Black Directors

by d_osborn | created - 19 Jan 2015 | updated - 18 Dec 2015 | Public

1. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

2. Steve McQueen

Director | 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and producer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008). He is married to Bianca Stigter. They have two children.

3. John Singleton

Writer | Boyz n the Hood

Son of Danny Singleton, a mortgage broker, and Sheila Ward, a pharmaceutical company sales executive, and raised in separate households by his unmarried parents, John Singleton attended the Film Writing Program at USC, after graduating from high school in 1986. While studying there, he won three ...

4. Antoine Fuqua

Producer | The Magnificent Seven

Antoine Fuqua is an American film director, known for his work in the film Training Day as well as The Replacement Killers, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, Shooter, Brooklyn's Finest, Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer.

He has directed music videos for such artists as Arrested Development, Prince, ...

5. F. Gary Gray

Director | Set It Off

F. Gary Gray was born on July 17, 1969 in New York City, New York, USA as Felix Gary Gray. He is a director and producer, known for Set It Off (1996), The Italian Job (2003) and The Negotiator (1998).

6. Charles Burnett

Director | Killer of Sheep

Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi on April 13, 1944, Charles Burnett moved with his family to the Watts area of Los Angeles at an early age. He describes the community of having a robust mythical connection with the South as a result of having so many Southern transplants, an atmosphere which has ...

7. Michael Schultz

Director | Cooley High

Michael Schultz was born on November 10, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Cooley High (1975), Car Wash (1976) and Krush Groove (1985). He has been married to Lauren Jones since December 6, 1965. They have two children.

8. Ernest R. Dickerson

Director | Juice

Ernest Roscoe Dickerson A.S.C., aka. Ernest R. Dickerson, is an American film director and cinematographer. As a cinematographer, he is known for his frequent collaborations with Spike Lee. As a director, he is known for films such as Juice (1992), Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995), Bones (...

9. Carl Franklin

Director | One False Move

Carl Franklin studied history and dramatic arts at UC Berkeley. After several years as a television actor with guest shots, roles in TV movies, miniseries, and appearing as a regular on a few unsuccessful series, he returned to school and received his master's degree in directing from the American ...

10. Tim Story

Director | Fantastic Four

Timothy Kevin Story was born on March 13, 1970 in Los Angeles, California. Attended Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California with jazz pianist Eric Reed and actresses Regina King and Nia Long. Graduated from USC film school.

11. Darnell Martin

Director | I Like It Like That

Darnell Martin was born on January 7, 1964 in Bronx, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for I Like It Like That (1994), Cadillac Records (2008) and Do the Right Thing (1989). She is married to Giuseppe Ducrot.

12. Paris Barclay

Producer | NYPD Blue

Paris Barclay is one of television's most successful and honored directors. Throughout his illustrious career in television, Paris has directed over160 episodes of television, including episodes of NYPD BLUE, ER, THE WEST WING, LOST, THE GOOD WIFE, CSI, SONS OF ANARCHY, HOUSE, GLEE, IN TREATMENT, ...

13. Kasi Lemmons

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Kasi Lemmons was born on February 24, 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Karen Lemmons. She is an actress and director, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Candyman (1992) and Harriet (2019). She has been married to Vondie Curtis-Hall since August 19, 1995. They have two children.

14. Malcolm D. Lee

Director | Girls Trip

Malcolm D. Lee was born on January 11, 1970 in the USA. He is a director and producer, known for Girls Trip (2017), The Best Man (1999) and The Best Man Holiday (2013). He has been married to Camilla Banks since 2000. They have three children.

15. Kevin Hooks

Actor | Innerspace

Kevin Hooks was born on September 19, 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Innerspace (1987), Last Resort (2012) and Passenger 57 (1992). He is married to Cheryl. They have two children. He was previously married to Regina Hooks.

16. Charles Stone III

Director | Drumline

Charles Stone III was born in 1966. He is a director and actor, known for Drumline (2002), Paid in Full (2002) and Mr. 3000 (2004).

17. Julie Dash

Director | Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash was born on October 22, 1952 in Queens, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Daughters of the Dust (1991), The Rosa Parks Story (2002) and Funny Valentines (1999).

18. Cheryl Dunye

Director | The Watermelon Woman

Cheryl Dunye was born on May 13, 1966 in Liberia. She is a director and producer, known for The Watermelon Woman (1996), The Owls (2010) and Mommy Is Coming (2012).

19. Tanya Hamilton

Director | Night Catches Us

Tanya Hamilton is a director and producer, known for Night Catches Us (2010), The Chi (2018) and Queen Sugar (2016).

20. Rashaad Ernesto Green

Director | Gun Hill Road

Rashaad Ernesto Green was born on August 19, 1978 in Bronx, New York, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Gun Hill Road (2011), Premature (2019) and Premature (2008). He was previously married to Maryse Tricia Karunaratne.

21. Hype Williams

Director | Belly

Hype Williams was born in July 1970 in Queens, New York, USA as Harold Williams. He is a director and producer, known for Belly (1998), Coldplay: Viva La Vida (2008) and Jay-Z Feat. Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind (2009).

