Directors French

by Angeliki Spatki | created - 22 Sep 2013 | updated - 12 hours ago | Public

French Movie Directors

1. Jacques Tati

Writer | Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who ...

2. Robert Bresson

Writer | Au hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Affaires publiques (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Les anges du péché (1943) in 1943. ...

3. René Clair

Writer | Le silence est d'or

René Clair was born on November 11, 1898 in Paris, France as René-Lucien Chomette. He was a writer and director, known for Le silence est d'or (1947), À Nous la Liberté (1931) and The Grand Maneuver (1955). He was married to Bronia Clair. He died on March 15, 1981 in Neuilly-sur-Seine...

4. René Clément

Director | Jeux interdits

René Clément was one of the leading French directors of the post-World War II era. He directed what are regarded as some of the greatest films of the time, such as The Battle of the Rails (1946), Forbidden Games (1952) and The Day and the Hour (1963). He was later almost forgotten as a director. He...

Paris ce brule

5. Alain Resnais

Director | On connaît la chanson

Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Same Old Song (1997), Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980) and Coeurs (2006). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March 1,...

6. Roger Vadim

Writer | Barbarella

Roger Vadim was born on January 26, 1928 in Paris, France as Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov. He was a writer and director, known for Barbarella (1968), The Game Is Over (1966) and No Sun in Venice (1957). He was married to Marie-Christine Barrault, Catherine Schneider, Jane Fonda, Annette Stroyberg ...

7. Henri-Georges Clouzot

Writer | Le salaire de la peur

Beginning his film career as a screenwriter, Henri-Georges Clouzot switched over to directing and in 1943 had the distinction of having his film Le Corbeau (1943) banned by both the German forces occupying France and the Free French forces fighting them, but for different reasons. He shot to ...

La Verité

8. Alain Cavalier

Writer | Thérèse

Alain Cavalier was born on September 14, 1931 in Vendôme, Loir-et-Cher, France as Alain Fraisse. He is a writer and director, known for Thérèse (1986), Un étrange voyage (1981) and Libera me (1993). He was previously married to Irène Tunc.

9. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | À bout de souffle

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

French Nouvel Vague movement creator - Films: "Au bout de souffle" ('60) - A love story of an American girl in Paris who sells newspapers in Champs Elysees (J. Sieberg) and a "careless" naif thief (J.P. Belmondo), Pierrot le fou, Week-end, "Le Mepris" ('63) - Life behind movies, as an American rich producer (J. Palance), resident of a villa in Capri runs after a married actress (B. Bardot) - (76) FR

10. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

11. Louis Malle

Director | Au revoir les enfants

Louis Malle, the descendant of a French nobleman who made a fortune in beet sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle's family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies ...

12. Claude Chabrol

Director | Le beau Serge

French film director considered a master in the mystery genre. He is credited with starting the "nouvelle vague" French film movement.

Innocents a salles mains 1975, Le beau Serge A film of '50s on devotion, friendship in a poor-living French country-side 1958

13. Claude Berri

Writer | Jean de Florette

Claude Berri was born on July 1, 1934 in Paris, France as Claude Berel Langmann. He was a producer and actor, known for Jean de Florette (1986), Germinal (1993) and The Two of Us (1967). He was married to Anne-Marie Rassam and Sylvie Gautrelet. He died on January 12, 2009 in Paris.

14. Jacques Rivette

Director | La belle noiseuse

Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...

15. Jacques Deray

Director | Borsalino

Jacques Deray was born on February 19, 1929 in Lyon, Rhône, France as Jacques Desrayaud. He was a director and writer, known for Borsalino (1970), On ne meurt que deux fois (1985) and Symphonie pour un massacre (1963). He was married to Agnès Vincent-Deray and Nicole Jones. He died on August 9, ...

16. Éric Rohmer

Director | Ma nuit chez Maud

Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, ...

Le Genou de Claire

17. Jean-Jacques Annaud

Director | Der Name der Rose

Jean-Jacques Annaud is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for directing Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and Le dernier loup (2015). Annaud has received numerous awards for his work, including four César ...

18. Olivier Assayas

Writer | Personal Shopper

Olivier Assayas was born on January 25, 1955 in Paris, France. He is a writer and director, known for Personal Shopper (2016), Something in the Air (2012) and Demonlover (2002).

Paris je t'aime

19. Claude Sautet

Writer | Un coeur en hiver

Claude Sautet was born on February 23, 1924 in Montrouge, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France as Claude Marie Sautet. He was a writer and director, known for Un Coeur en Hiver (1992), Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995) and The Things of Life (1970). He was married to Graziella Sautet. He died on ...

Les Choses de la Vie

20. Yves Allégret

Director | Les orgueilleux

Yves Allégret was born on October 13, 1905 in Asnières, Seine [now Asnières-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine], France as Yves Edouard Allégret. He was a director and writer, known for The Proud and the Beautiful (1953), La meilleure part (1955) and Dédée d'Anvers (1948). He was married to ...

