50 Best Directors (2019)

by osewa | created - 28 Dec 2018 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

Top directors with an Instagram account to follow

1. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

https://www.instagram.com/stanleykubrick/

2. 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 ...

https://www.instagram.com/martinscorsese_/

3. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

https://www.instagram.com/stevenspielbergfans/ (Fan account)

4. 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 ...

https://www.instagram.com/davidlynchfoundation/

5. 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...

https://www.instagram.com/tarantinoxx/ (Fan account)

6. 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...

https://www.instagram.com/woody_allen_instagram/ (Fan account)

7. Paul Thomas Anderson

Director | Punch-Drunk Love

Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...

https://www.instagram.com/paulthomasanderson/ (Fan account)

8. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Gilliam

9. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

https://www.instagram.com/officialspikelee/

10. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainer_Werner_Fassbinder

11. Michael Mann

Producer | The Insider

A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch (1975). He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile (1979), in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release,...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Mann

12. Wes Anderson

Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wes_Anderson

13. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Dunkirk

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.

...

https://www.instagram.com/christophernolann (Fan account)

14. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ridley_Scott

15. Denis Villeneuve

Director | Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villeneuve is a French Canadian film director and writer. He was born in 1967, in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. He started his 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), ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Villeneuve

16. 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...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Fincher

17. Mark Romanek

Director | One Hour Photo

Mark Romanek was born on September 18, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is a director, known for One Hour Photo (2002), Never Let Me Go (2010) and Michael Jackson Feat. Janet Jackson: Scream (1995). He is married to Brigette Romanek.

https://www.instagram.com/markromanek/

18. Benny Safdie

Director | Good Time

Benny Safdie is a director and actor, known for Good Time (2017), Uncut Gems (2019) and Go Get Some Rosemary (2009).

https://www.instagram.com/booger_nose/

19. Josh Safdie

Director | Uncut Gems

Born and raised in New York City: in both Queens & Manhattan. He attended the school of Communication at Boston University. He often collaborates with his brother Benny Safdie. The brothers have both cited early experiences in front of their father's camera as the reasons for their pursing ...

https://www.instagram.com/booger_nose/

20. Ondi Timoner

Producer | Mapplethorpe

ONDI TIMONER has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice - for her 2004 documentary, DIG!, and her 2009 top prize-winner, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC. Other award-winning features include: THE NATURE OF THE BEAST (1994), JOIN US (2007), COOL IT (2010) and ...

https://www.instagram.com/onditimoner/

21. Agnès Varda

Director | Sans toit ni loi

Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She was a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Faces Places (2017) and Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). She was married to Jacques Demy. She died on March 29, 2019 in Paris, France.

https://www.instagram.com/agnes.varda/

22. 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 of New Zealand, and is the son of Robin (Cohen), a teacher, and Taika Waiti, an artist and farmer. His father is Maori (Te-Whanau-a-Apanui), and his mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish, Irish, Scottish, and ...

https://www.instagram.com/taikawaititi/

23. 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)...

https://www.instagram.com/creepypuppet/

24. Ben Wheatley

Director | Free Fire

Ben Wheatley was born in May 1972 in Billericay, Essex, England. He is a director and writer, known for Free Fire (2016), Kill List (2011) and Sightseers (2012).

https://www.instagram.com/mr_wheatley/

25. Edgar Wright

Director | Shaun of the Dead

Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known for his comedic Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), made with recurrent collaborators Simon Pegg...

https://www.instagram.com/edgarwright/

26. David Zellner

Actor | Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

David Zellner was born in 1974 in Greeley, Colorado, USA. He is an actor and director, known for Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014), Damsel (2018) and Plastic Utopia (1997).

https://www.instagram.com/davidzzzellner/

27. Ana Lily Amirpour

Director | A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Ana Lily Amirpour was born on July 25, 1976 in Margate, Kent, England. She is a director and writer, known for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), The Bad Batch (2016) and A Little Suicide (2012).

