Top 60 Australian & New Zealand directors

by minalex | created - 23 Nov 2012 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

The list includes two British and one American director for their contribution in the early days of Australian cinema.

2. Raymond Longford

Director | The Mutiny of the Bounty

Raymond Longford was born on September 23, 1878 in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia as John Walter Longford. He was a director and writer, known for The Mutiny of the Bounty (1916), The Sentimental Bloke (1919) and The Dinkum Bloke (1923). He was married to Emilie Elizabeth Anschutz and Melena Louisa ...

4. Ken G. Hall

Director | The Exploits of the Emden

Ken G. Hall was born on February 22, 1901 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Kenneth George Hall. He was a director and producer, known for The Exploits of the Emden (1928), Timberland Terror (1937) and The Farmer Goes to Town (1938). He was married to Irene Addison. He died on February 8, ...

5. Charles Chauvel

Director | Jedda

Charles Chauvel was born in Queensland, Australia in 1897 to land owners in the south. After minding his family's farm while his father was at war with the Australian Light Horse in Sinai, he went to Sydney against his father's wishes to study drama. After some work in the movies looking after ...

6. Harry Watt

Director | The Siege of Pinchgut

Scottish-born director Harry Watt began his career in the 1930s, and directed several documentaries during World War II, most notably Target for Tonight (1941). He went to Ealing Studios after the war, and the five films he made there were all shot in Africa or Australia. He turned to directing ...

7. Tim Burstall

Director | Stork

Tim Burstall was born on April 20, 1927 in Stockton-on-Tees, England. He was a director and producer, known for Stork (1971), End Play (1976) and Libido (1973). He was married to Neela Dey and Betty Rogers. He died on April 19, 2004 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

8. Jim Sharman

Director | The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Jim Sharman spent much of his young life at the circus, where his father and grandfather ran a travelling boxing sideshow. Taking an interest in theatre, he attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, graduating in 1966. Sharman became interested in directing experimental theatre. ...

9. Ken Hannam

Director | Sunday Too Far Away

Ken Hannam was born on July 12, 1929 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was a director and producer, known for Sunday Too Far Away (1975), Dawn! (1979) and Wandjina! (1966). He was married to Madlena Nedeva, Wendy Dickson and Lena Melocco. He died on November 16, 2004 in London, England.

10. Yoram Gross

Producer | Dot and the Bunny

Yoram Gross is Australia's leading animation Producer and Director. Internationally acclaimed for his films and television series, Yoram has established a world-wide reputation for the adaptation of children's characters from books and films to animation that win the hearts of children worldwide. ...

11. Richard Franklin

Director | Hotel Sorrento

Writer, director and producer Richard Franklin was born on July 15, 1948 in Melbourne, Australia. Infatuated with cinema at an early age, Franklin first began making 8mm films at age 10. Franklin saw Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" two years later and was hooked on movies for life. Richard enrolled at ...

12. Colin Eggleston

Director | Long Weekend

Colin Eggleston was born on September 23, 1941 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Colin Richard Francis Eggleston. He was a director and writer, known for Long Weekend (1978), Innocent Prey (1984) and Homicide (1964). He was married to Dimity Reed and Briony Behets. He died on August 10, 2002 in ...

13. Gillian Armstrong

Director | My Brilliant Career

Gillian Armstrong was born on December 18, 1950 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Gillian May Armstrong. She is a director and producer, known for My Brilliant Career (1979), Not Fourteen Again (1996) and Little Women (1994). She is married to John Pleffer. They have two children.

14. Graeme Clifford

Editor | Don't Look Now

Graeme Clifford was born on September 27, 1942 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Graeme David Clifford. He is a director and editor, known for Don't Look Now (1973), Frances (1982) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

15. Ken Annakin

Director | The Longest Day

A former salesman and journalist, Ken Annakin got into the film industry making documentary shorts. His feature debut, Holiday Camp (1947), was a comedy about a Cockney family on vacation. It was made for the Rank Organization and was a modest success, spawning three sequels, all of which he ...

16. George Miller

Director | The Man from Snowy River

Not to be confused with another Australian director, George Miller, of the Mad Max movies.

British-Australian director, not to be confused with George Miller

17. Geoff Murphy

Director | The Quiet Earth

Geoff Murphy was born on June 13, 1946 in New Zealand. He is a director and actor, known for The Quiet Earth (1985), Dante's Peak (1997) and Utu (1984). He was previously married to Merata Mita.

