Top Rising Asian American Directors

by monikerman_dx | created - 12 Sep 2013 | updated - 08 Jul 2015 | Public

Top Rising Asian American Directors and Filmmakers. In no particular order. Directors on this list should be AMERICAN. Also, more "senior" filmmakers like Ang Lee, Wayne Wang, M. Night, etc. are left out since they are older and more established.

1. 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)...

2. Justin Lin

Producer | Furious 6

Justin Lin is a Taiwanese-American film director whose films have grossed $2 billion worldwide. He is best known for his work on Better Luck Tomorrow, The Fast and the Furious 3-6 and Star Trek Beyond. He is also known for his work on television shows like Community and the second season of True ...

3. Cary Joji Fukunaga

Producer | Beasts of No Nation

Cary Joji Fukunaga was born on July 10, 1977 in Oakland, California, USA. He is a producer and director, known for Beasts of No Nation (2015), Sin Nombre (2009) and It (2017).

4. Jon M. Chu

Director | G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Jon is an alumni of the USC School of Cinema-Television. There, he won the Princess Grace Award, the Dore Schary Award presented by the Anti-Defamation league, the Jack Nicholson directing award, and recognized as an honoree for the IFP/West program Project: Involve.

After making his student short, ...

5. Mira Nair

Director | Monsoon Wedding

Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...

6. Tarsem Singh

Director | The Fall

Indian director Tarsem Singh is the son of an aircraft engineer. He was educated at Bishop Cotton Boy's School in Shimla and relocated to the USA to study business at Harvard and, significantly, film studies at the Art Center College of Design in California. Upon graduating he embarked on a career ...

7. Tze Chun

Writer | Children of Invention

Painted the original artwork used in the poster for the film Half Nelson. Also painted the drawings for the children's book that is seen in the film.

8. Karyn Kusama

Director | The Invitation

Karyn Kusama was born on March 21, 1968 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Karyn K. Kusama. She is a director and producer, known for The Invitation (2015), Girlfight (2000) and Æon Flux (2005).

9. Joseph Kahn

Director | Bodied

Joseph Kahn was born on October 12, 1972. He is a director and cinematographer, known for Bodied (2017), Detention (2011) and Torque (2004).

10. Jay Chandrasekhar

Director | Super Troopers

Jay Chandrasekhar was born on April 9, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Jayanth Jumbulingam Chandrasekhar. He is a director and actor, known for Super Troopers (2001), Club Dread (2004) and Beerfest (2006). He has been married to Susan Clarke since September 18, 2005. They have three children.

11. Jessica Yu

Director | Fosse/Verdon

Jessica Yu was born in 1966 as Jessica Lingman Yu. She is a director and producer, known for Fosse/Verdon (2019), Billions (2016) and Maria Bamford: Old Baby (2017). She is married to Mark Salzman.

12. Gregg Araki

Writer | Mysterious Skin

Gregg Araki was born on December 17, 1959 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Mysterious Skin (2004), White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) and Kaboom (2010).

14. Patrick Wang

Writer | In the Family

Patrick Wang is a writer and actor, known for In the Family (2011), A Bread Factory, Part One (2018) and The Grief of Others (2015).

15. So Yong Kim

Director | Na-moo-eobs-neun san

She originally comes from Korea but also grew up in Los Angeles, USA.

16. Benson Lee

Director | Seoul Searching

Benson Lee is a director and producer, known for Seoul Searching (2015), Miss Monday (1998) and Planet B-Boy (2007).

17. Jennifer Phang

Director | Advantageous

A Berkeley-born daughter of Chinese-Malaysian and Vietnamese heritage, Jennifer Phang is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at the American Film Institute.

Her sophomore feature Advantageous won a Jury Prize at Sundance 2015 and was based on her award winning Futurestates short Advantageous (...

18. Dennis Lee

Writer | Jesus Henry Christ

Dennis Lee is a writer and producer, known for Jesus Henry Christ (2003), Jesus Henry Christ (2011) and Imperium (2016).

19. Kevin Tancharoen

Director | Fame

Kevin Tancharoen is a filmmaker, writer, producer and choreographer whose Mortal Kombat series revived the live action format for the franchise.

