the lead, Allie Fox in the Apple TV+ adaptation of The Mosquito Coast based on the novel by his uncle Paul Theroux.

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo is an American actor and producer who has had a successful career spanning the early 1990s to present day, including work in Kenneth Lonergan's play This Is Our Youth, the drama film You Can Count on Me, the romantic comedies 13 Going on 30 and Just like Heaven, and Zodiac, In the Cut and Shutter Island. He has also been recognised for his superhero roles as Bruce Banner / Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a TV Movie, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. Ruffalo is one of the few performers to receive all four EGOT nominations.

Gia Coppola

Gian-Carla Coppola is an American film director and screenwriter. She is a granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola, the daughter of Jacqui de la Fontaine and Gian-Carlo Coppola and the niece of Roman Coppola and Sofia Coppola.

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is an accomplished American television screenwriter, producer, author and executive producer best known for her work on Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal and other television shows. She has been named in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world three times, published her memoir Year of Yes in 2015 and has recently signed a multi-year development deal with Netflix for upcoming productions.

Joss Whedon

Joseph Hill Whedon is an American filmmaker, composer, comic book writer, and showrunner best known for creating the supernatural drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, the short-lived space Western Firefly, the Internet musical miniseries Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the science fiction drama Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Nevers; writing and directing The Avengers and its sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron; co-writing and producing Toy Story, Alien Resurrection, Serenity, The Cabin in the Woods, and Much Ado About Nothing; and contributing to Justice League. He has also worked as a composer and comic book writer. However, multiple actors have accused him of abusive behavior on film and television sets, which he has denied.

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Edward Nolan CBE is a highly acclaimed British-American filmmaker who has received several accolades, including being listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and being appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. His films, which are known for their complex storytelling and have grossed over $5 billion worldwide, often explore ethics and the construction of time, as well as the malleable nature of memory and personal identity and are infused with mathematical images and concepts, unconventional narrative structures, practical special effects, experimental soundscapes, large-format film photography, and materialistic perspectives. Nolan developed his interest in filmmaking from a young age and has co-written several of his films with his brother Jonathan, and leads the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife Emma Thomas.

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler is an acclaimed American film director, producer, screenwriter and co-founder of Proximity Media. He has been recognized for centering on often overlooked cultures and characters, particularly African Americans. In 2013 he was included in Time Magazine’s 30 people under 30 who are changing the world. His work has won numerous awards, including four NAACP Image Awards, four Black Reel Awards, a Golden Globe Award nomination, two Academy Award nominations and a Cannes Film Festival award for Best First Film. Notable films include Fruitvale Station, Creed and Black Panther, the latter of which broke several box office records as the highest-grossing film of all time by an African American director. He frequently collaborates with actor Michael B. Jordan and composer Ludwig Göransson.

Sam Taylor-Johnson

Samantha Taylor-Johnson OBE is a British artist, photographer and film director. She first gained recognition as part of the Young British Artists group, and made her directorial debut with 'Nowhere Boy' in 2009, a movie based on John Lennon's childhood. Taylor-Johnson has since gone on to direct several other successful films such as 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and 'A Million Little Pieces'. Her work has earned her several awards and she was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her contribution to the arts.

Felix Van Groeningen

Film director, Screenwriter

Damien Chazelle

Damien Sayre Chazelle is a French-American film director, screenwriter and producer who is best known for directing the Academy Award-winning film La La Land and other critically acclaimed films such as Whiplash, First Man, and Babylon. He was the youngest person to win the Academy Award for Best Director at age 32 for his work on La La Land, which earned 14 nominations in total. Chazelle also made his television debut with the Netflix limited series The Eddy.

Alfonso Cuarón

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco is a Mexican filmmaker who is renowned for his films in a variety of genres, from family dramas such as A Little Princess and Great Expectations, to fantasy films like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, to science fiction films like Children of Men and Gravity. He has won five Academy Awards, including Best Director for Gravity and Roma, Best Film Editing for Gravity, and Best Cinematography for Roma, making him the first Mexican filmmaker to win the Best Director award, and one of the two persons nominated for Academy Awards in seven different categories.