18. Fred Schepisi

Director | Empire Falls

Fred Schepisi began his production career in the advertising world in Melbourne, Australia, where he served as head of the Film House for almost 20 years, directing both commercials and documentaries. His first feature-length film was the semi-autobiographical 'The Devil's Playground' (1976) which ...

19. George Ogilvie

Director | Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

George Ogilvie was born on March 5, 1931 in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia as George Buchan Ogilvie. He is a director and actor, known for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), The Water Diviner (2014) and Blue Heelers (1994).

20. Russell Mulcahy

Director | Highlander II: The Quickening

Dynamic film/video director Russell Mulcahy was born June 23, 1953, in Melbourne, Australia. He first gained fame directing visually striking music video clips for such artists as Elton John, Duran Duran, The Buggles and Bonnie Tyler. He is also well known for feature films, starting off with the ...

21. Peter Faiman

Director | Crocodile Dundee

He was awarded the A.M. (Member of the Order of Australia) in the 1981 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to the media, particularly in the field of television production.

22. Nadia Tass

Director | Malcolm

Nadia Tass started her career as an actress in the acclaimed TV series "Prisoner," which ran for an unprecedented 692 episodes, while simultaneously directing in Australian theatre. Her 1986 debut feature Malcolm was a worldwide smash, winning 21 international awards and 8 AFI Awards. It starred ...

23. Paul Cox

Director | Innocence

Paul Cox was born on April 16, 1940 in Venlo, Limburg, Netherlands as Paulus Henrique Benedictus Cox. He was a director and writer, known for Innocence (2000), My First Wife (1984) and Man of Flowers (1983). He was married to Juliet Bacskai. He died on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Victoria, ...

24. Bruce Beresford

Director | 'Breaker' Morant

Bruce Beresford was born in Australia and graduated from Sydney University in 1962. He served as Film Officer for the British Film Institute Production Board from 1966-1971 and as a Film Advisor to the Arts Council of Great Britain. Beresford has also directed several operas including Girl Of The ...

25. Ann Turner

Writer | Celia

Ann Turner was born in 1960 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. She is a writer and producer, known for Celia (1989), Irresistible (2006) and Dallas Doll (1994).

26. Jocelyn Moorhouse

Writer | The Dressmaker

Jocelyn Moorhouse was born on September 4, 1960 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Jocelyn Denise Moorhouse. She is a writer and director, known for The Dressmaker (2015), Proof (1991) and Muriel's Wedding (1994). She is married to P.J. Hogan.

27. George Miller

Producer | Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor. He is best known for his Mad Max franchise, with The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) being hailed as amongst the greatest action films of all time. Aside from the Mad Max films, Miller...

28. Vincent Ward

Director | The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

Vincent Ward has produced, executive produced and/or written and directed feature films including What Dreams May Come (Which won an Oscar and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards), The River Queen (Won best film in Shanghai) and The Last Samurai (4 Academy Award nominations and winner of Best ...

30. Jane Campion

Writer | The Piano

Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...

31. Lee Tamahori

Director | Once Were Warriors

Beginning as a commercial artist and photographer, he joined the New Zealand film industry in the late 1970s as a boom operator. He became an assistant director a decade later. Making international award-winning commercials for 10 years, he has also directed several TV series. His first feature ...

32. Chris Noonan

Writer | Babe

Chris Noonan was born on November 14, 1952 in Sydney, Australia as Christopher Noonan. He is a writer and director, known for Babe (1995), Stepping Out (1980) and Miss Potter (2006).

33. Costa Botes

Camera_department | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Costa Botes is a director and producer, known for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Stalin's Sickle (1987) and Bad Taste (1987).

34. Scott Hicks

Director | Shine

Hicks was born in Uganda and lived in Kenya, just outside Nairobi, until the age of ten. His family then moved, first to England and, when he was 14, on to Adelaide, Australia. Hicks graduated from Flinders University of South Australia (BA Honors) in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in ...

35. John Duigan

Writer | The Year My Voice Broke

Duigan emigrated to Australia in 1961, having been born to an Australian father. He is related to many Australian performers, being the husband of Nammi Le, brother of novelist Virginia Duigan (wife of director Bruce Beresford) and uncle of Trilby Beresford.

Duigan studied at Melbourne University, ...

36. Peter Weir

Director | Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Peter Weir was born on August 21, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Peter Lindsay Weir. He is a director and writer, known for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Witness (1985) and The Truman Show (1998). He has been married to Wendy Stites since 1966. They have two...

37. Alex Proyas

Director | Dark City

Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music videos to feature films. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old. He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and ...

38. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

39. Baz Luhrmann

Writer | Moulin Rouge!