Kevin came to the attention of Warner Bros. with the stealth release of his viral video Mortal Kombat : Rebirth that re-imagined the video game franchise ...

20. Michael Kang

Director | The Motel

Michael Kang is a Korean American filmmaker based in New York. He was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island but has been in New York since attending New York University Tisch School of the Arts' Dramatic Writing Program where he was a Founder's Day Honors Scholar. His feature film directorial...

21. Quentin Lee

Director | White Frog

A member of Producer's Guild of America, Quentin Lee has directed and produced over ten features. His first feature SHOPPING FOR FANGS (co-directed with Justin Lin) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and became a cult classic as part of Asian American New Wave 1997. His subsequent...

22. H.P. Mendoza

Writer | Bitter Melon

H.P. Mendoza was born on March 13, 1977 in San Francisco, California, USA. He is a writer and composer, known for Bitter Melon (2018), I Am a Ghost (2012) and Colma: The Musical (2006).

24. Alice Wu

Director | The Half of It

Studied computer science at MIT and Stanford University, where she received her bachelors and masters degrees. Left a job designing software at Microsoft to write and direct her first film, Saving Face, which premiered at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals, where it was acquired and released ...

25. Andrew Ahn

Director | Spa Night

Andrew Ahn is a director and producer, known for Spa Night (2016), Andy (2010) and Dol (First Birthday) (2011).

26. Yen Tan

Writer | 1985

Yen Tan was born in 1975 in Malaysia.

27. David Ren

Director | The Girl from the Naked Eye

David Ren was born in Shanghai, China and raised primarily in Queens, New York. At age nine, he started to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and began making his own DV movies soon after. He later attended the Bronx High School of Science, Professional Children's School, ...

28. Tanuj Chopra

Director | Grin

Completed his Master of Fine Arts in Film degree from the Columbia University School of the Arts in New York City (May 2007).

29. Eric Byler

Director | Charlotte Sometimes

Chinese American writer/director Eric Byler grew up in California, Virginia, and Hawaii before graduating from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Eric was nominated for a 2003 Independent Spirit Award for his debut feature film Charlotte Sometimes (2002), which also earned nominations for producer ...

30. Evan Jackson Leong

Director | Linsanity

Evan Jackson Leong is a director and cinematographer, known for Linsanity (2013), Snakehead and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006).

31. Stephane Gauger

Cinematographer | Cú và chim se se

Stephane Gauger was born on August 30, 1969 in Saigon, Vietnam. He is known for his work on Owl and the Sparrow (2007), Saigon Electric (2011) and Six-String Samurai (1998). He died on January 11, 2018.

32. Gary King

Director | How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song

Gary King was born on November 15, 1972 in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He is a director and writer, known for How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song (2012), Bad Luck Dandelion and What's Up Lovely (2010).

33. Erin Li

Director | Kepler X-47

Erin Li is a director and writer, known for Kepler X-47 (2014), Etheria (2020) and L.A. Coffin School (2011).

34. Daniel Hsia

Writer | Shanghai Calling

Daniel Hsia is a writer and director, known for Shanghai Calling (2012), Annie Undocumented (2014) and How to Do the Asian Squat (2002).

35. J.P. Chan

Writer | A Picture of You

J.P. Chan is a writer and producer, known for A Picture of You (2013), Beijing Haze (2008) and I Don't Sleep I Dream (2009).

36. Timothy Tau

Producer | Nathan Jung v. Bruce Lee

Timothy Tau is an award-winning writer, director and producer. He was named by Mic Magazine as one of "6 Young Asian-American Filmmakers Who Are Shattering America's Asian Film Bias."

Tau's short film Nathan Jung v. Bruce Lee (2016), which recounts the true story of veteran actor Nathan Jung meeting ...

37. Nadine Truong

Director | I Can I Will I Did

Nadine Truong received her BA degree in Anthropology from UCLA in 2003 and her MFA degree in Directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2009. Prior to graduate school, she worked for various production companies and additionally gained valuable experience in talent representation. ...

38. Tadashi Nakamura

Director | Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings

Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN's Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. His recent film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (NEA funded) was broadcasted nationally on PBS in 2013 and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film ...

