Top 100 Australian & New Zealand Directorsby minalex | created - 23 Nov 2012 | updated - 2 days ago | Public
Director | The Mutiny of the Bounty
Raymond Longford was born on September 23, 1878 in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia as John Walter Longford. He was a director and writer, known for The Mutiny of the Bounty (1916), The Sentimental Bloke (1919) and Gentleman in Mufti (1923). He was married to Emilie Elizabeth Anschutz and Melena ...
Actor | The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin
Coming to the US at the age of 34, New Zealand-born Rupert Julian started his career as a stage and screen actor touring Australia and New Zealand. Having made his name (and a cool million for Universal) as a dead ringer for Kaiser Wilhelm II in the 1918 film The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (1918), ...
4. 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), Vengeance of the Deep (1938) and The Farmer Goes to Town (1938). He was married to Irene Addison. He died on February 8...
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 ...
Director | Dick Barton: Special Agent
Australian-born Alf Goulding was a former vaudevillian who became a director specializing in comedy shorts. He directed Harold Lloyd comedies for Hal Roach, and in the early 1920s joined Mack Sennett, then turned out two-reelers at RKO and Columbia, sometimes featuring Edgar Kennedy. In England ...
7. Ralph Smart
Producer | Danger Man
Ralph Smart was born to Australian parents in the London suburb of Chingford, some ten miles northeast of Charing Cross. He began his professional career in films as an editor, writer and director of documentary shorts in 1927. Smart collaborated on the screenplays of some of Michael Balcon's early...
9. Tim Burstall
Director | End Play
Tim Burstall was born on April 20, 1927 in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. He was a director and writer, known for End Play (1976), Stork (1971) and Libido (1973). He was married to Neela Dey and Betty Rogers. He died on April 19, 2004 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
11. Jim Sharman
Director | The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Jim Sharman spent much of his young life at the circus, where his father and grandfather ran a travelling boxing sideshow. Taking an interest in theatre, he attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, graduating in 1966. Sharman became interested in directing experimental theatre. ...
12. Ken Hannam
Director | Sunday Too Far Away
Ken Hannam was born on July 12, 1929 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was a director and producer, known for Sunday Too Far Away (1975), Dawn! (1979) and Wandjina! (1966). He was married to Madlena Nedeva, Wendy Dickson and Lena Melocco. He died on November 16, 2004 in London, England.
14. Henri Safran
Director | The Wild Duck
17. 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 ...
19. Colin Eggleston
Director | Long Weekend
Colin Eggleston was born on September 23, 1941 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Colin Richard Francis Eggleston. He was a director and writer, known for Long Weekend (1978), Innocent Prey (1989) and Cassandra (1987). He was married to Dimity Reed and Briony Behets. He died on August 10, 2002 in...
Director | Little Women
Gillian Armstrong was born on December 18, 1950 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Gillian May Armstrong. She is a director and producer, known for Little Women (1994), My Brilliant Career (1979) and Not Fourteen Again (1996). She is married to John Pleffer. They have two children.
23. George Miller
Director | The Man from Snowy River
Not to be confused with another Australian director, George Miller, of the Mad Max movies.
British-Australian director, not to be confused with George Miller
26. Geoff Murphy
Director | The Quiet Earth
Geoff Murphy was born on October 12, 1938 in Wellington, New Zealand as Geoffrey Peter Murphy. He was a director and writer, known for The Quiet Earth (1985), Dante's Peak (1997) and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995). He was married to Merata Mita. He died on December 3, 2018 in Wellington.
27. 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 ...
28. George Ogilvie
Director | Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
George Ogilvie was born on March 5, 1931 in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia as George Buchan Ogilvie. He was a director and actor, known for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Short Changed (1986) and Blue Heelers (1994). He died on April 5, 2020 in New South Wales.
29. Pino Amenta
Director | Wentworth
Pino Amenta was born in 1952 in Australia. He is a director, writer and producer. Amenta would direct on many Australian TV series 800 Words (2015), The Doctor Blake Mysteries (2013), Worst Year of My Life, Again! (2014), Packed to the Rafters (2008), All Together Now (1991) and many more. Amenta ...