22. Leslie Harris

Producer | Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.

Leslie Harris is a producer and director, known for Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992), Bessie Coleman's Dream to Fly (1993) and New York Conversations (2010).

23. Tyler Perry

Writer | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Perry was born and raised in New Orleans, to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a church-goer and took Perry along with her once a week. His father was a carpenter and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a ...

24. Salim Akil

Producer | Black Lightning

Salim and Mara Brock Akil acquired a multi-year development deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment, slated to begin in 2016.

Salim is a native of Oakland, California. He wrote and co-produced the film Drylongso (1999) which was featured at the Sundance Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival. Salim ...

25. Millicent Shelton

Director | 30 Rock

Millicent Shelton is a director and writer, known for 30 Rock (2006), Run the World (2021) and Titans (2018). She has been married to Donald Samuel since June 10, 1995. They have two children.

26. Anthony Hemingway

Director | Red Tails

Anthony Hemingway is a director and producer, known for Red Tails (2012), Underground (2016) and American Crime Story (2016).

27. Neema Barnette

Director | Harlem

Director and producer Neema Barnette has engaged audiences with a body of socially compelling and politically charged work that defies the narrow stereotypes of African-Americans usually depicted in entertainment. Working in both television and film, Barnette has earned the respect of peers and ...

28. Bridgett M. Davis

Writer | Naked Acts

She took a screenwriting course in 1991 out of curiosity and soon found herself immersed in filmmaking. She graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1982. She is an Associate Professor of English at City University of New York's Baruch College where she teaches TV and Film Writing, ...

29. David 'Tosh' Gitonga

Director | Nairobi Half Life

David 'Tosh' Gitonga is a director and assistant director, known for Nairobi Half Life (2012), Disconnect (2018) and The Nairobians.

30. Rasselas Lakew

Director | Atletu

Rasselas Lakew was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a director and actor, known for The Athlete (2009).

31. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Director | Daratt

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun was born in 1961 in Abéché, Chad. He is a director and writer, known for Dry Season (2006), A Screaming Man (2010) and Our Father (2002).

32. Martin Mhando

Director | Maangamizi: The Ancient One

Senior lecturer and Programme Chair of Media Studies at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia

33. Idrissa Ouedraogo

Director | Yaaba

Idrissa Ouedraogo was born on January 21, 1954 in Banfora, Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso]. He was a director and writer, known for Yaaba (1989), The Law (1990) and Samba Traoré (1992). He died on February 18, 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

34. Anita W. Addison

Director | Quantum Leap

Producer/director Anita Addison was one of the first African-American, female TV executives. She began her career as a director, directing episodes of "Knots Landing," "Quantum Leap," "Freddy's Nightmares," "ER," "Sirens" and "Judging Amy." She also directed made-for-TV movies, including "There Are...

35. Omowale Akintunde

Producer | Wigger

Dr. Omowale Akintunde is renown as a public intellectual, academician, and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker. The critically acclaimed writer/producer/director is a graduate of the conservatory program in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. His first feature film, "An Inaugural Ride to Freedom," ...

36. Debbie Allen

Producer | Fame

Deborah Kaye Allen was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Debbie, her older brother, Andrew (called Tex), and her older sister, actress Phylicia Rashad, lived in Mexico to ...

37. M.K. Asante

Writer | NFL Monday Night Football

MK Asante is a best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, recording artist, and professor who the LA Times calls "one of America's best storytellers." He is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Buck and a recipient of the Sundance Feature Film Grant to adapt Buck into a screenplay. ...

38. Wyatt Bardouille

Producer | Dominica: Charting a Future for Paradise

Wyatt Bardouille is an independent filmmaker and founder of Bardouille Productions. After a career in the high-tech industry, Bardouille launched the film production company in 2005. Bardouille has produced and directed numerous short films including The Dime and A Natural Life. She has also ...

39. S. Torriano Berry

Director | Rich

S. Torriano Berry was born on January 3, 1958 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA as Steven Torriano Berry. He is a director and cinematographer, known for Rich (1983), The Embalmer (1996) and Game of Cards (2015).

40. Troy Byer

Writer | Love Don't Cost a Thing

Dr. Troy began her on-camera career at the age of four as one of the original cast members on the PBS hit show, Sesame Street. In addition to being a veteran actress, director and screenwriter, Troy holds a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, she is a best-selling published author and she is ...

41. Camille Billops

Director | Finding Christa

Camille Billops started as a sculptor and painter, became a filmmaker, and amassed a treasure trove of books, documents, and photographs related to black culture.She was born in Los Angeles in 1933 and studied art at the University of Southern California there and later switched to childhood ...

42. Madeline Anderson

Actress | Simple Creature

Madeline Anderson was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. She is an actress, known for Simple Creature (2016), Koinonia (2014) and Survival Skills (2020).

43. Amma Asante

Director | Belle

Amma Asante is a British BAFTA award winning screenwriter and director, known for Belle (2013), and A Way of Life (2004). She is a former child actress, who began her writing career at the age of 23 with a script deals from both Channel 4 in the UK and BBC. Her first movie, A Way of Life, which she...

