Directors to watch

by MrFilmJunkie | created - 22 Jan 2012 | updated - 25 May 2015 | Public

1. 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...

2. David Cronenberg

Director | The Fly

David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...

3. 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 ...

4. Jonathan Levine

Writer | The Wackness

Jonathan Levine is a writer and director, known for The Wackness (2008), 50/50 (2011) and The Night Before (2015).

5. Brad Anderson

Director | Session 9

Brad Anderson was born in 1964 in Madison, Connecticut, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Session 9 (2001), The Machinist (2004) and Transsiberian (2008).

6. Sean Ellis

Writer | Cashback

Sean Ellis was born in 1970 in Brighton, Sussex, England. He is a writer and director, known for Cashback (2006), Anthropoid (2016) and Metro Manila (2013).

7. Alexandre Bustillo

Writer | À l'intérieur

Alexandre Bustillo is a writer and director, known for Inside (2007), ABCs of Death 2 (2014) and Aux yeux des vivants (2014).

8. Alexandre Aja

Director | Haute tension

Alexandre Aja was born on August 7, 1978 in Paris, France as Alexandre Jouan Arcady. He is a producer and director, known for High Tension (2003), Piranha 3D (2010) and The Hills Have Eyes (2006). He is married to Laïla Marrakchi.

9. Eli Roth

Actor | Inglourious Basterds

Eli Raphael Roth was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Cora (Bialis), a painter, and Sheldon H. Roth, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and clinical professor. His family is Jewish (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland). He began shooting Super 8 films at the age of eight, after watching Ridley ...

10. Tobe Hooper

Director | The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror (2005).

Tobe Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, to Lois Belle (Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He spent the 1960s as a college ...

11. Duncan Jones

Director | Moon

Duncan Jones was born on May 30, 1971 in Bromley, Kent, England as Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. He is a director and writer, known for Moon (2009), Source Code (2011) and Warcraft (2016). He has been married to Rodene Ronquillo since November 6, 2012. They have one child.

12. Lars von Trier

Writer | Dancer in the Dark

Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...

13. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

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...

14. Gregg Araki

Director | Mysterious Skin

Gregg Araki was born on December 17, 1959 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Mysterious Skin (2004), Kaboom (2010) and White Bird in a Blizzard (2014).

15. Aku Louhimies

Director | Tuntematon sotilas

Aku Louhimies is an award-winning director and screenwriter. Over the last decade his highly acclaimed, commercially successful films have established him as one of the most preeminent directors of Scandinavian cinema today.

Accomplished in both film and television, Louhimies' works have ...

16. Lukas Moodysson

Writer | Fucking Åmål

Lukas Moodysson was born on January 17, 1969 in Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden as Karl Frederik Lukas Moodysson. He is a writer and director, known for Show Me Love (1998), Lilya 4-Ever (2002) and Vi är bäst! (2013). He has been married to Coco Moodysson since 1994. They have three children.

17. 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...

18. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Shallow Grave (1994).

19. Pascal Laugier

Director | Martyrs

Pascal Laugier is a director and writer, known for Martyrs (2008), The Tall Man (2012) and Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001).

20. Philip Ridley

Writer | The Reflecting Skin

Philip was born in the East End of London where he still lives and works. He studied painting at St Martin's School of Art and has exhibited widely throughout Europe. As a novelist his credits include Crocodilia (1988), In The Eyes Of Mr. Fury (Penguin, 1989), Flamingoes In Orbit (Hamish Hamilton, ...

22. Chan-wook Park

Director | Ah-ga-ssi

Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for Ah-ga-ssi (2016), Oldeuboi (2003) and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002).

23. Hélène Cattet

Director | Amer

Hélène Cattet is a director and writer, known for Amer (2009), The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013) and The ABCs of Death (2012).

24. Oskar Roehler

Writer | Die Unberührbare

Oskar Roehler was born on January 21, 1959 in Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany. He is a writer and director, known for Die Unberührbare (2000), Agnes and His Brothers (2004) and Silvester Countdown (1997). He has been married to Alexandra Fischer-Roehler since August 2000.

25. Ole Bornedal

Writer | Nattevagten

Ole Bornedal was born 1959 in Noerresundby, Denmark. From the time he was fourteen he knew he wanted to become a filmmaker. However, not being able to get into The Danish Film School, he had to create his own career and after a few years of University Studies in Film, he started working for The ...

26. Banjong Pisanthanakun

Director | Shutter

Banjong Pisanthanakun is a director and writer, known for Shutter (2004), Alone (2007) and Kuan meun ho (2010).

27. Parkpoom Wongpoom

Writer | Shutter

Parkpoom Wongpoom was born on September 23, 1978 in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a writer and director, known for Shutter (2004), Alone (2007) and See prang (2008).

29. Ki-duk Kim

Writer | Bin-jip

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 direct ...

30. Christopher Nolan

Writer | The Prestige

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

32. Tetsuya Nakashima

Director | Kokuhaku

Tetsuya Nakashima was born on September 2, 1959 in Fukuoka, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Kokuhaku (2010), Kiraware Matsuko no isshô (2006) and Shimotsuma monogatari (2004).

33. James Wan

Producer | The Conjuring 2

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

34. Jaume Collet-Serra

Director | The Shallows

Jaume Collet-Serra was born on March 23, 1974 in Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. He is a director and producer, known for The Shallows (2016), Unknown (2011) and Orphan (2009).