31. Russell Mulcahy
Director | Highlander
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 ...
33. Nadia Tass
Director | Amy
Recipient of 2014's Screen Leader Award for Outstanding Leadership to the Screen Industry, Nadia is one of Australia's most respected unique filmmakers. Known for directing Australian classic films "Malcolm", "The Big Steal" and "Amy". She has directed films for major studios in Hollywood and her ...
34. 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 A Woman's Tale (1991). He was married to Juliet Bacskai. He died on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Victoria, ...
38. 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 ...
40. Philippe Mora
Director | Mad Dog Morgan
Philippe Mora is a highly talented artist and film-maker with an impressive resume to boast of. He was born in Paris in 1949 to Georges and Mirka Mora, who moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1951. There the elder Moras became very important local artistic and cultural figures. Georges was an art ...
44. 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 Mad Max 2: 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 ...
45. Vincent Ward
Director | The Navigator: A Mediaeval 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 ...
47. Geoffrey Wright
Writer | Romper Stomper
Writer/director Geoffrey Wright specializes in making tough, gritty features with a hard and unflinching edge to them. He was born in 1959 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Geoffrey graduated from the Swinburne Film and Television School with a Diploma of Arts in Film and Television. Wright worked...
48. 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...
49. Lee Tamahori
Director | Once Were Warriors
Beginning as a commercial artist and photographer, he joined the New Zealand film industry in the late 1970s as a boom operator. He became an assistant director a decade later. Making international award-winning commercials for 10 years, he has also directed several TV series. His first feature ...
51. Stephan Elliott
Stephan Elliott was born on August 27, 1964 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He is a writer and director, known for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), Easy Virtue (2008) and Eye of the Beholder (1999).
53. Scott Hicks
Director | Shine
Hicks was born in Uganda and lived in Kenya, just outside Nairobi, until the age of ten. His family then moved, first to England and, when he was 14, on to Adelaide, Australia. Hicks graduated from Flinders University of South Australia (BA Honors) in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in ...
54. Clara Law
Director | Fu sheng
Clara Law was born on May 29, 1957 in Macao, China. She is a director and writer, known for Floating Life (1996), The Goddess of 1967 (2000) and Autumn Moon (1992). She is married to Eddie Ling-Ching Fong.
A Chinese immigrant
55. Andrew Niccol
Writer | Gattaca
New Zealand-born screenwriter-director Andrew Niccol began his career in London, successfully directing TV commercials before moving to Los Angeles in order to make films "longer than 60 seconds." He interested high-powered producer Scott Rudin in his The Truman Show (1998) script, but Rudin was not...
56. John Duigan
Writer | The Year My Voice Broke
Duigan emigrated to Australia in 1961, having been born to an Australian father. He is related to many Australian performers, being the husband of Nammi Le, brother of novelist Virginia Duigan (wife of director Bruce Beresford) and uncle of Trilby Beresford.
Duigan studied at Melbourne University, ...
57. Rob Sitch
Producer | Frontline
Robert 'Rob' Sitch is an Australian actor, director, producer, screenwriter and comedian. Rob was born in Melbourne, Victoria Australia. Rob is best known for his roles in The D Generation (1986), The Late Show (1992), Breaking News (1994), The Hollowmen (2008), Utopia (2014) and many more. Rob ...
58. Peter Weir
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), The Way Back (2010) and The Truman Show (1998). He has been married to Wendy Stites since 1966. They ...
59. Alex Proyas
Director | Dark City
Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music videos to feature films. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old. He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and ...
60. Scott Reynolds
Director | The Ugly
Scott Reynolds was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1968. Both of his parents worked in Hollywood Cinema in the suburbs of Auckland. One of his first memories was seeing The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) and A Fistful of Dollars (1964), an experiment at the origin of his obsession for the world ...
62. Peter Jackson
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,...
63. Baz Luhrmann
Writer | Moulin Rouge!
