Top 90 Canadian Directorsby minalex | created - 11 Feb 2013 | updated - 6 hours ago | Public
Writer | Carry on, Sergeant!
Bruce Bairnsfather was born on July 9, 1887 in Murree, Punjab, British India as Charles Bruce Bairnsfather. He was a writer and director, known for Carry on, Sergeant! (1928), The Better 'Ole (1926) and Old Bill and Son (1941). He died on September 29, 1959 in Worcester, Worcestershire, England.
A British cartoonist and director who worked in Canada and made Carry on, Sergeant! (1928)
Director | A Raisin in the Sun
Daniel Petrie was born on November 26, 1920 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada as Daniel Mannix Petrie. He was a director and producer, known for A Raisin in the Sun (1961), The Bay Boy (1984) and Resurrection (1980). He was married to Dorothea G. Petrie. He died on August 22, 2004 in Los Angeles, ...
Director | Pour la suite du monde
Born in Montreal, Québec, Pierre Perrault went to law school before turning is attention to the cinema. Concerned more by real life then fiction, he makes movies in the 'cinéma direct' style. He filmed real people in real life situations listening to what they have to say and looking at how they do...
Director | Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Toronto-born Sidney J. Furie has enjoyed an incredibly distinguished career that has spanned more than five decades. Having dabbled in every genre, Furie has directed films starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Rodney Dangerfield, Barbara ...
Director | In the Heat of the Night
Norman Frederick Jewison was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy Irene (Weaver) and Percy Joseph Jewison, who managed a post office and a convenience store. His mother was an English immigrant, and his father was of English and Ulster-Scots descent. Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, ...
9. Michael Snow
Director | Wavelength
Central figure of the American avant-garde. An artist who made an isolated animated short, A to Z (1956), Snow concentrated on his painting career until moving to New York in 1963. After attending avant-garde film screenings organized by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas and turning out a second film, ...
10. Norman McLaren
Producer | Neighbours
Norman McClaren is one of the most awarded filmmakers in the history of Canadian cinema, and a pioneer in both animation and filmmaking. Born in Scotland, he entered the Glasgow School of Fine Arts in 1932 to study set design. His early experiments in animation included actually scratching and ...
12. Allan King
Director | Dying at Grace
Allan King was born on February 6, 1930 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was a director and producer, known for Dying at Grace (2003), Warrendale (1967) and Avonlea (1990). He was married to Colleen Murphy. He died on June 15, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
15. Arthur Hiller
Director | Love Story
Arthur Hiller was born on November 22, 1923 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was a director and actor, known for Love Story (1970), The Hospital (1971) and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). He was married to Gwen Hiller. He died on August 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
16. Ted Kotcheff
Director | Weekend at Bernie's
William Theodore Kotcheff was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Bulgarian parents from Plovdiv. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time ...
17. Claude Jutra
Director | Mon oncle Antoine
He finished his medical studies at the age of 22 to please his parents, but he was already developing an attraction to the visual arts and to cinema. As a teenager, he had made two shorts with Michel Brault. In 1953, he wrote a television script. He joined the Office national du film du Canada (...
19. Michel Brault
Cinematographer | Pour la suite du monde
Michel Brault was born on June 25, 1928 in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He was a cinematographer and director, known for Pour la suite du monde (1963), Orderers (1974) and Threshold (1981). He died on September 21, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Director | Les portes tournantes
A distant relative of Herman and Joseph Mankiewicz, Francis was born in Shangaï in 1944. In 1945, his family moved to Montreal, where Francis would spend all his childhood. In the sixties, he graduated in Geology from Montreal University and worked in the woods for a while before realizing geology ...
21. Peter Medak
Director | The Krays
Peter Medak is an international Film Director. Born in Budapest, Hungary and fled to England at the age of 18 during the famous uprising against the communist regime. He immediately began his Film career with associated British Picture Corporation in Borehamwood. He studied and worked his way ...
A Hungarian director who has worked in Canada and made The Changeling (1980)
24. Phillip Borsos
Director | The Grey Fox
A leading Canadian filmmaker, Phillip Borsos has enjoyed considerable success in international markets. One of the "Vancouver School", he began his career as a director (and sometime producer and writer) with several short subjects, beginning with Cooperage (1976). Nails (1979), which Borsos also ...
25. Daryl Duke
Director | The Silent Partner
Daryl Duke was born on March 8, 1929 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as Daryl James Duke. He was a director and producer, known for The Silent Partner (1978), Payday (1973) and The Bold Ones: The Senator (1970). He was married to Anne-marie Dekker. He died on October 21, 2006 in West ...