21. Jacques Demy

Director | Les parapluies de Cherbourg

Jacques Demy was born on June 5, 1931 in Pontchâteau, Loire-Atlantique, France. He was a director and writer, known for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) and Une Chambre en Ville (1982). He was married to Agnès Varda. He died on October 27, 1990 in Paris, France.

22. Francis Veber

Writer | Le dîner de cons

Francis Veber was born on July 28, 1937 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France. He is a writer and director, known for The Dinner Game (1998), The Birdcage (1996) and The ComDads (1983). He has been married to Françoise Veber since January 11, 1964. They have two children.

23. Bruno Nuytten

Director | Camille Claudel

Bruno Nuytten is one of the most successful French cinematographers notable for his many collaborations with outstanding filmmakers. He was twice awarded the César for Best Cinematography: Barocco (1976) and Tchao pantin (1983). Later he started to direct and is best known for his masterpiece ...

24. Claude Lelouch

Director | Un homme et une femme

Claude Lelouch was born on October 30, 1937 in Paris, France. He is a writer and director, known for A Man and a Woman (1966), Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté (1988) and Les misérables (1995). He is married to Valérie Perrin. He was previously married to Alessandra Martines, ...

25. Jean-Pierre Melville

Actor | À bout de souffle

The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its ...

Le Circle Rouge

26. Leos Carax

Director | Holy Motors

Leos Carax made several short films and also wrote film criticism, then at the age of 24 years made a very strong first feature Boy Meets Girl (1984). The film played at the 1984 Cannes film festival and was a critical triumph. It paved the way for Carax's second feature Mauvais Sang (1986) (Bad ...

28. Agnès Jaoui

Actress | Comme une image

Agnès Jaoui was born on October 19, 1964 in Antony, Hauts-de-Seine, France. She is an actress and writer, known for Look at Me (2004), The Taste of Others (2000) and Family Resemblances (1996). She was previously married to Jean-Pierre Bacri.

29. Luc Besson

Writer | Le cinquième élément

Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...

30. Frédéric Auburtin

Director | Paris, je t'aime

Frédéric Auburtin was born on June 4, 1962 in Marseille, France. He is an assistant director and director, known for Paris, je t'aime (2006), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) and Un pont entre deux rives (1999).

31. Olivier Megaton

Director | Transporter 3

Olivier Megaton was born on August 6, 1965 in Versailles, Seine-et-Oise [now Yvelines], France as Olivier Fontana. He is a director and writer, known for Transporter 3 (2008), Colombiana (2011) and Exit (2000).

32. Bertrand Blier

Writer | Trop belle pour toi

Bertrand Blier was born on March 14, 1939 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France. He is a writer and director, known for Too Beautiful for You (1989), The Clink of Ice (2010) and Combien tu m'aimes? (2005).

33. Gustave Kervern

Actor | Louise-Michel

Gustave Kervern was born on December 27, 1962 in Mauritius. He is an actor and writer, known for Louise-Michel (2008), Aaltra (2004) and Le grand soir (2012).

Mammuth 2010, Aaltra 2004

34. Guy Casaril

Director | L'astragale

Guy Casaril was born on November 1, 1933 in Miramont-de-Guyenne, Lot-et-Garonne, France. He was a director and writer, known for Astragal (1968), Le rempart des Béguines (1972) and Les novices (1970). He died on May 3, 1996 in Chapel Hill, Queensland, Australia.

35. Christophe Barratier

Writer | Les choristes

Christophe Barratier was born on June 17, 1963 in Paris, France. He is a producer and writer, known for The Chorus (2004), Faubourg 36 (2008) and La nouvelle guerre des boutons (2011).

36. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Director | Un long dimanche de fiançailles

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a self-taught director who was very quickly interested by cinema, with a predilection for a fantastic cinema where form is as important as the subject. Thus he started directing TV commercials and video clips (such as Julien Clerc in 1984). At the same time he met designer/...

Longue Dimanche des Fiancailles

37. Fabienne Berthaud

Writer | Pieds nus sur les limaces

Fabienne Berthaud is an actress and writer, known for Pieds nus sur les limaces (2010), Sky (2015) and Frankie (2005).

38. Cédric Klapisch

Director | L'auberge espagnole

Cédric Klapisch was born on September 4, 1961 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is a director and writer, known for L'auberge espagnole (2002), Family Resemblances (1996) and When the Cat's Away (1996). He has been married to Lola Doillon since 2002. They have one child.

39. André Téchiné

Writer | Les roseaux sauvages

André Téchiné was born on March 13, 1943 in Valence, Tarn-et-Garonne, France. He is a writer and director, known for Wild Reeds (1994), Quand on a 17 ans (2016) and Rendez-vous (1985).

40. Patrice Leconte

Director | Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte was born on November 12, 1947 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for Monsieur Hire (1989), La fille sur le pont (1999) and Ridicule (1996).

41. Gabriel Aghion

Director | Pédale douce

Gabriel Aghion was born on December 30, 1955 in Alexandria, Egypt. He is a director and writer, known for Pédale douce (1996), La scarlatine (1983) and Avocat d'office (1994).

