British & Irish Directors

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1.
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is a master story-teller, and an acclaimed film director of few films, but good films nevertheless. Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1949, Sheridan moved to America in 1982, meeting a man who invited him to run the Irish Arts Center. He found a place to live in Hell's Kitchen, New York City...
 
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John Boorman
Producer, Excalibur
John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. There...
 
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Ken Loach
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into the theater...
 
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Stephen Daldry
Director, The Reader
In 1989, Stephen Daldry worked as a freelance reader of unsolicited manuscripts for Literary Manager Nicholas Wright in the Scripts Department at the Royal National Theatre. In July of that year, he directed a Dadaist/expressionist production of "Judgement Day," a play by Odon von Horvath, at the Old Red Lion in London.
 
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Peter Greenaway
Peter Greenaway trained as a painter and began working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information in 1965. Shortly afterwards he started to make his own films. He has produced a wealth of short and feature-length films, but also paintings, novels and other books. He has held several one-man shows and curated exhibitions at museums world-wide.
 
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Adrian Lyne
Director, Unfaithful
Adrian Lyne (Director/Writer/Producer) is the creative force behind some of the most talked-about movies of our time, among them, "Fatal Attraction", "9 1/2 Weeks", "Flashdance", "Indecent Proposal", "Jacob's Ladder" and "Unfaithful". Born in Peterborough, England and raised in London, Lyne attended the Highgate school...
 
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Alan Parker
Director, Evita
Prior to moving into film, Alan was noted as one of London's most talented advertising copywriters. He worked for the Collet Dickinson Pearce (CDP) ad agency in the 1960's and early 1970's, and began directing his own tvc scripts in their basement. Formed a partnership with David Puttnam as his producer (Puttnam had been a photographers' agent)...
 
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Guy Ritchie
Director, Snatch
Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a child, Guy realized that what he wanted to do was make films. He never attended film school, saying that the work of film school graduates was boring and unwatchable. At 15 years old, he dropped out of school and in 1995...
 
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Peter Chelsom
Peter Chelsom is a member of the British Academy, the American Academy, The Directors Guild Of America, and The Writers Guild Of America. Peter was born in Blackpool in the North of England. He is a US and UK citizen. He is married with three sons. He trained at London's Central School of Drama and worked as an actor playing leading roles in TV...
 
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Alan Clarke
Director, Scum
Liverpool native Alan Clarke got his start in the film business in Canada, where he studied acting and directing. Upon returning to England he got a job at ITV, then moved over to the BBC in 1969. He worked mostly in television, but he made a couple of feature films that got attention for their portrayal of the gritty and occasionally violent life of the British working class...
 
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Ridley Scott
Producer, Blade Runner
Ridley Scott was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham) on 30 November 1937. His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him throughout the UK and Europe before they eventually returned to Teesside. Scott wanted to join Army (his...
 
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Tony Scott
Producer, Man on Fire
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British military...
 
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Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer, Death Race
Paul W.S. Anderson gained a fair bit of notoriety in his native England when he directed the ultra-violent Shopping (which he also wrote), starring Jude Law and Sean Pertwee in a story about thieves who steal by ramming a car into storefronts. The film was banned in some cinemas in England, and became a direct-to-video slightly edited release in the United States...
 
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Richard Attenborough
Lord Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge, England, the son of Mary (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a don at Emmanuel College and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. Attenborough...
 
23.
Peter Hall
Sir Peter Hall directed his first play while he was still a student. He soon achieved prominence as a stage director and costume designer. He started his occasional film work in 1968 with Work Is a 4-Letter Word. He was the Artistic Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon from 1960 - 1968...
 
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Ken Russell
Director, Tommy
When he was age 8 he was given a 9.5 mm projector for Xmas. He graduated to 35mm together with a box of silents that had been salvaged from the liner Mauretania when she was being broken up. He attended a nautical school where he made his first short film, trained as an Air Force electrician and tried unsuccessfully to break into the world of ballet and the theatre...
 
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Nicolas Roeg
Director, Walkabout
When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia...
 
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Iain Softley
Director, K-PAX
Softley was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing, London, and Queens' College, Cambridge University, where he was a member of the college's dramatic society, the BATS, and directed a number of highly-praised theatrical productions. He worked for Granada TV and the BBC before becoming a director of music videos and...
 
