List of Famous Filmmakers People

List of Famous Filmmakers

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List of famous filmmakers, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top filmmakers in the world? This includes the most prominent filmmakers, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable filmmakers is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic filmmakers were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned filmmakers.

List ranges from Flying Lotus to Isabella Rossellini, plus much more.

From reputable, prominent, and well known filmmakers to the lesser known filmmakers of today, these are some of the best professionals in the filmmaker field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous filmmakers ever?" and "What are the names of famous filmmakers?" then you're in the right place. (275 items)


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    James Franco
    Photo: Hulu

    James Edward Franco is an American actor, filmmaker, and teacher. His first prominent acting role was the lead character Daniel Desario on the short-lived cult hit television program Freaks and Geeks. He later played the title character in the TV biographical film James Dean, for which he won a Golden ...more

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    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Film Editor, Author, + more
    • Credits: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Oz the Great and Powerful, Freaks and Geeks, + more
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    Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model. Rossellini is noted for her 14-year tenure as a Lancôme model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her.more

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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
    • Profession: Television director, Journalist, Television producer, Film Producer, Model, + more
    • Credits: Blue Velvet, Death Becomes Her, Wild at Heart, The Tracey Ullman Show, Merlin, + more
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    Jean Cocteau
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, and the films Blood of a Poet, Les Parents Terribles, Beauty and the Beast and Orpheus. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included ...more

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    • Age: Died at 74 (1889-1963)
    • Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte, France
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter, Designer, Filmmaker, + more
    • Credits: Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus, The Testament of Orpheus, The Blood of a Poet, Les Enfants Terribles, + more
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    Morgan Spurlock
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Morgan Valentine Spurlock is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter, and political activist, best known for the documentary films Super Size Me, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Comic-Con Episode IV: A ...more

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    • Age: age 45
    • Birthplace: Parkersburg, West Virginia, United States of America
    • Profession: Humorist, Comedian, Television producer, Documentary Filmmaker, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: The Simpsons, Super Size Me, Freakonomics, Drive-Thru, Comic-Con: Episode IV - A Fans Hope, + more
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    Dylan Moran is an Irish comedian, writer, actor and filmmaker. He is best known for his sardonic observational comedy, the UK television sitcom Black Books, and his work with Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run. Moran also appeared as one of the two lead characters in the Irish black ...more

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    • Age: age 44
    • Birthplace: Navan, Republic of Ireland
    • Profession: Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor
    • Credits: Shaun of the Dead, Notting Hill, Black Books, Run Fatboy Run, Calvary, + more
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    Paul Provenza
    Photo: Sheila Dee

    Paul Provenza is an actor, comedian, filmmaker, and self-professed skeptic based in Los Angeles.more

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    • Age: age 58
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Filmmaker, + more
    • Credits: Northern Exposure, The Aristocrats, Strictly Business, Stealing Candy, Survival Quest, + more
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    John Waters
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    John Samuel Waters Jr. is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, and art collector, who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films. Waters's 1970s and early '80s films feature his regular troupe of actors known as the ...more

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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
    • Profession: Journalist, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Film Editor, + more
    • Credits: Hairspray, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, + more
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    Todd Solondz
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Todd Solondz is an American independent film screenwriter and director known for his style of dark, thought-provoking, socially conscious satire. Solondz has been critically acclaimed for his examination of the "dark underbelly of middle class American suburbia," a reflection of his own background in ...more

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    • Age: age 56
    • Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Filmmaker, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: As Good as It Gets, Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Palindromes, Storytelling, + more
  9. 9

    Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince was an inventor who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera. He has been heralded as the "Father of Cinematography" since 1930. A Frenchman who also worked in the United Kingdom and the United States, Le Prince conducted his ground-breaking ...more

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    • Age: Died at 49 (1841-1890)
    • Birthplace: Metz, France
    • Profession: Chemist, Inventor, Filmmaker, Film Director, Engineer
    • Credits: Roundhay Garden Scene
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    Isaac Julien
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Isaac Julien is an installation artist and filmmaker.more