Tim Burton

Timothy Walter Burton is an American filmmaker, animator, and poet, best known for directing gothic fantasy and horror films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as the superhero films Batman and Batman Returns, the sci-fi film Planet of the Apes, and the musical adventure Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has worked with actors Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter, and composer Danny Elfman, who has provided scores for all but three of Burton's films. Burton has been nominated for two Academy Awards and three BAFTA Awards, winning an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. He has published a poetry book titled The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, and a compilation of his drawings and artwork, The Art of Tim Burton. The Napkin Art of Tim Burton: Things You Think About in a Bar, containing sketches made by Burton on napkins, was released to critical acclaim in 2015.

Kyle Newman

Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Editor

James DeMonaco

Film Director, Screenwriter, Producer

Justin Simien

Film director, Screenwriter, Actor, Television producer

Danny Boyle

Daniel Francis Boyle is a highly esteemed English director and producer known for his works such as Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Steve Jobs, and Yesterday. His debut film Shallow Grave won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film, while Trainspotting was ranked by the British Film Institute as the 10th greatest British film of the 20th century. His 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won eight, including the Academy Award for Best Director, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the 2008 Austin Film Festival. In 2012, Boyle acted as artistic director for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and in 2014 he was announced as patron of HOME in Manchester, although he declined a knighthood due to his republican beliefs.

Aditya Chopra

Aditya Chopra is a renowned Indian film producer, film distributor, and studio executive. He is the Chairman of Yash Raj Films, India's multi-national film, media, and entertainment conglomerate. Due to the success of his films, Chopra has become the highest grossing Indian film producer of all time. His achievements were honored by the Film Division of India with the National Award in 1995, 2005, 2007, and 2015. Known for his influential role in Indian entertainment, Chopra has rejected the fame and publicity that comes with being Yash Chopra's son and the head of Yash Raj Films.

Yash Chopra

Yash Raj Chopra was a visionary Indian film director and producer, who was responsible for some of the best known and highly acclaimed films in Hindi cinema. He won numerous awards including 6 National Film Awards, 8 Filmfare Awards, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Padma Bhushan, and was the first Indian to receive a lifetime membership from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Beginning his career by assisting his brother and renowned director B.R. Chopra, Yash Raj Chopra made his directorial debut with 'Dhool Ka Phool' (1959). He attained prominence with 'Waqt' (1965) which is credited with pioneering the concept of ensemble casts. He then founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films, which produced 'Daag: A Poem of Love' (1973), 'Deewaar' (1975), 'Kabhi Kabhie' (1976), 'Trishul' (1978) and 'Chandni' (1989). His last three movies, 'Darr' (1993), 'Dil To Pagal Hai' (1997), 'Veer-Zaara' (2004) and 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' (2012) starring Shahrukh Khan, reaffirmed his status as one of the all-time best directors in the Hindi cinema industry. Sadly, Chopra died of dengue fever during the production of 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' in 2012, leaving behind a legacy of masterpieces.


Film Director, Film Producer, Screenwriter

Bong Joon-ho

Bong Joon-ho is a South Korean film director, producer and screenwriter highly acclaimed for his films that emphasize social themes, genre-mixing, black humor and sudden tone shifts. His directorial debut Barking Dogs Never Bite achieved cult following, while subsequent films such as Memories of Murder, The Host, Snowpiercer and Parasite have become highly successful and are among the highest-grossing films in South Korea. His films Okja and Parasite both screened in competition at Cannes Film Festival, with Parasite earning him his first Palme d'Or for a South Korean film as well as four Academy Awards - Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay making it the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. Bong was included on Metacritic's list of the 25 best film directors of the 21st century and Time's annual list of 100 Most Influential People and Bloomberg 50 in 2020.

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