Top 100 Latin American Directors

Directors from Brazil (31), Mexico (23), Argentina (18), Cuba (10), Chile (6), Colombia (4), Uruguay (2), Bolivia, Curacao, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique and Peru.
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2.
Mario Peixoto
Director, Limite
 
3.
Humberto Mauro
Director, Tesouro Perdido
Pioneer of Brazilian cinema. Humberto Mauro began his career in the provinces in 1926 and was brought to Rio de Janeiro by producer-director Adhemar Gonzaga in 1930. He went on to direct several features which were praised for their uniquely Brazilian style - notably Ganga Bruta - as well as making over 230 shorts for the National Institute of Educational Cinema...
 
4.
Fernando de Fuentes
Director of two classic films of Mexican Cinema, Compadre Mendoza, El (1933) and ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (1935), De Fuentes began his career as second assistant director in Santa (1931), the first "talkie" produced in Mexico. His technical abilities promoted him to direct Anónimo, El (1932). De Fuentes...
 
9.
Emilio Fernández
Emilio "El Indio" Fernández Romo, who was born on March 26, 1904, in the state of Coahuila, Mexico, is the most famous person in the history of Mexican movies. For an era he symbolized Mexico due to his violent machismo, rooted in the Revolution of 1910-17, and because of his staunch commitment to Mexican cultural nationalism...
 
10.
Alberto Cavalcanti
Director, Dead of Night
Born in Brazil in 1897, Alberto Cavalcanti began his film career in France in 1920, working as writer, art director and director. He directed the avant-garde documentary Nothing But Time ("Nothing but Time"), a portrait of the lives of Parisian workers in a single day. He moved to England in 1933 to join the GPO Film Unit under John Grierson...
 
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Luis Buñuel
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca...
 
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20.
Glauber Rocha
He studied Law. He also directed theatre pieces, wrote movie criticisms and took part in the creation and development of the 'cinema novo' movement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, becoming its theoretical leader and first embassador in Europe. After "Barravento (1962)", a trilogy of films and "Antonio das Mortes (1969)" he won various international prizes...
 
21.
Ruy Guerra
Ruy Guerra left his studies in Portugal for to go to the School of Cinema in Paris. After having worked as assistant for various French directors he moved to Brasil and participated with his first two films in the birth of the "Cinema Novo": "Os Cafajestes (1962)" and "Os Fuzis (1964)" which won some international prizes...
 
22.
Roberto Santos
Roberto Santos was born in a working-class suburb of São Paulo in 1928. Started his cinema activities around 1952, in the first big studio built in Brazil, the Vera Cruz Studio. In 1956 makes his first movie, "O Grande Momento" ("The Great Momment"), the first neo- realistic movie made in Brazil. In 1965 Roberto Santos adapts a short novel by Guimarães Rosa...
 
23.
Jorge Sanjinés
Sanjines made his first feature film, And So It Is, under the auspices of the Bolivian Film Institute, of which he was named director in 1965. A landmark in the history of Bolivian cinema, Ukamau is a sympathetic depiction of the social problems of the Andean peasantry shot exclusively in Aymara...
 
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25.
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
Cuba's greatest and best-known director, Tomas Gutierrez Alea fell in love with cinema at an early age, began as a documentarian much influenced by Italian neorealism and came into his own as an artist during Fidel Castro's regime. Over the years he has evinced a fondness for both historical and contemporary fables...
 
26.
Humberto Solás
Director, Barrio Cuba
One of the great filmmakers of revolutionary Cuba, Humberto Solás entered the film industry as a teenager, and made his first short at 18. After taking a film course at Centro Sperimentale de Cinema in Rome, he made a big impression with his 1966 medium-lenght fiction "Manuela", the first of many films dedicated to the Cuban woman...
 
27.
Octavio Getino
Born in Leon in Spain, Octavio Getino moved to Argentina in the early 1950s. Here, he co-founded, along with the director Fernando Solanos, the influential and radical film collective known as Cinema Liberacion, and worked with Solanos on the film 'The Hour of the Furnaces', which was largely shot underground and clandestinely...
 
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Sergio Giral
Sergio Giral is an American citizen born in Havana, Cuba out of a Cuban father and American mother. He was raised in New York until returned to Cuba at the times of the Revolution in 1960. He began working for The Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, in 1961. He went on to make a number of short films,documentaries and features...
 
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45.
Raoul Ruiz
Chilean director Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art...
 
46.
Francisco Norden
Son of an Austrian father and a Colombian mother, Francisco Norden was born in Belgium. He studied architecture at the National University in Bogotá. He finished architecture in Paris at L'Ecole National des Beaux Arts, and then in London at the Polytechnic School of Architecture. In 1955 he returned to Colombia and dedicated himself to reviewing film and theater in newspapers and magazines...
 
