My Favorite Writers & Directors Of Right Now

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1.
Edward Burns
Edward Fitzgerald Burns was born January 29, 1968 in Woodside, Queens, New York. He is the second of three children of Molly (McKenna), who worked for the Federal Aviation Administration at Kennedy Airport, and Edward J. Burns, a police sergeant and active spokesperson for the New York Police Dept. He was raised Catholic...
 
4.
Brit Marling
Actress, Another Earth
Brit Heyworth Marling was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Heidi (Johnson) and John Marling, both of whom work in real estate. She graduated from Georgetown University, with a bachelor's in economics, and was offered a job with Goldman Sachs, which she turned down in favour of a career as an artist. She moved to Los Angeles to act and...
 
5.
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
 
7.
Jay Duplass
Jay Duplass, along with his brother, Mark Duplass, first made a name for himself writing and directing several award-winning short films. His first feature film was the Sundance 2005 breakout hit "The Puffy Chair," which went on to win the Audience Award at SXSW and receive two Independent Spirit Award nominations...
 
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Greta Gerwig
Actress, Frances Ha
Greta Celeste Gerwig is an American actress and filmmaker. She was born in Sacramento, California, to Christine Gerwig (nee Sauer), a nurse, and Gordon Gerwig, a financial consultant and computer programmer. She has German, Irish, and English ancestry. Gerwig was raised as a Unitarian Universalist...
 
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Colin Trevorrow
Born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, Colin Trevorrow started making short films when he was 12 years old. He studied film and dramatic writing at New York University. After graduation, he wrote and directed "Home Base" a digital short that became one of the early viral successes on the internet...
 
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Charlie Kaufman
Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon transferred NYU to study film...
 
13.
Kelly Reichardt
Director, Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father's camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston...
 
14.
Noah Baumbach
Writer, Greenberg
Born in Brooklyn in 1969 Noah Baumbach is the son of two film critics, Georgia Brown and Jonathan Baumbach (also a writer). His studies at Vassar College were the subject of his first film (made as he was 26 years old), Kicking and Screaming. His second major picture, made ten years later, The Squid and the Whale was no less autobiographical but went back further in his personal history...
 
15.
Seth MacFarlane
Writer, Ted
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born in the small New England town of Kent, Connecticut, where he lived with his mother, Ann Perry (Sager), an admissions office worker, his father, Ronald Milton MacFarlane, a prep school teacher, and his sister Rachael MacFarlane, now a voice actress and singer. He is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and descends from Mayflower passengers...
 
17.
Sofia Coppola
Writer, Somewhere
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was previously married to Spike Jonze.
 
18.
Jim Jarmusch
Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.
 
19.
Miranda July
Filmmaker Magazine rated her #1 in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004! She is a performance artist and published short story writer. Since becoming a filmmaker, her debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) has won several film awards. Daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard Grossinger, writers and publishers who founded North Atlantic Books.
 
20.
Derek Cianfrance
Derek Cianfrance began making movies at age 13. He later attended The University of Colorado where he studied under avant-garde film legends Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. His first three films, 'Five O'clock Shadow', 'Raw Footage', and Brother Tied, won consecutive Goldfarb Awards for best film...
 
21.
Alex Holdridge
Alex Holdridge is a writer/director/actor known for the Independent Spirit Award winning In Search of a Midnight Kiss. His newest film, Meet Me in Montenegro, co-directed and co-written by Linnea Saasen, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released by The Orchard in the United States in the summer of 2015...
 
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Paul Thomas Anderson
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making 8 mm films, Anderson cut his teeth shooting films on video and editing them from V.C.R. to V.C.R...
 
24.
Alexander Payne
Producer, The Descendants
Director, producer and screenwriter Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Peggy (Constantine) and George Payne, ran a Greek restaurant. His father is of Greek and German ancestry, and his mother is of Greek descent; the family name was originally Papadopoulos. He has two older brothers...
 
25.
Kenneth Lonergan
Writer, Analyze This
Kenneth Lonergan is a playwright, screenwriter and director. His film You Can Count On Me, which he wrote and directed, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, won the Sundance 2000 Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the NY Film Critics Circle, LA Film Critics Circle...
 
