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Famous Film Directors from New Zealand

Updated October 13, 2018 7.5k views115 items

List of famous film directors from New Zealand, listed alphabetically with photos when available. New Zealand has given birth to some great movie directors over the years, many of who have gone on to direct popular comedies, dramas, horror movies and more. These are some of the best Kiwi directors in the history of the world, so if you're a native of New Zealand and an aspiring director then these are people you should look up to.

Geoff Murphy and Alan Clay are only the beginning of the items on this list.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the best Kiwi directors?" and "Which directors are from New Zealand?"

You can click on the names of these legendary directors of New Zealand in order to get more information about each one. If you're a film buff use this list of talented Kiwi directors to find some new movies you haven't already seen.
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  • Age: 66

    BirthplaceWhanganui, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedButterfly Crush

    Alan Clay (born 1954, Whanganui, New Zealand) is a film director, writer and clown teacher. In his early career he performed and taught extensively as a clown. He wrote three novels and a clown  ...more
  • BirthplaceAuckland, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Mister Pip, Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

    Andrew Ralph Adamson (born 1 December 1966) is a New Zealand film director, producer and screenwriter based mainly in Los Angeles, where he made the animation films, Shrek and Shrek 2 for which he  ...more
  • BirthplaceWellington, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Chopper, Killing Them Softly

    Andrew Dominik (born 7 October 1967) is an Australian film director and screenwriter. He has directed the crime film Chopper, the Western drama film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward  ...more
  • BirthplaceParaparaumu, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedThe Host, In Time, S1m0ne, Dali & I: The Surreal Story, Lord of War

    Andrew M. Niccol (born 10 June 1964) is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. He wrote and directed Gattaca (1997), Simone (2002), Lord of War (2005), In Time (2011), The Host (2013),  ...more
  • BirthplaceNaenae, Wellington, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Neville Anderson (born 18 July 1947) known professionally as Andy Anderson and also billed as Andy James, is a New Zealand-born musician and actor. As a musician he is best known as the lead singer  ...more
  • BirthplaceDVD Region 4, Oceania, Wellington, Wellington Region, Realm of New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedBroken Skin, Loaded

    Anna Campion is a film director and screenwriter.  ...more
  • Anna Wilding is an actress, film director, film producer, and screenwriter.
  • BirthplaceNew Plymouth, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedShow of Hands

    Anthony McCarten (born 1961) is a New Zealand-born novelist, playwright, television writer, and filmmaker. He is best known for writing the biographical films The Theory of Everything (2014), Darkest  ...more
  • Armagan Ballantyne is a film director.
  • NationalityNew Zealand

  • Dec. at 64 (1944-2008)

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedNgati

    Barry Ronald Barclay, MNZM (12 May 1944 – 19 February 2008) was a New Zealand filmmaker and writer of Maori (Ngati Apa) and Pākehā (European) descent.  ...more
  • Ben Hawker is a film director, screenwriter and film editor.  ...more
  • Dec. at 85 (1868-1953)

    BirthplaceDVD Region 4, Auckland Region, Auckland, Oceania, Realm of New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedThe Squatter's Daughter

    Bert Bailey was an actor and film producer.  ...more
  • Dec. at 81 (1877-1958)

    BirthplaceInvercargill

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedTroubled Waters

    Billy Stead, born John William Stead, (18 September 1877 – 21 July 1958) was a rugby union player born in Invercargill who played for New Zealand, the All Blacks, on their 1905–06 tour. Stead also  ...more
  • Dec. at 43 (1964-2007)

    BirthplaceAuckland, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedCome As You Are, In My Father's Den

    Brad McGann MNZM (22 February 1964 – 2 May 2007), was a New Zealand film director and screenwriter. McGann was born in New Zealand in 1964. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the  ...more
  • BirthplaceChristchurch, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedHammer, Galaxy of Terror, Naked Angels

    Bruce D. Clark is a film director and writer.
  • Dec. at 61 (1921-1982)

    BirthplaceDVD Region 4, Oceania, Wellington, Wellington Region, Realm of New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedChez Upshaw

    Bruce Edward George Mason, CBE (28 September 1921 – 31 December 1982) was a significant playwright in New Zealand who wrote 34 plays and influenced the cultural landscape of the country through his  ...more
  • Dec. at 17 (1986-2003)

    BirthplaceNew Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Cameron Troy Duncan (20 April 1986 – 12 November 2003) was a writer and director from New Zealand.  ...more
  • Dec. at 73 (1921-1994)

    BirthplaceDVD Region 4, Oceania, Waipukurau, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedThree in One, Captain Thunderbolt

    Cecil Holmes was a film director, screenwriter and film producer.  ...more
  • BirthplaceNew Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedThe Delinquents, The Empty Beach, Morrison Murders, The Flood, The Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy

    Chris Thomson is a TV director.  ...more
  • Christian Rivers is a New Zealand storyboard artist, visual effects supervisor, special effects technician, and director. He first met Peter Jackson as a 17-year-old, and storyboarded all of  ...more
  • BirthplaceLower Hutt, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedSylvia, Stroke, Wonderful Tonight, Sunshine Cleaning, Rain

    Christine Jeffs (born 29 January 1963) is a New Zealand-born director, editor, and screenwriter known for directing the New Zealand film Rain (2001), the British motion picture Sylvia (2003), and the  ...more
  • BirthplaceDVD Region 4, Oceania, New Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedQuiet Night In, Teddy

    Christopher Banks (born 1977) is a New Zealand journalist, musician, record producer, songwriter and film-maker.  ...more
  • BirthplaceNew Zealand

    NationalityNew Zealand

    Films DirectedForgotten Silver, Saving Grace, The Last Dogs of Winter, Candyman: The David Klein Story

    Costa Botes is a New Zealand writer, director and cinematographer, who works mainly in documentary.  ...more