39. Steven J. Kung

Writer | Dear White People

The son of a tech entrepreneur and computer science professor, Steven J. Kung was born and bred in Virginia Beach and graduated from the University of Virginia where he wrote his bilingual honors thesis on human rights in China. After holding positions at the Kennedy Center and the Department of ...

40. Byron Q.

Producer | Raskal Love

Byron Q studied under renowned French New Wave Director Jean-Pierre Gorin at the University of California, San Diego. As a result, his style has been observed as a mix of urban themes with French New Wave style. Bang Bang, his first feature film, was also shot on-location in San Diego, and won a ...

42. Andrew Oh

Director | Illegal

Andrew Oh was born on July 15, 1979 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Andrew Saejin Oh.

43. Bao Nguyen

Director | Be Water

Bao Nguyen is an award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker whose past work has been seen in the New York Times, HBO, NBC, Vice, ARTE, and PBS. He has directed, produced, and shot a number of short films, which have played internationally in numerous festivals and museums including MoMA and the ...

45. Juwan Chung

Director | Baby

Juwan Chung is a director and writer, known for Baby (2007) and Cake (2004).

46. Georgia Lee

Producer | The Expanse

Award-winning writer/director Georgia Lee has directed five short films. Her first two shorts, "The Big Dish" (B&W, 16 mm 1998), and "Bloom" (Color, 16 mm, 1999), have shown at numerous film festivals. "Bloom" was also acquired and broadcast by PBS as part of the Reel New York series. In 2000 she ...

48. Walter Boholst

Producer | D-volution

Walter Boholst is a producer and director, known for D-volution (2011), Voodoo Possession (2014) and Lady Killer (2003).

49. Debbie Lum

Director | Seeking Asian Female

Debbie Lum is known for her work on Seeking Asian Female (2012), SF Stories (2009) and Chinese Beauty (2005).

51. James Z. Feng

Producer | Fight Life

In 2002, James shot his first film at the age of 17 in high school with friends and classmates, a gangster feature length film titled Triads V.

James decided to focus on acting during college, he studied theater as a minor and did a few theater plays while mainly focusing on film acting. He starred ...

52. Raymond Chu

Editor | Night Lights

Raymond Chu has contributed as a Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, or combination, on a wide range of commercial, fashion, television, web series, music video, short film, documentary projects that have gone on to win awards at film festivals around the world and featured on Vimeo Staff ...

53. Ryan Koo

Director | Amateur

Ryan Koo is a director and writer, known for Amateur (2018).

54. Steve Nguyen

Producer | CHOPS, Tiger JK, Yoon Mi-rae: Turn It Up

Steve Nguyen is a Vietnamese American director, writer and film producer. Nguyen and fellow director Choz Belen formed Studio APA, a multimedia collective that specializes in the production of animated films and music videos. He was the co-founder of Channel APA, an online news source that started ...

55. Freddie Wong

Director | Video Game High School

Freddie Wong was born on September 13, 1985 in the USA. He is a director and actor, known for Video Game High School (2012), Dimension 404 (2017) and Anime Crimes Division (2017).

56. James Huang

Actor | Starting from Scratch

James Huang resides in Melbourne, Australia where he teaches acting with his company the Hollywood Actor Lab and works as a filmmaker with his production company Yellow Sun Films. His feature film 'Starting from Scratch' was acquired and distributed worldwide after a successful film festival run. ...

57. Wen Ren

Director | Zui Hou De Ri Chu

Wen Ren was born on May 4, 1989 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. He is known for his work on Last Sunrise (2019), Cafe Glass (2015) and Couple in the Bedroom (2013).

58. Quoc Bao Tran

Director | The Paper Tigers

Mentored early on by master action director Corey Yuen, Bao was instilled with an approach to action that doesn't rely solely on spectacle, but also draws on story and character. Screen Anarchy praised his written-and-directed short 'Bookie' for its "flawlessly realized world populated by entirely ...

59. Junya Sakino

Producer | Sake-Bomb

Junya Sakino is a cinematographer and producer, known for Sake-Bomb (2013), Orizuru (2006) and Last Knights (2015).