Baz's parents did Ballroom competitions, thus growing up around the very subject matter of his first three films.

40. Andrew Adamson

Director | Shrek 2

Andrew Adamson was born on December 1, 1966 in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a producer and director, known for Shrek 2 (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Shrek (2001). He has been married to Gyulnara Karaeva since January 16, 2016. He was previously ...

41. Niki Caro

Director | Whale Rider

Niki Caro was born in 1967 in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a director and writer, known for Whale Rider (2002), North Country (2005) and McFarland, USA (2015).

42. Phillip Noyce

Director | The Giver

Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of 12. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was 18 when he made his first film, the 15...

43. P.J. Hogan

Writer | Muriel's Wedding

P.J. Hogan was born on November 30, 1962 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia as Paul John Hogan. He is a writer and director, known for Muriel's Wedding (1994), The Dressmaker (2015) and Peter Pan (2003). He is married to Jocelyn Moorhouse.

44. 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)...

45. James McTeigue

Director | V for Vendetta

James McTeigue is an assistant director and director, known for V for Vendetta (2005), The Raven (2012) and Ninja Assassin (2009).

46. 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 ...

47. Neil Armfield

Director | Candy

Neil Armfield was born on April 22, 1955 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Neil Geoffrey Armfield. He is known for his work on Candy (2006), Holding the Man (2015) and Twelfth Night (1987).

48. Andrew Dominik

Director | Chopper

Andrew Dominik was born on October 7, 1967 in Wellington, New Zealand. He is a director and writer, known for Chopper (2000), Killing Them Softly (2012) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).

49. Roger Donaldson

Director | The World's Fastest Indian

Roger Donaldson was born on November 15, 1945 in Ballarat, Australia. He is a director and producer, known for The World's Fastest Indian (2005), Species (1995) and Cocktail (1988). He is married to Marliese Schneider. He was previously married to Susan Hockley.

50. Adam Elliot

Director | Mary and Max

Grew up on a shrimp farm in southern Australia together with two brothers, one sister and two parrots. He discerned his artistic abilities at an early age and spent five years studying photography, painting, pottery etc. In 1996 he began his studies at the Victorian College of the Arts where Uncle ...

51. David Michôd

Writer | The Rover

David Michôd is a writer and producer, known for The Rover (2014), Animal Kingdom (2010) and War Machine (2017).

52. Alister Grierson

Director | Kokoda

Alister Grierson is a director and writer, known for Kokoda (2006), Bomb (2005) and Sanctum (2011).

53. Cate Shortland

Director | Lore

Cate Shortland was born on August 10, 1968 in Temora, New South Wales, Australia. She is a director and writer, known for Lore (2012), Somersault (2004) and Berlin Syndrome (2017).

54. Ben Lewin

Writer | The Sessions

Ben Lewin's career as a writer and director is spread across three continents and includes award-winning documentaries, feature films, TV movies, mini-series and episodic programs. Born in Poland in 1946, he migrated to Australia with his family in 1949. As a young man, Lewin showed great passion ...

55. Wayne Blair

Director | The Sapphires

Wayne Blair was born on November 28, 1971 in Taree, New South Wales, Australia. He is a director and actor, known for The Sapphires (2012), Black Talk (2002) and Septembers of Shiraz (2015).

56. Jennifer Kent

Director | The Babadook

Jennifer Kent is an actress and director, known for The Babadook (2014), Monster (2005) and Murder Call (1997).

57. Taika Waititi

Actor | What We Do in the Shadows

Taika Waititi, also known as Taika Cohen, hails from the Raukokore region of the East Coast, and is of Te-Whanau-a-Apanui (father) and Jewish (mother) descent. He has been involved in the film industry for several years, initially as an actor, and now focusing on writing and directing.

Two Cars, One...

58. Jemaine Clement

Actor | Flight of the Conchords

Jemaine Clement was born and raised in New Zealand, the oldest of three brothers. His mother is a Maori. Clement was educated at Makoura College in Masterton, NZ. He went on to study drama and film at Victoria University of Wellington. Whilst there he met Taika Waititi, and they formed comedy ...

59. Michael Spierig

Director | Predestination

Michael Spierig was born in Germany. He is a director and writer, known for Predestination (2014), Daybreakers (2009) and Undead (2003).

60. Justin Kurzel

Director | Snowtown

Known for his bold career growth, Australian director Justin Kurzel, who, after the striking debut feature The Snowtown Murders (2011), which conquered hearts of people on many festivals, has chosen a Shakespearean adaptation (Macbeth (2015)) starring famous international film actors Michael ...