https://www.instagram.com/lilyinapad/

28. 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 ...

https://www.instagram.com/darrenaronofsky/

29. Amma Asante

Director | Belle

Amma Asante is a British BAFTA award winning screenwriter and director, known for Belle (2013), and A Way of Life (2004). She is a former child actress, who began her writing career at the age of 23 with a script deals from both Channel 4 in the UK and BBC. Her first movie, A Way of Life, which she...

https://www.instagram.com/iammaasante/

30. Zal Batmanglij

Writer | The OA

Zal Batmanglij is a writer and director, known for The OA (2016), The East (2013) and Sound of My Voice (2011).

https://www.instagram.com/z_al/

31. Margaret Brown

Director | The Order of Myths

Margaret Brown is a director and producer, known for The Order of Myths (2008), The Great Invisible (2014) and 99 Threadwaxing (1998).

https://www.instagram.com/embeeonethree/

32. Justin Chon

Actor | Twilight

Justin Chon was born in Garden Grove, Orange County, California, and was raised in Irvine, California. He is the son of Kyung, a pianist, and Sang Chon, a former child actor. Justin is of Korean descent.

Justin Chon is a writer, director, and actor known for his '90s LA Riots drama Gook (2017), ...

https://www.instagram.com/justinchon/

33. Alfonso Cuarón

Writer | Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco was born on November 28th in Mexico City, Mexico. From an early age, he yearned to be either a film director or an astronaut. However, he did not want to enter the army, so he settled for directing. He didn't receive his first camera until his twelfth birthday, and then ...

https://www.instagram.com/alfonsocuaron/

https://www.instagram.com/josephinejambox/

35. Xavier Dolan

Actor | Tom à la ferme

Xavier Dolan was born on March 20, 1989 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as Xavier Dolan-Tadros. He is an actor and writer, known for Tom at the Farm (2013), Heartbeats (2010) and I Killed My Mother (2009).

https://www.instagram.com/xavierdolan/

36. Lena Dunham

Writer | Tiny Furniture

New Yorker Lena Dunham is the daughter of a painter, Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, a designer and photographer. Dunham was educated at Oberlin College, Ohio, graduating with a creative writing degree. It was while at Oberlin that she began writing shorts and feature films. In 2009, Dunham ...

https://www.instagram.com/lenadunham/

37. Ava DuVernay

Producer | Queen Sugar

A director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary This in the Life (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's. This was followed by series of television music documentaries which ...

https://www.instagram.com/ava/

38. Jon Favreau

Producer | Chef

Initially an indie film favorite, actor Jon Favreau has progressed to strong mainstream visibility into the millennium and, after nearly two decades in the business, is still enjoying character stardom as well as earning notice as a writer/producer/director.

The amiable, husky-framed actor with the ...

https://www.instagram.com/jonfavreau/

39. Hannah Fidell

Writer | A Teacher

Hannah Fidell was born on October 7, 1985 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Hannah Margalit Fidell. She is a writer and producer, known for A Teacher (2013), 6 Years (2015) and The Long Dumb Road (2018). She has been married to Jake Longstreth since September 23, 2017.

https://www.instagram.com/hannahfidell/

40. Robert Greene

Editor | Kate Plays Christine

Robert Greene is a filmmaker and writer. He was named one of the 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014 by The Independent. Robert received the 2014 Vanguard Artist Award from the San Francisco DocFest. Robert's most recent film is the critically-acclaimed Actress. His last film, Fake It So Real, was named...

https://www.instagram.com/prewarcinema/

41. James Gunn

Writer | Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, to Leota and James Francis Gunn. He is from a large Catholic family, with Irish and Czech ancestry. His father and his uncles were all lawyers. He has been writing and performing as long as he can remember. He began making 8mm films at the age ...