60. Abraham Lim

Actor | The Boys

Abraham Lim is known for his work on The Boys (2019), Clickbait (2021) and The Fix (2019).

61. Stanley Yung

Producer | #1 Serial Killer

Stanley Yung is known for his work on #1 Serial Killer (2013), 2 Bedroom 1 Bath (2014) and The Unbidden (2016).

62. Mike Diva

Director | The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

Mike Diva is an LA-based director and VFX artist. He began his career on YouTube garnering over 160 million channel views. Mike is known for "The Lonely Island Presents "The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience"" (Netflix, 2019) and "Halo Top: Eat The Ice Cream" (2017), which was named one of ...

64. Sheldon Wong Schwartz

Director | The Circle

Sheldon is an award winning film and commercial director, who has directed commercials for global brands like Lenovo and Samsung. Wong recently spent four years working with DJI - the world leader in consumer drone technology - where he directed multiple global video campaigns shot in over 15 ...

66. Ross Ching

Director | The Perfect Frame

Ross Ching was born on January 9, 1986 in San Jose, California, USA. He is a director and editor, known for The Perfect Frame (2008), 3 Minutes (2011) and Senescence (2009).

69. Daniel Park

Producer | Ktown Cowboys

Daniel Park (also known as Dpd) is a producer and director. He likes The Misfits, Fight Club, King Taco, and Golden Retrievers. In 2010 he took his first stab at directing/producing with web series Ktown Cowboys. The online success eventually lead to the feature film as well as the start of his ...

70. Philip Wang

Director | Single by 30

Philip Wang is a director and writer, known for Single by 30 (2016), Everything Before Us (2015) and Agents of Secret Stuff (2010).

71. Joe Jitsukawa

Actor | JustKiddingFilms

Joe Jitsukawa is an actor and writer, known for JustKiddingFilms (2007), 30 Seconds and 626 (2012).

72. Jeffrey Gee Chin

Director | Lil Tokyo Reporter

Jeffrey Gee Chin grew up in Marin County. His mission is to share the untold stories of immigrant pioneers who came to the United States in the early 20th Century.

In 2012, he completed his first narrative short film Lil Tokyo Reporter (2012) which stars Academy Award-Winner Chris Tashima as Civil ...

73. Johnny Ma

Writer | Lao Shi

Johnny Ma (Nan Ma) was Born in Shanghai, China. Immigrated to Canada at the age of ten years old. After working in both the finance and fashion industry. He attended Columbia University Master of Fine Arts as Director/ Screenwriter in 2010. Currently Johnny resides in Vancouver but works in both ...

74. Patrick Epino

Producer | Awesome Asian Bad Guys

Patrick Epino is a producer and director, known for Awesome Asian Bad Guys (2014), Mr. Sadman (2009) and Void (2005).

75. Wesley Chan

Director | Single by 30

Wesley Chan is a director and producer, known for Single by 30 (2016), Everything Before Us (2015) and Zoetic (2019).

76. Stephen Dypiangco

Producer | Awesome Asian Bad Guys

Stephen Dypiangco is a producer and director, known for the Academy Award-winning live action short film God of Love (2010), the National Film Society web series, and the action comedy Awesome Asian Bad Guys (2014), which stars Al Leong, Randall Park, Dante Basco, Yuji Okumoto, Tamlyn Tomita, Aaron...

77. Keo Woolford

Actor | The Haumana

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Keo has starred as the King of Siam in a revival of The King and I at the London Palladium in London's West End, playing over 350 performances opposite Elaine Paige and Josie Lawrence. In New York City and Los Angeles, he appeared in numerous productions, ...

78. Li Lu

Director | There Is a New World Somewhere

Li Lu is an assistant director and director, known for There Is a New World Somewhere (2015), The Resident (2018) and Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct (2019).

79. Akiko Izumitani

Director | Kung Fu Date

Akiko Izumitani is a female director/producer/writer born and raised in Japan. She is also an active member of AWD (Alliance of Women Directors) in Los Angeles.

Akiko first earned recognition through her feature-length documentary, "Silent Shame" (2010), in-depth exploration into Japan's war crimes ...