26. Rick Moranis
Actor | Spaceballs
Rick began his career as a radio DJ while he was still at high school which led to him writing, producing and being on air in his own show. He joined the Canadian TV series SCTV (1976) winning an Emmy for writing and portraying the character Bob McKenzie which became the basis for the film _Strange...
27. Dave Thomas
Writer | The Blacklist
Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, Dave was the eldest son of John and Moreen Thomas. John Thomas (deceased) was a PHD in Philosophy (Duke), noted medical ethicist, head of Philosophy Department at McMaster University, and author of several books including: "Matters of Life and Death," "Well ...
32. Pierre Falardeau
Director | Elvis Gratton
Pierre Falardeau was born on December 28, 1946 in Montréal, Québec, Canada as Pierre Guillaume Falardeau. He was a director and writer, known for Elvis Gratton (1981), Le party (1990) and Le temps des bouffons (1993). He was married to Manon Leriche. He died on September 25, 2009 in Montréal.
34. David Cronenberg
Director | The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...
36. Sandor Stern
Writer | The Mod Squad
Born in the northern Canadian town of Timmins, Ontario; raised in the small town of Prescott, Ontario, on the St. Lawrence River; Sandor Stern was drawn to short story writing while in high school and began writing stage plays while attending the University of Toronto. Though he planned to obtain a...
38. Allan Moyle
Director | Pump Up the Volume
Unconventional filmmaker who moved from independent cinema into the Hollywood mainstream. Moyle became a sought-after writer-director after the surprising success of Pump Up the Volume (1990), a sleeper hit about teen angst starring Christian Slater. His previous directorial outing occurred a full ...
Director | Léolo
Lauzon came from a humble family and he worked in many different jobs, until he obtained a title in Communications, and went to Los Angeles to study cinema, in the late 70s. He made some shortcuts, the majority of which received awards, and then two films which also won many prizes and established ...
43. Ivan Reitman
Producer | Up in the Air
Ivan Reitman, as a producer and director, has created many of American cinema's most successful and best loved feature film comedies and has worked with Hollywood's acting elite. Reitman has produced such hits as the ground-breaking sensation National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), which introduced ...
45. François Girard
Director | Le violon rouge
François Girard was born in Quebec in 1963. Best known for his movie writing and directing (Thirty-two Short Films About Glenn Gould, The red Violin, Silk...), Girard also directed a number of plays and operas including PARSIFAL at the Metropolitan Opera. He also wrote and directed two Cirque du ...
46. Robert Lieberman
Director | The Expanse
Robert Lieberman is the director of D3:The Mighty Ducks, the third edition of one of Disney's more successful franchises. He started his feature career back in 1982 directing Jon Voight in Table For Five, fresh off his Best Actor Oscar for Coming Home and over the intervening almost twenty years ...
47. Atom Egoyan
Director | The Sweet Hereafter
Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, he was raised in Western Canada. Both his parents were painters, and he planned to be a playwright, but after making a short film, he became hooked on telling stories visually. Returned to ethnic "homeland" when he filmed Calendar (1993) in Armenia. Won attention ...
48. Robert Lepage
Actor | La face cachée de la lune
Robert Lepage is one of the foremost stage directors today and a leading figure in the Canadian avant garde, attracting particular attention for his multimedia-rich theatrical presentations as well as his innovative work with Shakespearian drama and opera.
52. James Cameron
Writer | Avatar
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...
55. Anne Wheeler
Director | Cowboys Don't Cry
Born in Alberta, to a doctor father and musician mother, Anne earned degrees in mathematics and music, putting her way through university as a performer. She came to film-making after working and traveling around the world for a couple of years, exploring Europe, Asia and Africa. She returned home ...
56. Mary Harron
Director | American Psycho
Mary Harron was born on January 12, 1953 in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. She is a director and producer, known for American Psycho (2000), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and The Moth Diaries (2011). She has been married to John Walsh since August 15, 1998. They have two children.
57. David Steinberg
Director | Curb Your Enthusiasm
Comedian David Steinberg, born in 1942, grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. He left home to attend the University of Chicago. The family moved to Chicago when he was a teen. It was there that he saw a performance by the Second City Chicago Troupe and it changed the course of his life. With another student...