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Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn is a Danish film director, screenwriter and producer. He moved to the United States in 1981 and is known for directing the crime dramas Bleeder (1999) and the Pusher films (1996, 2004, 2005), the fictionalised biographical film Bronson (2008), the dramatic adventure film Valhalla Rising (2009)...
 
30.
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Jason Leigh was born Jennifer Lee Morrow in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of writer Barbara Turner and actor Vic Morrow. Her father was of Russian Jewish descent and her mother was of Austrian Jewish ancestry. She is the sister of Carrie Ann Morrow and half-sister of actress Mina Badie...
 
32.
Terry Zwigoff
Director, Ghost World
Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, Zwigoff held several jobs before making his breakthrough feature: the documentary Crumb (1994) in 1994. His previous jobs included musician, shipping clerk, printer and welfare office worker. In fact, Zwigoff traces his film career back to discovering a rare blues recording by an unknown Chicago blues musician he discovered in 1978...
 
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Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski, born in Boston in 1977, is the son of an artist-turned-businesswoman, Sheila Dubman, and a businessman, Edmund Bujalski. Andrew studied film at Harvard's Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, where the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman was his thesis advisor. He shot his first feature...
 
39.
Kathryn Bigelow
Director, The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be critiqued by people like Richard Serra...
 
40.
James Gray
Writer/director James Gray made his first film Little Odessa at the age of twenty-five. The film, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival's prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994. Miramax Films released James Gray's second feature...
 
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Adam Wingard
Director, V/H/S
Alabama-based filmmaker Adam Wingard got an early start in his field, as he shot and directed his first feature film at the age of nineteen while still enrolled in film school. That film, the horror-comedy Home Sick, starring Bill Moseley, Tiffany Shepis, 'Tom Towles' qv, and 'Brandon Carroll'...
 
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Jeremy Saulnier
Cinematographer, Blue Ruin
Jeremy Saulnier has slyly defined a unique cinematic aesthetic that complements his idiosyncratic narrative premises. His sophomore feature, Blue Ruin (2013) a quirky, crime drama set in a pretty, but grimier part of suburban America was a festival darling and supplanted his name within the independent movie scene...
 
47.
Dan Gilroy
Writer, Nightcrawler
Dan Gilroy was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Frank D. Gilroy, and sculptor and writer Ruth Dorothy. His brother Tony Gilroy is a screenwriter and director; and his fraternal twin brother, John Gilroy, is a film editor. Through his father, he is of Italian, Irish and German descent...
 
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Shawn Christensen
Writer, Curfew
Shawn Christensen graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Illustration and Graphic Design. After graduating, he formed indie rock band Stellastarr* and, while on tour, wrote and sold many screenplays, including Sidney Hall (Fox Searchlight) and Karma Coalition (Warner Bros.). Stellastarr* released two albums on RCA Records and a third album...
 
56.
Patrick Brice
Director, Creep
Patrick Brice was born on April 23rd, 1983 in Grass Valley, California as Donat Patrick Kack-Brice. He is an actor, writer, and director known for Maurice (2011), Creep (2014) and The Overnight (2015). He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He lives and works in Los Angeles.
 
59.
Justin Lader
writer The Discovery (2017), The One I Love After receiving a film degree from the University of Central Florida, Justin went on to attend the American Film Institute (AFI) where he received his Masters in Screenwriting. While at AFI, Justin met Charlie McDowell who was enrolled in the directing program...
 
60.
Asghar Farhadi
Asghar Farhadi was born in 1972 in Iran. He became interested in cinema in his teenage years and started his filmmaking education by joining the Youth Cinema Society of Esfahan in 1986 where he made 8mm and 16mm short films. He received his Bachelors in Theater from University of Tehran's School of...
 
62.
Mike Flanagan
Editor, Oculus
Mike Flanagan was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1978 to Timothy and Laura Flanagan. The family relocated frequently, as Timothy was in the U.S. Coast Guard, and finally settled in Bowie, Maryland. As a child, he would shoot and edit short movies on VHS. This continued as he attended Archbishop Spalding High School in Severna Park...