35. Tarsem Singh

Director | The Fall

Indian director Tarsem Singh is the son of an aircraft engineer. He was educated at Bishop Cotton Boy's School in Shimla and relocated to the USA to study business at Harvard and, significantly, film studies at the Art Center College of Design in California. Upon graduating he embarked on a career ...

36. Roger Avary

Producer | The Rules of Attraction

Award-winning filmmaker Roger Avary first began experimenting in Beta I video and 8mm film formats during the late 1970s. In 1983, his Super-8mm supernatural thriller The Worm Turns won Best Film from the Los Angeles Film Teachers Association Film Expo. He went on to attend the Pasadena Art Center ...

37. Richard Linklater

Director | Waking Life

Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...

38. Sean Byrne

Director | The Loved Ones

Sean hails from Hobart, Tasmania. The Loved Ones (2009) is his first feature and has achieved official selection at over twenty international film festivals, winning the People's Choice Award, Midnight Madness Category, Toronto International Film Festival (2009) and The Siren Award for Best ...

39. Gus Van Sant

Director | Elephant

Gus Van Sant was born on July 24, 1952 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Gus Greene Van Sant Junior. He is a producer and director, known for Elephant (2003), My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).

40. Michael Haneke

Writer | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

41. Christoffer Boe

Director | Reconstruction

Christoffer Boe was born on May 7, 1974 in Rungsted Kyst, Denmark. He is a director and writer, known for Reconstruction (2003), Beast (2011) and Allegro (2005).

42. Fabrice du Welz

Director | Alléluia

Fabrice du Welz was born on October 21, 1972 in Belgium. He is a director and writer, known for Alléluia (2014), Vinyan (2008) and Calvaire (2004).

43. Gaspar Noé

Director | Irréversible

Gaspar Noé was born on December 27, 1963 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a director and producer, known for Irreversible (2002), Enter the Void (2009) and I Stand Alone (1998).

44. Roman Polanski

Actor | Chinatown

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 was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...

45. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

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 ...

46. Michel Gondry

Director | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

He grew up in Versailles with a family who was very influenced by pop music. When he was young, Gondry wanted to be a painter or an inventor. In the 80s he entered in an art school in Paris where he could develop his graphic skills and where he also met friends with whom he created a pop-rock band ...

47. Charlie Kaufman

Writer | Anomalisa

Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon ...

48. Christopher Smith

Director | Triangle

Christopher Smith was born in 1970 in Bristol, England. He is a director and writer, known for Triangle (2009), Severance (2006) and Black Death (2010).

49. Simon Rumley

Director | Fashionista

Simon Rumley was born in 1970 in England. He is a director and writer, known for Fashionista (2016), Red White & Blue (2010) and Once Upon a Time in London (2018).

50. Aharon Keshales

Director | Big Bad Wolves

Aharon Keshales was born on April 16, 1976 in Jaffa, Israel. He is a director and writer, known for Big Bad Wolves (2013), Rabies (2010) and ABCs of Death 2 (2014).

51. Jon Knautz

Director | Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

In early high school, Jon began developing his filmmaking craft. After gaining experience in directing, producing, camera, writing, and editing, Jon completed the Film Foundation program at the Vancouver Film School. Jon's first short film Apt. 310 played eleven film festivals and garnered two ...

52. Sevé Schelenz

Editorial_department | Peelers

Sevé Schelenz is known for his work on Peelers (2016), Skew (2011) and Santa Buddies (2009).

53. Werner Herzog

Director | Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for...

54. Drew Goddard

Producer | The Martian

Drew Goddard was raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He attended Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos, New Mexico and graduated in 1993. He then attended the University of Colorado, and worked as a production assistant in L.A. after graduation. A spec script Drew wrote based on Six Feet Under (2001) ...

55. Quentin Dupieux

Director | Rubber

Quentin Dupieux is a director and writer, known for Rubber (2010), Wrong (2012) and Réalité (2014).

56. Fede Alvarez

Director | Don't Breathe

Fede Alvarez was born on February 9, 1978 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He is a director and writer, known for Don't Breathe (2016), Evil Dead (2013) and El Cojonudo (2005).

57. Jeremy Gardner

Actor | The Battery

Jeremy Gardner is an actor and director, known for The Battery (2012), Tex Montana Will Survive! (2015) and Spring (2014).

58. Vincenzo Natali

Director | Cube

Vincenzo Natali was born on January 6, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is known for his work on Cube (1997), Cypher (2002) and Splice (2009).

59. 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).

60. Steven Quale

Director | Final Destination 5

Steven Quale is known for his work on Final Destination 5 (2011), Into the Storm (2014) and Avatar (2009).

61. Denis Villeneuve

Director | Arrival

Denis Villeneuve is a French Canadian film director and writer. He was born in 1967, in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. He started is career as a filmmaker at the National Film Board of Canada. He is best known for his feature films Arrival (2016), Sicario (2015), Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013) and...

62. Jamin Winans

Director | Ink

Jamin Winans is a director and writer, known for Ink (2009), Spin (2005) and The Frame (2014).

63. J.-P. Valkeapää

Director | He ovat paenneet

J.-P. Valkeapää was born in 1977 in Porvoo, Finland as Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää. He is a director and writer, known for He ovat paenneet (2014), Muukalainen (2008) and Keinu (2003).

64. Scott Schirmer

Director | Found

Scott Schirmer studied film theory, video production and screen writing at Indiana University, where he received a scholarship for his achievements in video art and a university grant to produce short films. Scott's first feature was the coming-of-age horror film 'Found,' winner of 15 best picture ...