Baz Luhrmann is an Australian writer, director, and producer with projects spanning film, television, opera, theatre, music, and recording industries. He is regarded by many as a contemporary example of an auteur for his distinctly recognizable style and deep involvement in the writing, directing, ...
64. Andrew Adamson
Writer | Shrek 2
Andrew Adamson was born on December 1, 1966 in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a producer and writer, known for Shrek 2 (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Shrek (2001). He has been married to Gyulnara Karaeva since January 16, 2016. He was previously ...
65. Niki Caro
Director | Whale Rider
Niki Caro is a New Zealand film director and screenwriter, born in 1967. Caro was born in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. She was educated first at the Kadimah College in Auckland, and then the Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland. The School is a private girls' school, and ranks ...
66. Phillip Noyce
Producer | Rabbit-Proof Fence
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...
68. 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)...
70. Lian Lunson
Producer | Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Lian Lunson is a producer and director, known for Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2005), Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle (2012) and Waiting for the Miracle to Come (2018).
71. Mel Gibson
Actor | Braveheart
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is ...
72. Martin Campbell
Director | Casino Royale
Martin Campbell knows how to entertain an audience when he steps behind the camera. When he directed The Mask of Zorro (1998), the movie earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations and launched the international careers of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Next, when he helmed ...
77. Andrew Dominik
Director | Chopper
Andrew Dominik was born on October 7, 1967 in Wellington, New Zealand. He is a director and writer, known for Chopper (2000), Killing Them Softly (2012) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).
78. Craig Gillespie
Director | I, Tonya
Craig Gillespie is an Australian film director, best known for his films Lars and the Real Girl (2007), and I, Tonya (2017).
Born and raised in Sydney, Gillespie moved to New York City at the age of nineteen to study illustration, graphic design and advertising at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts.
79. 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.
80. Adam Elliot
Director | Mary and Max
Grew up on a shrimp farm in southern Australia together with two brothers, one sister and two parrots. He discerned his artistic abilities at an early age and spent five years studying photography, painting, pottery etc. In 1996 he began his studies at the Victorian College of the Arts where Uncle ...
85. Jeffrey Walker
Director | Lambs of God
Jeffrey Walker is an Australian born, multi-award winning director, known for Modern Family, Lambs of God, Chris Lilley's Angry Boys, Dance Academy: The Movie, Jack Irish and Ali's Wedding. Walker started his career as an actor, turning to directing at age twenty. He has worked between the U.S., ...
87. Ben Lewin
Writer | The Sessions
Ben Lewin's career as a writer and director is spread across three continents and includes award-winning documentaries, feature films, TV movies, mini-series and episodic programs. Born in Poland in 1946, he migrated to Australia with his family in 1949. As a young man, Lewin showed great passion ...
93. Taika Waititi
Writer | What We Do in the Shadows
Taika Waititi, also known as Taika Cohen, hails from the Raukokore region of the East Coast of New Zealand, and is the son of Robin (Cohen), a teacher, and Taika Waiti, an artist and farmer. His father is Maori (Te-Whanau-a-Apanui), and his mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish, Irish, Scottish, and ...
94. Jemaine Clement
Actor | Flight of the Conchords
Jemaine Clement was born and raised in Masterton, New Zealand, the oldest of three brothers. His mother is Maori. Clement was educated at Makoura College in Masterton, NZ. He went on to study drama and film at Victoria University of Wellington. Whilst there he met Taika Waititi, and they formed ...
96. Justin Kurzel
Director | Snowtown
Known for his bold career growth, Australian director Justin Kurzel, who, after the striking debut feature The Snowtown Murders (2011), which conquered hearts of people on many festivals, has chosen a Shakespearean adaptation (Macbeth (2015)) starring famous international film actors Michael ...
99. Leigh Whannell
Actor | Saw
Leigh Whannell grew up in Melbourne, Australia, where, at the age of four, he developed an obsession with telling stories. Whether it be through acting, writing or filmmaking, his primary love was getting a reaction from an audience. In 1995, at the age of 18, he was accepted into the Royal ...