60. Brad Armstrong
Director | Euphoria
Canadian-born Brad Armstrong's career was initially determined while he was still in college, where he majored in commercial art and advertising. He soon began his adventures in adult-film production while simultaneously establishing himself as one of the adult industry's most in-demand performers....
61. Kari Skogland
Director | Fifty Dead Men Walking
Award-winning director and show runner Kari Skogland is CEO of Mad Rabbit, a joint venture between her and Red Arrow Entertainment Group. As CEO, Skogland is committed to producing high-end one-hour dramas for the international market for the company, which launched in Spring 2016.
Named by ...
62. Clement Virgo
Producer | Greenleaf
Clement Virgo is one of Canada's foremost film directors. In 2015 he directed and co-wrote a six part miniseries adaptation of the Lawrence Hill novel The Book of Negroes (2015) which debuted to record-breaking numbers on the CBC in Canada and on BET in the U.S. and won twelve Canadian Screen ...
63. Roger Avary
Producer | The Rules of Attraction
Award-winning filmmaker Roger Avary first began experimenting in Beta I video and 8mm film formats during the late 1970s. In 1983, his Super-8mm supernatural thriller The Worm Turns won Best Film from the Los Angeles Film Teachers Association Film Expo. He went on to attend the Pasadena Art Center ...
64. Denys Arcand
Writer | Les invasions barbares
One of Québec's most politically aware filmmakers, Denys Arcand studied history at Université de Montréal, where he co-directed Seul ou avec d'autres (1962) with Denis Héroux and co-written with Stéphane Venne. He joined the National Film Board (NFB) in 1963, where his feature-length documentary on...
65. Mark Achbar
Producer | The Corporation
Mark Achbar is a producer, known for The Corporation (2003), Two Brides and a Scalpel: Diary of a Lesbian Marriage (2000) and Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992).
69. Paul Haggis
Writer | Crash
Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back - Million Dollar Baby (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash (2004) which he himself directed. For Crash (2004), he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and ...
70. Guy Maddin
Director | The Saddest Music in the World
Guy Maddin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to Herdis Maddin (a hair-dresser) and Charles "Chas" Maddin (grain clerk and general manager of the Maroons, a Winnipeg hockey team). Maddin studied economics at the University of Winnipeg, working as a bank manager, house painter, and photographic...
74. Dean DeBlois
Writer | How to Train Your Dragon 2
Dean DeBlois is a Canadian writer, director, and producer known best for having co-written and co-directed Disney's Lilo & Stitch (2002) and Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon (2010), both Oscar nominated. While working as an assistant animator and layout artist for Hinton Animation Studios ...
Director | Dogtown
George Hickenlooper graduated from Yale University in 1986. He was born on May 25, 1963 in St. Louis, Missouri and raised there, Boston, and San Francisco. His interest in film began in childhood and stemmed from his great-uncle's (Leopold Stokowski) involvement in the movie Fantasia (1940). ...
The American director has worked in Canada where he made Casino Jack (2010)
Director | Monsieur Lazhar
After studying Canadian politics and international relations, Philippe Falardeau was chosen in 1993 as a contestant for the popular TV series La course destination monde (1988) (a contest were the participants tour the world making short films). There, he shot 20 films and ended up winning the race...
80. Sarah Polley
Actress | Dawn of the Dead
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...
83. Shawn Levy
Producer | Arrival
Shawn Levy was born on July 23, 1968 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a producer and director, known for Stranger Things (2016), Real Steel (2011), and the Night at the Museum franchise. He is the founder and principal of 21 Laps Entertainment. He is married to Serena Levy and they have four ...
85. Denis Villeneuve
Director | Arrival
Denis Villeneuve is a French Canadian film director and writer. He was born in 1967, in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. He started his career as a filmmaker at the National Film Board of Canada. He is best known for his feature films Arrival (2016), Sicario (2015), Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), ...
86. David Soren
Writer | Turbo
David Soren is a director, writer, and actor known for Captain Underpants (2017), Turbo (2013), and Merry Madagascar (2009). A DreamWorks veteran of twenty years, Soren has worked as a story artist on "The Road to El Dorado," "Chicken Run" and "Shrek." He then served as the head of story on the hit...
90. Nisha Ganatra
Director | Chutney Popcorn
Nisha Ganatra was born in Vancouver, Canada, and raised in California in a traditional household.
Ganatra is a graduate of the prestigious New York University (NYU) film school, where she studied with Martin Scorcese, Barbara Kopple, and Spike Lee. Chutney Popcorn (1999) was her feature film debut.