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Alejandro Jodorowsky
Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 7, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...
 
60.
Alfonso Arau
Alfonso Arau has had a long and fruitful career both in front of and behind the camera and is one of the most prominent filmmakers of the Latino community in Hollywood. He was a drama disciple of Seki Sano--a Japanese teacher, classmate of Lee Strasberg with Konstantin Stanislavski in Russia--and traveled the world from 1964 to 1968 with his one-man show...
 
61.
Arturo Ripstein
Director, Deep Crimson
Arturo Ripstein began his career as assistant director (unbilled) of Luis Buñuel in Ángel exterminador, El (1962). His father, Alfredo Ripstein, Jr. produced his first film, a western written by Gabriel García Márquez titled Tiempo de morir (1965). Ripstein filmography is very praised in Mexico and Europe...
 
62.
Leon Ichaso
Director, Piñero
 
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Producer, The Revenant
His six feature films - Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel (comprising the "Death Trilogy"), Biutiful, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and The Revenant - have garnered critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations and wins. In 2015, Iñárritu won the Academy Award for Best Director...
 
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71.
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 immediately started to film everything he saw...
 
72.
Lucrecia Martel
Director, La Ciénaga
Born in 1966 in Salta in the North of Argentina,Lucrecia Martel settled down in Buenos Aires where she studied communication sciences. She started by directing a few shorts among which Dead King, which garnered several awards in the international film festival circuit. From 1995 to 1998, she made a series of documentaries for TV as well as a children's TV programme...
 
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74.
Fernando Meirelles
Director, City of God
Fernando Meirelles was born in a middle class family in São Paulo City, Brazil. He studied architecture at the university of São Paulo. At the same time he developed an interest in filmmaking. With a group of friends he started producing experimental videos. They won a huge number of awards in Brazilian film festivals...
 
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76.
Carlos Carrera
With only three feature films, Carlos Carrera is considered one of the best young directors of the new Mexican cinema. He began as an animator at 12 years old and wrote, produced and directed a number of animated-shorts before filming his first live-action movie, a docummentary short titled Vestidito Blanco como la Leche Nido...
 
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78.
Pablo Stoll
Writer, Whisky
Born in Montevideo in 1974. He studied social communication in the Catholic university of Uruguay where he started directing shorts movies. There he also met Juan Pablo Rebella, his partner as a writer and director in all his movies. After finishing their degree, he started working in commercials and TV in Uruguay...
 
79.
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. In his filmmaking career, del Toro has alternated between Spanish-language dark fantasy pieces, such as the gothic horror film The Devil's Backbone, and Pan's Labyrinth, and more mainstream American action movies, such as the vampire superhero action film Blade II...
 
81.
Daniela Thomas
Daniela Thomas directs and writes films, creates opera and theater sets, writes and directs plays, designs exhibitions and creates installations. She was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1959, is based in São Paulo, but her work has been seen, exhibited and played around the world. It all started in the early 80s at La MaMa Experimental Theater in New York...
 
82.
José Padilha
He is best known for directing the Brazilian critical and financial successes Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within and the 2014 remake of RoboCop. He has won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for Elite Squad in 2008. He is also the producer and director of the Netflix original series Narcos, starring frequent collaborator Wagner Moura.
 
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84.
Pablo Trapero
Producer, El Clan
Pablo Trapero was born in San justo, Argentina in 1971. In 1999 he directed his first feature, Mundo Grua, which won the Critics Prize at Venice. In 2002, he opened his production company, Matanza Cine, that produces films for fellow filmmakers, as well as his own. His second feature, El Bonaerense (2002) premiered at Cannes...
 
85.
Marco Bechis
The son of a Chilean woman of Swiss-French origins and an Italian father, he grew up in Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires. At the age of twenty he was expelled from Argentina for political reasons: he landed in Milan and there he lived throughout the 1980s, while also spending lots of time in New York, Los Angeles and Paris...
“ An Italian-Argentinian director ” - minalex
 
87.
Rodrigo García
Producer, Blue
“ A Colombian who grew up and started his career in Mexico. ” - minalex
 
90.
Pablo Larraín
Director, Jackie
Born in Santiago in 1976, Pablo Larraín is, along with Sebastián Lelio, Chile's greatest movie director as well as a major producer (through his Fabula company). Not for the weak-hearted, his films are straightforward, generally aggressive and interspersed with violence. They paint a hard-hitting portrait of his country...
 
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98.
Sebastián Lelio
Director, Gloria
Born in 1974, Sebastián Lelio is one of the leading figures (along with Pablo Larraín, Andrés Wood and a few others) of the post-dictatorship Chilean cinema. After graduating from the "Escuela de Cine de Chile" in Santiago, Lelio started by making shorts (he made five from 1995 to 2003, as well as a documentary)...