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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Filmmaker, Artist, Film Director, + more
    • Credits: BaadAsssss Cinema, Young Soul Rebels, Looking for Langston, Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask, + more
  11. 11

    Vishwanath "Nana" Patekar is an Indian actor, writer and filmmaker.more

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    • Age: age 64
    • Birthplace: Murud-Janjira, India
    • Profession: Filmmaker, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: Salaam Bombay!, Bhoot, Welcome, Khamoshi: The Musical, Shakti: The Power, + more
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    Bruce LaBruce
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Bruce LaBruce is a Canadian writer, filmmaker, photographer and underground adult director based in Toronto, Ontario. His films explore themes of sexual and interpersonal transgression against cultural norms, frequently blending the artistic and production techniques of independent film with gay ...more

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Southampton, Ontario, Canada
    • Profession: Pornographic actor, Bassist, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Filmmaker, + more
    • Credits: Otto; or Up with Dead People, L.A. Zombie, Sugar, Give Piece of Ass a Chance, Hustler White, + more
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    Georges Méliès
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, known as Georges Méliès, was a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. Méliès, a prolific innovator in the use of special effects, accidentally discovered the substitution stop trick in 1896, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 77 (1861-1938)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Scenic Designer, Salesman, Cinematographer, Film Producer, Illusionist, + more
    • Credits: A Trip to the Moon, The Man with the Rubber Head, Bluebeard, The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and the Moon, + more
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    Mel White
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    James Melville "Mel" White is an American clergyman and author. White was a behind-the-scenes member of the Evangelical Protestant movement through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, writing film and television specials and ghostwriting auto-biographies for televangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, ...more

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    • Age: age 75
    • Birthplace: Santa Clara, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Priest, Film Producer, Author, Film Director
    • Credits: David
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    James O'Keefe
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    James E. O'Keefe III is an American conservative activist. O'Keefe has produced secretly recorded undercover audio and video encounters with public figures and workers in a variety of organizations, purportedly showing abusive or alleged illegal behavior by representatives of those organizations. He ...more

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    • Age: age 31
    • Birthplace: New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Activist, Journalist, Lecturer, Filmmaker
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    Marlon Riggs
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Marlon Troy Riggs was a gay African-American filmmaker, educator, poet, and gay rights activist. He produced, wrote, and directed several television documentaries, including Ethnic Notions, Tongues Untied, Color Adjustment, and Black is... Black Ain't. Riggs' aesthetically innovative and socially ...more

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    • Age: Died at 37 (1957-1994)
    • Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Journalist, Filmmaker, Writer, Film Director
    • Credits: Boys' Shorts: The New Queer Cinema, Tongues Untied, Black is... Black Ain't, Color Adjustment, Ethnic Notions, + more
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    Gianni Pacinotti is a comic artist, film director, TV director, screenwriter and TV producer.more

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    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Screenwriter, Cartoonist, Filmmaker, + more
    • Credits: The Last Man on Earth
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    Larry Jordan is an independent filmmaker who has been working in the Bay Area in California since 1955, and making films since 1952. He has produced some 40 experimental and animation films, and three feature-length dramatic films. He is most widely known for his animated collage films. In 1970 he ...more

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    • Age: age 81
    • Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Film Editor, Animator, + more
    • Credits: Solar Sight, Cosmic Alchemy, Gymnopédies, Flushing Meadows, Orb, + more
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    John Maybury
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    John Maybury is an English filmmaker. In 2005 he was listed as one of the 100 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain.more

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    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Filmmaker, Film Director
    • Credits: Rome, The Borgias, The Jacket, Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, The Edge of Love, + more
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    Kayo Hatta
    Photo: Freebase

    Kayo Hatta was an Asian American filmmaker, writer, and community activist. She directed and co-wrote the independent dramatic feature-length film Picture Bride, which won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award in 1995 for Best Dramatic Film.more

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    • Age: Died at 47 (1958-2005)
    • Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
    • Profession: Filmmaker
    • Credits: Picture Bride
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