80. Ryan Kawamoto

Director | The Sand Island Drive-In Anthem

Attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

81. S. Leo Chiang

Producer | Our Time Machine

S. Leo Chiang is a cinematographer and producer, known for Our Time Machine (2019), A Village Called Versailles (2009) and Mr. Cao Goes to Washington (2012).

83. Jon Maxwell

Director | Penrose Avenue

Jon Maxwell is known for his work on Penrose Avenue, Eat (2008) and Aka Dan (2014).

84. Chris Chan Lee

Director | Yellow

Chris Chan Lee is an editor and director, known for Yellow (1997), Undoing (2006) and Jasmine (2015).

85. Greg Pak

Writer | Robot Stories

Greg Pak is an independent film director whose feature film, Robot Stories (2003), has won many honors, including "Best Feature Film" at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. His short films Asian Pride Porn (2000) and All Amateur Ecstasy (2002) are some of the most popular, downloadable ...

86. Derek Nguyen

Director | Cô Hâu Gái

Derek Nguyen is a producer, known for The Housemaid (2016), Buster's Mal Heart (2017) and Lovesong (2016).

87. Mike Le

The Haunting

Adapted the novel "Tokyo Suckerpunch" when it was initially set up at Fox Searchlight. Project is currently at Sony with Tobey Maguire attached.

88. Yasmine Gomez

Producer | Look Both Ways

Yasmine Gomez is a producer and director, known for Look Both Ways (2005), Meet Ugly (2016) and Terra Cotta (2011).

89. Eugene Choi

Producer | K-Town

Eugene Choi is the CEO and Co-founder of Collab Asia, Inc.-a venture-backed digital media company and influencer network with offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore. It was spun off from Los Angeles-based Collab Inc. in 2017. Eugene has produced two reality show projects ...

90. Grace Lee

Producer | American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee was born in Columbia, Missouri, USA. She is a producer and director, known for American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (2013), Barrier Device (2002) and Janeane from Des Moines (2012).

91. Mye Hoang

Producer | Viette

Mye Hoang is a producer and director, known for Viette (2012), Press or Say '2' (2005) and Cat Daddies (2020).

92. Lin Oeding

Stunts | The Equalizer

Lin Oeding is an American director and veteran stunt coordinator. Lin grew up in Houston, Texas and attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received a BFA in Film Directing and Screenwriting.

As a result of his background in mixed martial arts and gymnastics, Lin got his early break ...

93. Laurie Tsou

Director | Hew

Laurie Tsou is a director and writer, known for Hew (2012), Russian Red #7 and Double Happiness (2008).

94. Tiffanie Hsu

Director | Sutures

Tiffanie Hsu is known for her work on Sutures (2014), Wonderland (2017) and Life of Pi (2012).

95. Jimmie Rhee

Editor | UCandie

Jimmie Rhee is known for his work on UCandie (2014), Dead Industry (2010) and KevJumba Takes All (2012).

96. Jerry Chan

Editor | DJ:LA

Jerry Chan was born on June 1, 1979 in San Francisco, California, USA. He is an editor and producer, known for DJ:LA (2007), Nightmare (2004) and Fast Money (2006).

97. Peilin Kuo

Director | Prescott Place

Peilin Kuo is an award-winning filmmaker born in Taiwan and based in New York. After graduating with a drama degree from her homeland, she worked for a production company in Taipei which made music videos, commercials, and television programs. She relocated to New York in 2002 and started to pursue...

98. Kai-Ting Tiffany Wu

Writer | Paper Lotus

Kai-Ting Tiffany Wu is known for her work on Paper Lotus (2013), A Star Is Born (2018) and Bonaventure (2009).

99. Patricio Ginelsa Jr.

Director | Lumpia

Patricio is originally from Daly City, California, where he started making video movies with his neighborhood at the age of 13. After graduating with a BA in cinema production at the University of Southern California, Patricio became the Associate Producer of the award-winning film The Debut" and ...

100. Eric Yang


Director Eric Yang is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory. He won critical acclaim with his short film, "Estas Segura Conmigo," an official selection of the 2011 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Yang directed the short comedy "Screenwriting: A Love Story," for top ...

Recently Viewed