https://www.instagram.com/jamesgunn/

42. Chad Hartigan

Director | Morris from America

Chad Hartigan was born on August 31, 1982 in Nicosia, Cyprus as Chad Alexander Hartigan. He is a director and actor, known for Morris from America (2016), This Is Martin Bonner (2013) and Room 104 (2017).

https://www.instagram.com/chadhartigan/

43. Anna Rose Holmer

Director | The Fits

Anna Rose Holmer was listed as one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in 2015. Her narrative directorial debut, The Fits (2015 Venice International Film Festival, 2016 Sundance Film Festival), is a selection of the Venice Biennale College-Cinema 2014/2015 and the Sundance ...

https://www.instagram.com/b_arfh/

44. Barry Jenkins

Director | If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins was born on November 19, 1979 in Miami, Florida, USA. He is a director and producer, known for If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Moonlight (2016) and Medicine for Melancholy (2008).

https://www.instagram.com/bandrybarry/

45. Rian Johnson

Director | Knives Out

Rian Johnson was born in Maryland and at a young age his family moved to San Clemente, California, where he was raised. After graduating from high school, he went on to attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His first feature film, Brick (2005), was released in 2005 ...

https://www.instagram.com/riancjohnson/

46. Miranda July

Writer | Me and You and Everyone We Know

Filmmaker Magazine rated her #1 in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004!

She is a performance artist and published short story writer. Since becoming a filmmaker, her debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) has won several film awards.

Daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard ...

https://www.instagram.com/mirandajuly/

47. Dan Kwan

Director | Swiss Army Man

Dan Kwan is a director and actor, known for Swiss Army Man (2016), DJ Snake and Lil Jon: Turn Down for What (2014) and Everything Everywhere All at Once.

https://www.instagram.com/dunkwun/

48. Reed Morano

Director | The Handmaid's Tale

Reed Morano was born on April 15, 1977 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. She is known for directing and executive producing the pilot as well as episodes 2 & 3 of 'The Handmaid's Tale' (2017) and directing the feature film, 'Meadowland' (2015), which she also served as her own DP on. She also did double ...

https://www.instagram.com/reedmorano/

49. Andy Muschietti

Director | Mama

Andy Muschietti was born on August 26, 1973 in Buenos Aires, Federal District, Argentina as Andrés Muschietti. He is a director and producer, known for Mama (2013), It (2017) and It Chapter Two (2019).

https://www.instagram.com/andy_muschietti/

50. Jordan Peele

Writer | Get Out

Jordan Haworth Peele attended Sarah Lawrence College as a member of the class of 2001. His mother is white and his father is black. Jordan is married to comedian Chelsea Peretti, with whom he has a son.

He is known for co-writing and starring in the comedy Keanu (2016), opposite his close friend ...

https://www.instagram.com/jordanpeele/

51. Alex Ross Perry

Writer | Her Smell

Alex Ross Perry is a writer and actor, known for Her Smell (2018), Golden Exits (2017) and Impolex (2009).

https://www.instagram.com/alexrossperry/

52. James Ponsoldt

Director | The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt was born in 1978 in Athens, Georgia, USA as James Adam Ponsoldt. He is a producer and director, known for The Spectacular Now (2013), The Circle (2017) and The End of the Tour (2015). He has been married to Megan Holloway since September 25, 2010.

https://www.instagram.com/jamesponsoldt/

53. Gina Prince-Bythewood

Writer | Shots Fired

Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the widely acclaimed feature film Love & Basketball (2000) which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. She won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Humanitas Prize for her work on the film. Her other directing credits include ...

https://www.instagram.com/gpbmadeit/

54. Gillian Robespierre

Director | Obvious Child

Gillian Robespierre was born on June 29, 1978 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Obvious Child (2014), Landline (2017) and Untitled Divorce Comedy.

https://www.instagram.com/gillianrobespierre/

55. Hiro Murai

Director | Atlanta

Hiro Murai is a director and producer, known for Atlanta (2016), Guava Island (2019) and Childish Gambino: This Is America (2018).

https://www.instagram.com/muraihiro



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