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Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella was the son of immigrants from Italy, who own an ice-cream factory on the Isle of Wight, where Anthony was born on January 6, 1954. He and his two siblings, Edana Minghella and Dominic Minghella, grew up there, a popular British holiday spot. After graduating from the University of Hull...
 
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Sally Potter
Director, Orlando
Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, music...
 
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John Irvin
Director, Raw Deal
John Irvin is a British director who has made more than thirty motion pictures in his career so far, and has received mixed success over the years. Born in England, Irvin began his career in television before he filmed the gritty and violent theatrical motion picture, The Dogs of War. The film, starring Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger...
 
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Bruce Robinson
Such is the mythology that has sprung up around Bruce Robinson's first film, the openly autobiographical Withnail & I, that it's often hard to separate fact from fiction. But the facts appear to be these: trained as an actor at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, he got off to a good early...
 
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John Schlesinger
Director, Midnight Cowboy
Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who was born in London, on February 16, 1926, was the eldest child in a solidly middle-class Jewish family. Berbard Schlesinger, his father, was a pediatrician, and his mother, Winifred, was a musician. He served in the Army in the Far East during World War II...
 
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David Lean
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon in 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding a job at Gaumont British Studios in 1927...
 
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Peter Yates
Director, Bullitt
Having seen Robbery and Bullitt, it comes as no surprise that Peter Yates started out as a professional racing car driver and team manager - albeit briefly - before turning his attention to film. The son of a military man, he was educated at Charterhouse School and trained at RADA, gaining his first experience as an actor with local repertory companies...
 
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John Badham
Director, WarGames
English-born "Army brat" John Badham is the son of English actress Mary Hewitt and the stepson of an American Army general. Raised in Alabama and schooled at Yale, he cut his teeth producing and directing for TV before making his feature debut with The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings. Badham's breakthrough credit was the box office smash Saturday Night Fever...
 
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Henry Jaglom
Director, Déjà Vu
Henry Jaglom trained with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, where he acted, wrote and directed off-Broadway theater and cabaret before settling in Hollywood in the late 1960s. Under contract to Columbia Pictures, Jaglom guest-starred in such TV shows as Gidget and The Flying Nun...
 
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Mick Jackson
Director, The Bodyguard
Born Aveley, Essex, England Educated Palmer's School, University of Southampton (BA Hons Electronics) University of Bristol Postgraduate degree in drama.
 
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Mike Newell
Attended Cambridge University. Three year training course at Granada Television, with intention of going into theatre. Graduated to directing TV plays, building strong reputation for work with David Hare, David Edgar, Hohn, John Osborne, Jack Rosenthal.
 
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Nick Hamm
Director, The Hole
Nick Hamm is a BAFTA award-winning British director and producer whose work extends to feature films, television and theatre. Hamm spent many years as a resident director with the Royal Shakespeare Company, focusing on both Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights; the latter including, Howard Barker...
 
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Marek Kanievska
Director, Less Than Zero
He is well-known for his work in film and television in both the UK and the United States. His feature film directorial debut, Another Country, won awards at the 1984 Cannes and Florence Film Festivals. His next feature film was Less Than Zero, the 1987 adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis' controversial novel. In 2000, Kanievska directed Where The Money Is, a heist film...
 
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Beeban Kidron
She came to prominence with the much lauded adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Since then she's directed feature films, television dramas and documentaries. In 2008, she founded the charity called Filmclub with Lindsay Mackie. It has since grown to be one of the largest and most influential after-school clubs in the UK...
 
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Suri Krishnamma
Suri Krishnamma is a director known for A Man of No Importance, A Respectable Trade, New Year's Day, The Cazalets, Locked In, Bad Karma and Dark Tourist. As a writer director he has made a number of short films, including Mohammed's Daughter (1987), Water's Edge (1988), Hamlet Little (2007), Being Othello (2009) and Macbeth No More (2010). He lives in London with his wife and 3 children.
 
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Angela Pope
Director, Hollow Reed
Angela Pope is a director who started her career making documentaries for television and the moved into TV drama and features. Born 1945 in Weybridge Surrey, she was educated at Tiffin Girls Grammar School , and at Sussex University, followed - briefly - by post graduate work at UCLA which, she quit in favour of a six week contract with BBC TV Current Affairs as a junior researcher...
 
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Marc Evans
Director, Snow Cake
 
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Joe Wright
Director, Atonement