44. Anike Bay

Producer | Girls Like Us! Part 1

Anike Bay - 'also known as' Iris Montgomery-Ilori - is the author of "Little Iris' First Day of School," "Little Iris' First-Grade Field Trip to Jet Magazine," "Girls Like Us! Season 1, 2,3 and 4." In addition, She's also a film festival 54x's nominated and Invited award-winning director, writer, ...

45. Ayoka Chenzira

Director | Alma's Rainbow

Ayoka Chenzira is an award-winning filmmaker and a recognized pioneer in Black independent cinema. She is part of a generation of African American filmmakers who helped create a genre of filmmaking now identified as Black independent cinema. Her distinctive body of work spans fiction, documentary, ...

46. Zeinabu irene Davis

Director | Compensation

Zeinabu irene Davis was born on April 13, 1961 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Compensation (1999), Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema at UCLA (2016) and A Powerful Thang (1991). She has been married to Marc Arthur Chéry since August 24, 1996. They have...

47. LisaGay Hamilton

Actress | The Practice

Lisa's mother, Tina, is a retired social worker. Her late father, Ira, worked as an engineer and then went into business as a general contractor. A sister, Heidi, is a lawyer. Lisa started acting as a child and played Flip Wilson in a 3rd grade performance. During junior high, she started traveling...

48. Shola Lynch

Producer | Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

Shola Lynch was born as Shola Ayn Lynch. She is an actress and producer, known for Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012), Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004) and Sesame Street (1969). She has been married to Vincent Morgan since September 1, 2006.

49. Barbara McCullough

Visual_effects | The Nutty Professor

Barbara McCullough was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. She is known for her work on The Nutty Professor (1996), Toys (1992) and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).

50. Ngozi Onwurah

Director | Welcome II the Terrordome

Graduated as a director from the UK's National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. Her first short film, `Coffee Coloured Children', achieved international film festival success and won first prize in the BBC Showreel competition. More success and awards followed with further dramas and ...

52. Cauleen Smith

Director | Drylongso

Cauleen Smith was born in Riverside, California and grew up in the Sacramento area. She completed her B.A. at San Francisco State University in 1991 and her M.F.A. in Film at UCLA in 1998. Her feature length film Drylongso received a lot of attention after its showing at the Sundance Film Festival....

53. Frances-Anne Solomon

Producer | HERO Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross

A trailblazer in the film and television industry, Frances-Anne Solomon was born in England of Trinidadian parents. She was raised and educated in the Caribbean and Canada before moving to Great Britain where she built a successful career in the 1990's with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and ...

54. Sylvia Sweeney

Producer | Centre Stage Chronicles

Sylvia Sweeney was born on October 3, 1956 in Montréal, Québec, Canada. She is known for her work on Centre Stage Chronicles (2000), Life and Times (1996) and Celebrate! International Performing Arts for All (2004).

55. Yvonne Welbon

Producer | Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis @ 100

Yvonne Welbon was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She is a producer and director, known for Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis @ 100 (1999), Sisters in Cinema (2003) and Monique (1992).

56. Benny Boom

Director | Next Day Air

Benny Boom is a director and producer, known for Next Day Air (2009), Black Lightning (2017) and The Equalizer (2021).

57. Kevin Bray

Director | Walking Tall

Kevin Bray is a director and producer known for his work on Succession, Insecure, Run, The Americans, Snowfall, and the pilot of Suits. Bray began his film career directing the classic urban action comedy, All About the Benjamins, as well as the 2004 remake of Walking Tall, starring Dwayne "The ...

58. Richard Brooks

Director | Anticipation

Commanding actor Richard Brooks was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He is an actor, director and singer. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Brooks studied acting, dance, and voice work at Interlochen Academy of Arts in Michigan. Later, he moved to New York City and was a student of the Circle in the Square ...

59. LeVar Burton

Actor | Star Trek: Generations

LeVar Burton was born on February 16, 1957 in Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany as Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. He is an actor and director, known for Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek: Insurrection (1998). He has been married to Stephanie ...

60. Jeffrey W. Byrd

Camera_department | Malcolm X

Jeffrey W. Byrd is a director and producer, known for Malcolm X (1992), Book of Love: The Definitive Reason Why Men Are Dogs (2002) and Bad Behavior.

61. Reggie Rock Bythewood

Producer | Dancing in September

After attending the Million Man March, Bythewood wrote the screenplay for Spike Lee's indie film, "Get On The Bus." Bythewood was also one of the film's investors. Bythewood did the rewrites for the Fox Searchlight film, "Notorious" and was awarded first-position written by credit along with the ...

62. Bruce W. Smith

Animation_department | Space Jam

Bruce W. Smith is a feature film character animator, director and television producer. He is best known as the creator and executive producer of the Disney Channel hit show The Proud Family and for supervising the animation of the evil villain Dr. Facilier in the Walt Disney animated film The ...

63. Rick Famuyiwa

Producer | Dope

Rick Famuyiwa was born on June 18, 1973 in the USA. He is a producer and director, known for Dope (2015), The Mandalorian (2019) and The Chi (2018). He has been married to Gienita Mosley since 1999.



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