42. Costa-Gavras

Director | Missing

Costa-Gavras was born on February 12, 1933 in Loutra-Iraias, Greece as Konstantinos Gavras. He is a director and writer, known for Missing (1982), Z (1969) and Amen. (2002). He has been married to Michèle Ray-Gavras since 1968. They have two children.

Le Couperet 2004, "Z", "Etat de siège" 1971, "Missing", "Music Box"

43. Christophe Honoré

Writer | Les chansons d'amour

Christophe Honoré was born on April 10, 1970 in Carhaix-Plouguer, Finistère, France. He is a writer and director, known for Love Songs (2007), Ma mère (2004) and Dans Paris (2006).

44. Jacques Audiard

Writer | De rouille et d'os

Born in Paris, France, in 1952. Jacques Audiard's family has always been involved in movie business. His father, Michel, was a popular screenwriter and director and his uncle a producer. But in his teens he refused that world and wanted to be a teacher. He studied literature and philosophy at the ...

45. Philippe Le Guay

Writer | Alceste à bicyclette

Philippe Le Guay was born on October 22, 1956. He is a writer and director, known for Bicycling with Molière (2013), Les femmes du 6e étage (2010) and Le clou (1984).

46. Frédéric Beigbeder

Writer | L'amour dure trois ans

Frédéric Beigbeder was born on September 21, 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is an actor and writer, known for L'amour dure trois ans (2011), The Day All Women Loved Me (2006) and L'idéal (2016).

47. Olivier Nakache

Director | Intouchables

Olivier Nakache was born on April 15, 1973 in Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is a director and writer, known for The Intouchables (2011), Tellement proches (2009) and Nos jours heureux (2006).

48. François Ozon

Director | 8 femmes

François Ozon was born on November 15, 1967 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for 8 femmes (2002), Young & Beautiful (2013) and Swimming Pool (2003).

49. Bertrand Tavernier

Director | Un dimanche à la campagne

Bertrand Tavernier was a law student that preferred write film criticisms. He also wrote a few books about American movies. Then his first film won a few awards in France and abroad and established his reputation.

50. Robert Guédiguian

Producer | Marius et Jeannette

Robert Guédiguian was born on December 3, 1953 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. He is a producer and writer, known for Marius and Jeannette (1997), Les neiges du Kilimandjaro (2011) and La ville est tranquille (2000).

51. Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet

Actor | Les chansons d'amour

Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet was born on December 4, 1987 in Paris, France. He is an actor and director, known for Love Songs (2007), La princesse de Montpensier (2010) and La forêt de Quinconces (2016).

52. Régis Wargnier

Writer | Est - Ouest

Régis Wargnier was born on April 18, 1948 in Metz, Moselle, France. He is a writer and director, known for Est - Ouest (1999), Indochine (1992) and La femme de ma vie (1986).

53. Guillaume Canet

Actor | Jeux d'enfants

Son of horse breeders, the young man spent his childhood in the countryside near Paris. In his youth, Guillaume wanted to be a horse-rider, and briefly followed a professional career in the sport. A bad fall broke his dreams, but is at the origin of his acting career, and success. After briefly ...

54. Patrice Chéreau

Director | Intimacy

Patrice Chéreau was born on November 2, 1944 in Lézigné, Maine-et-Loire, France. He is known for his work on Intimacy (2001), Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998) and Queen Margot (1994). He died on October 7, 2013 in Paris, Île-de-France, France.

55. Maurice Pialat

Director | Sous le soleil de Satan

Maurice Pialat was born on August 31, 1925 in Cunlhat, Puy-de-Dôme, France. He was a director and writer, known for Under the Sun of Satan (1987), À nos amours (1983) and L'Enfance Nue (1968). He was married to Sylvie Pialat. He died on January 11, 2003 in Paris, France.

56. Xavier Beauvois

Writer | Des hommes et des dieux

Xavier Beauvois was born on March 20, 1967 in Auchel, Pas-de-Calais, France. He is an actor and writer, known for Des hommes et des dieux (2010), Nord (1991) and N'oublie pas que tu vas mourir (1995).

57. Michel Béna

Director | Le ciel de Paris

Michel Béna was born on February 5, 1950 in Algeria. He was an assistant director and director, known for Le ciel de Paris (1991), Viva la vie (1984) and Daniel endormi (1988). He died on July 10, 1991 in Paris, France.

58. Philippe Le Guay

Writer | Alceste à bicyclette

Philippe Le Guay was born on October 22, 1956. He is a writer and director, known for Bicycling with Molière (2013), Les femmes du 6e étage (2010) and Le clou (1984).

59. Jean-Charles Tacchella

Writer | Cousin cousine

Jean-Charles Tacchella was born on September 23, 1925 in Cherbourg, Manche, Haute-Normandie, France. He is a writer and director, known for Cousin cousine (1975), Silver Anniversary (1979) and Travelling avant (1987). He has been married to Ginette Tacchella since December 27, 1969.