Greatest Australian/New Zealand Directors

by z_ingle | created - 15 Dec 2013 | updated - 18 Dec 2013 | Public

1. Peter Weir

Director | Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Peter Weir was born on August 21, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Peter Lindsay Weir. He is a director and writer, known for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Witness (1985) and The Truman Show (1998). He has been married to Wendy Stites since 1966. They have two...

2. Jane Campion

Writer | The Piano

Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...

3. George Miller

Producer | Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor. He is best known for his Mad Max franchise, with The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) being hailed as amongst the greatest action films of all time. Aside from the Mad Max films, Miller...

4. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

5. Russell Mulcahy

Director | Highlander II: The Quickening

Dynamic film/video director Russell Mulcahy was born June 23, 1953, in Melbourne, Australia. He first gained fame directing visually striking music video clips for such artists as Elton John, Duran Duran, The Buggles and Bonnie Tyler. He is also well known for feature films, starting off with the ...

6. Fred Schepisi

Director | Empire Falls

Fred Schepisi began his production career in the advertising world in Melbourne, Australia, where he served as head of the Film House for almost 20 years, directing both commercials and documentaries. His first feature-length film was the semi-autobiographical 'The Devil's Playground' (1976) which ...

7. Phillip Noyce

Director | The Quiet American

Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of 12. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was 18 when he made his first film, the 15...

8. Baz Luhrmann

Writer | Moulin Rouge!

Baz's parents did Ballroom competitions, thus growing up around the very subject matter of his first three films.

9. Bruce Beresford

Director | 'Breaker' Morant

Bruce Beresford was born in Australia and graduated from Sydney University in 1962. He served as Film Officer for the British Film Institute Production Board from 1966-1971 and as a Film Advisor to the Arts Council of Great Britain. Beresford has also directed several operas including Girl Of The ...

10. Roger Donaldson

Director | The World's Fastest Indian

Roger Donaldson was born on November 15, 1945 in Ballarat, Australia. He is a director and producer, known for The World's Fastest Indian (2005), Species (1995) and Cocktail (1988). He is married to Marliese Schneider. He was previously married to Susan Hockley.

11. Gillian Armstrong

Director | My Brilliant Career

Gillian Armstrong was born on December 18, 1950 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Gillian May Armstrong. She is a director and producer, known for My Brilliant Career (1979), Not Fourteen Again (1996) and Little Women (1994). She is married to John Pleffer. They have two children.

12. Richard Franklin

Director | Hotel Sorrento

Writer, director and producer Richard Franklin was born on July 15, 1948 in Melbourne, Australia. Infatuated with cinema at an early age, Franklin first began making 8mm films at age 10. Franklin saw Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" two years later and was hooked on movies for life. Richard enrolled at ...

13. James Wan

Producer | The Conjuring 2

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

14. Yoram Gross

Producer | Dot and the Bunny

Yoram Gross is Australia's leading animation Producer and Director. Internationally acclaimed for his films and television series, Yoram has established a world-wide reputation for the adaptation of children's characters from books and films to animation that win the hearts of children worldwide. ...

15. Vincent Ward

Director | The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

Vincent Ward has produced, executive produced and/or written and directed feature films including What Dreams May Come (Which won an Oscar and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards), The River Queen (Won best film in Shanghai) and The Last Samurai (4 Academy Award nominations and winner of Best ...

16. Geoff Murphy

Director | The Quiet Earth

Geoff Murphy was born on June 13, 1946 in New Zealand. He is a director and actor, known for The Quiet Earth (1985), Dante's Peak (1997) and Utu (1984). He was previously married to Merata Mita.

17. Brian Trenchard-Smith

Director | Drive Hard

Brian Trenchard-Smith is an Anglo Australian film and television director, producer, and writer, with a reputation for large scale movies on small scale budgets, many of which display a quirky sense of humor that has earned him a cult following. Quentin Tarantino referred to him in Entertainment ...

18. Rolf de Heer

Director | Ten Canoes

Rolf de Heer was born on May 4, 1951 in Heemskerk, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. He is a director and producer, known for Ten Canoes (2006), Alexandra's Project (2003) and Bad Boy Bubby (1993).

19. Charles Chauvel

Director | Jedda

Charles Chauvel was born in Queensland, Australia in 1897 to land owners in the south. After minding his family's farm while his father was at war with the Australian Light Horse in Sinai, he went to Sydney against his father's wishes to study drama. After some work in the movies looking after ...

20. Ken G. Hall

Director | The Exploits of the Emden

Ken G. Hall was born on February 22, 1901 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Kenneth George Hall. He was a director and producer, known for The Exploits of the Emden (1928), Timberland Terror (1937) and The Farmer Goes to Town (1938). He was married to Irene Addison. He died on February 8, ...

21. Robert Connolly

Director | Balibo

Robert Connolly was born in 1967 in Sydney, Australia as Robert John Connolly. He is a producer and director, known for Balibo (2009), Paper Planes (2014) and The Slap (2011).

22. Gregor Jordan

Director | Two Hands

Gregor Jordan was born in 1966 in Sale, Victoria, Australia. He is a director and producer, known for Two Hands (1999), Buffalo Soldiers (2001) and Swinger (1995).

23. Paul Cox

Director | Innocence

Paul Cox was born on April 16, 1940 in Venlo, Limburg, Netherlands as Paulus Henrique Benedictus Cox. He was a director and writer, known for Innocence (2000), My First Wife (1984) and Man of Flowers (1983). He was married to Juliet Bacskai. He died on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Victoria, ...

25. Richard Lowenstein

Producer | He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

Richard Lowenstein was born on March 1, 1959 in Melbourne, Australia. He is a producer and director, known for He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (2001), Strikebound (1984) and White City (1985).

26. Ana Kokkinos

Director | Head On

Ana Kokkinos graduated from Melbourne's Monash University law school in 1982 and worked for nine years as an industrial lawyer. In 1991 she applied to film school and was accepted in the graduate film and TV programme at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. Her graduation short film, ...

28. Arthur Cantrill

Producer | Skin of Your Eye

Arthur Cantrill is a producer and director, known for Skin of Your Eye (1973), Ocean at Point Lookout (1977) and At Uluru (1978).

29. Rachel Perkins

Director | One Night the Moon

Rachel Perkins was born in 1970. She is a director and producer, known for One Night the Moon (2001), Bran Nue Dae (2009) and Radiance (1998).