READ 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)

James Franco is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Isabella Rossellini is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Morgan Spurlock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Dylan Moran is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Paul Provenza is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Paul Provenza is an actor, comedian, filmmaker, and self-professed skeptic based in Los Angeles.

John Waters is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Todd Solondz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Louis Le Prince is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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" ...more

Isaac Julien is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Isaac Julien is an installation artist and filmmaker.

Nana Patekar is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Vishwanath "Nana" Patekar is an Indian actor, writer and filmmaker.

Bruce LaBruce is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Georges Méliès is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, known as Georges Méliès, was a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the ...more

Mel White is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

James O'Keefe is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Marlon Riggs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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, ...more

Gipi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Gianni Pacinotti is a comic artist, film director, TV director, screenwriter and TV producer.

Larry Jordan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

John Maybury is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
John Maybury is an English filmmaker. In 2005 he was listed as one of the 100 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain.

Kayo Hatta is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
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 ...more

Billy Name is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Billy Name, is an American photographer, filmmaker and lighting designer. He was the archivist of the Warhol Factory, from 1964 to 1970. His brief romance and subsequent friendship with Andy ...more

Susan Sontag is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Susan Sontag was an American writer and filmmaker, teacher and political activist, publishing her first major work, the essay "Notes on 'Camp'", in 1964. Her best known works include ...more

Charles Burnett is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Charles Burnett is an African-American film director, film producer, writer, editor, actor, photographer, and cinematographer. His most popular films include Killer of Sheep, My Brother's ...more

Anthony Stanislas Radziwill is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Prince Anthony Stanislaw Albert Radziwill was an American television executive and filmmaker.

Alice Guy-Blaché is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Alice Guy-Blaché was an early French filmmaker. She was the first woman director in the motion-picture industry and is one of the first directors of fiction films.

Martin McDonagh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Martin McDonagh is a playwright, screenwriter and film director, born in London with both British and Irish citizenship. He has been described as one of the most important living Irish

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an American author of both adult and popular children's books, a filmmaker, radio show host, and blogger. Rosenthal is best known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an ...more

David Firth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
David John Firth is an English animator, writer, musician, actor, voice actor, filmmaker, video artist, and broadcaster. As a cartoonist, Firth's work is largely distributed via the internet, ...more

Franklin McMahon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Franklin McMahon was an artist-reporter whose work took him around the world for more than half a century. His seminal work at the birth of the civil rights movement, his coverage of U.S. ...more

Mike Gordon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Mike Gordon is a bass guitar player and vocalist most recognized as a founding member and bassist for the rock band Phish. In addition to bass, Gordon is an accomplished banjo player, and is ...more

Albert Maysles is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Albert Maysles is a filmmaker, film director, film producer and cinematographer.

Dan Fogler is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Daniel Kevin "Dan" Fogler is an American stand-up comedian, actor, musician, playwright, filmmaker, and voice artist. He won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical ...more

Adrien Sauvage is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Adrien Sauvage Adrien Victor Sauvage is a British fashion designer, director and photographer of Ghanaian descent.

Alexander Sokurov is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Alexander Nikolayevich Sokurov, PAR is a Russian filmmaker. His most significant works include a feature film, Russian Ark, filmed in a single unedited shot, and Faust, which was honoured with ...more

Ava DuVernay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Ava Marie DuVernay is an American director, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay won the Best Director Prize for her second feature ...more

Nick Broomfield is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Nicholas "Nick" Broomfield is an English documentary filmmaker. During his career, Broomfield has shifted from classic cinéma vérité, to a more self-reflexive ...more

Iimura Takahiko is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Iimura Takahiko Takahiko Iimura is a Japanese avant-garde filmmaker and fine artist. He is considered one of the pioneers of experimental and independent filmmaking in Japan. Iimura was born in Tokyo and is a ...more

Jonas Mekas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-American filmmaker, poet and artist who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and ...more

Andrew McGuire is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Andrew McGuire Andrew McGuire is an American trauma prevention specialist and grassroots campaigner. He was the first Executive Director of Action Against Burns, founder and Executive Director of the Burn ...more

Jan Švankmajer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Jan Švankmajer is a Czech filmmaker and artist whose work spans several media. He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his animations and features, which have greatly influenced other artists ...more

Akbar S. Ahmed is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Akbar Salahuddin Ahmed, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, or Akbar Ahmed, is currently the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington, D.C. and was the First Distinguished Chair of ...more

Roland Topor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Roland Topor, was a French illustrator, painter, writer, filmmaker and actor, known for the surreal nature of his work. He was of Polish-Jewish origin and spent the early years of his life in ...more

Gerard Malanga is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Gerard Joseph Malanga is an American poet, photographer, filmmaker, curator and archivist.

Peter Raymont is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Peter Raymont is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker and producer and the president of White Pine Pictures, an independent film, television and new media production company based in Toronto. ...more

Bill Morrison is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Bill Morrison is a New York-based filmmaker and artist, best known for his experimental collage film Decasia. He is a member of Ridge Theater and the founder of Hypnotic Pictures. He attended ...more

Yılmaz Erdoğan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Yılmaz Erdoğan is a Turkish filmmaker, actor and poet of Kurdish descent, who is most famous for his box-office record-breaking debut comedy film Vizontele and the television series Bir Demet ...more

Ulrike Ottinger is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Ulrike Ottinger is a German filmmaker, documentarian photographer and professor at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

Wong Kar-wai is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Wong Kar-wai, BBS is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylised, emotionally resonant work, including Days of Being Wild, ...more

Jeffrey Gold is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers

Abigail Disney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Filmmakers
Abigail E. Disney is an American filmmaker, and scholar known for her documentary films focused on social themes.