Famous French Directors

What does a perfect evening seem like – a bottle of finest wine, a cuddling couch, a DVD of a super successful film and some popcorn to pop up the mood, isn’t it? Cinema was, has and shall be the greatest source of entertainment for humans. While every country today has its own film industry, there are few that have gained worldwide attention and French cinema is one of them. Renowned world over for its meticulous art of film making, French film industry has given the world a plethora of films that have been legendary in content and cinematography. And we have but French directors to thank for it. Interestingly, French directors have rolled out films in various genres, right from fabled tales to love stories, historic period films to sci-fi variants to suit the needs of all. Though each of them have a different approach towards film-making, what intrinsically remains the same for all French filmmakers include exceptional artistic perspective, unerring commitment, deep passion, extensive understanding and a resolute determination. They forward a cinematic experience that transports viewers to a world dominated by creativity and vision. Some of the outstandingly talented and exceptionally gifted French directors who have put on big screen brilliant French movies through their meticulous hard work and effort include Xavier Beauvois, Jacques Audiard, Rene Clement, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Jean Renoir, Alain Resnais, Robert Bresson, Francois Truffaut and so on. Browse through this segment and know about famous French directors.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski.
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Famous As: French-Polish Film Director
Birthdate: August 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: 12th arrondissement of Paris, Paris, France

Polish-French film director, producer, writer, and actor Roman Polanski is a popular yet controversial figure. He has made several critically acclaimed films and has received six Oscar nominations. He has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous women and is a subject of an Interpol red notice issued for his arrest.

 2 Vincent Cassel

Vincent Cassel.
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Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: November 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
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 3 Mélanie Laurent

Mélanie Laurent.
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: February 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris

French actor Mélanie Laurent shot to fame with her Étoiles d'Or-winning role in Dikkenek and her César Award-winning performance in Don't Worry, I'm Fine. She made her Hollywood debut with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and was also seen in Now You See Me. She has also released a music album.

 4 Luc Besson

Luc Besson.
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: March 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 5 Damien Chazelle

Damien Chazelle.
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: January 19, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, USA

 6 Sophie Marceau

Sophie Marceau.
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Famous As: Actress, Screenwriter, Director
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Sophie Marceau is best known for her César Award-winning performance in the French comedy La Boum 2. She has also appeared in English films such as Braveheart, Firelight, and The World Is Not Enough. She has written a novel, is a trained cellist, and has delivered an award-winning directorial debut.

 7 Guillaume Canet

Guillaume Canet
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France
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 8 Thomas Bangalter

Thomas Bangalter
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Famous As: Disc jockey, Singer, Guitarist, Director, Composer, Screenwriter, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: January 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tlaxcala

French musician Thomas Bangalter had been part of the six-time Grammy-winning electronic music duo Daft Punk for 28 years, before it split. Known for wearing their signature helmets while performing, he and his partner, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, released iconic hits such as Da Funk and Get Lucky.

 9 Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard.
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: December 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris

The Paris-born French-Swiss director and screenwriter has the reputation of adding new dimensions to filmmaking with his experimentation, a trend which came to be known as French New Wave. The director of acclaimed films like Breathless, My Life to Live and Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard was married to actress Anna Karina. He is regarded as an all-time great director.

 10 Georges Méliès

Georges Méliès
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Famous As: Illusionist
Birthdate: December 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 21, 1938

 11 Frank Darabont

Frank Darabont
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: January 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montbéliard

 12 Roger Vadim

Roger Vadim.
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Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: January 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: February 11, 2000

Roger Vadim was a French film director, producer, screenwriter, and artist. He is remembered for his visually aesthetic movies with erotic qualities. He was also popular for his relationships with beautiful actresses like Catherine Deneuve, Cindy Pickett, and Margaret Markov. Also an author, Vadim wrote several books, including his autobiography, From One Star to the Next.

 13 François Truffaut

François Truffaut
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: February 6, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 21, 1984

 14 Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau.
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Famous As: Novelist, Poet, Artist & Filmmaker
Birthdate: July 5, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte, France
Died: October 11, 1963
While Jean Cocteau preferred calling himself a poet, his multidimensional works consisted of novels such as Les Enfants Terribles and films directed by him such as La Belle et la Bête. Cocteau relied on motifs such as eyes, blood, and mirrors, and mingled mythology and modernism.

 15 Louis Garrel

Louis Garrel
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

 16 Louis Malle

Louis Malle
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer, Film director, Camera operator, Cinematographer, Actor
Birthdate: October 30, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Thumeries
Died: November 23, 1995

 17 Agnes Varda

Agnes Varda
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: May 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium
Died: March 29, 2019

 18 Maiwenn

Maiwenn
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Les Lilas, France

 19 Samuel Benchetrit

Samuel Benchetrit.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Champigny-sur-Marne, France

Samuel Benchetrit is a French writer, scenarist, actor, and director. Over the years, Benchetrit's achievements as a writer and actor have been overshadowed by his personal life and relationships with popular actresses like Marie Trintignant, Anna Mouglalis, and Vanessa Paradis.

 20 Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: May 8, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Versailles, France

 21 Greg Lansky

Greg Lansky
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: December 12, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

 22 Lizzie Brocheré

Lizzie Brocheré.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

Best known as Grace Bertrand from American Horror Story and Coco from The Strain, Lizzie Brocheré is the daughter of reputed French casting director Sylvie Brocheré. It is believed her audition for American Horror Story was so perfect that the directors re-wrote the character as French to match her accent.

 23 Ariane Labed

Ariane Labed
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Athens, Greece

 24 Cecilia Peck

Cecilia Peck
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Famous As: Film producer
Birthdate: May 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 25 Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi .
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Famous As: Graphic Novelist
Birthdate: November 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rasht

Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novelist, illustrator, cartoonist, children's book author, and film director. Satrapi achieved international recognition in the early-2000s after releasing her critically acclaimed graphic novels. She is best known for writing and directing an animated biographical drama film titled Persepolis, which received nominations at prestigious award ceremonies, such as the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globes.

 26 Mathieu Kassovitz

Mathieu Kassovitz
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: August 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France

 27 Pierre Woodman

Pierre Woodman
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Auvergne, France

 28 Jean Renoir

Jean Renoir.
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Famous As: Film Director, Actor, Producer
Birthdate: September 15, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 12, 1979

Jean Renoir was a French film director, screenwriter, and producer. The son of the prominent painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean was one of the first filmmakers to be known as an auteur. He started working during the silent film era and made more than 40 silent films. In 1975, he received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award.

 29 Pierre Coffin

Pierre Coffin
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Famous As: Voice actor
Birthdate: March 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: France

 30 Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet
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Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Film editor
Birthdate: September 3, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Roanne

 31 Romain Gary

Romain Gary.
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Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: May 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: December 2, 1980

Romain Gary was a French novelist, diplomat, and film director of Jewish origin. He also served as an aviator during World War II. One of France’s most popular and prolific writers, he is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt twice. He had a troubled personal life and died of suicide in 1980.

 32 Laëtitia Eïdo

Laëtitia Eïdo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: France

 33 Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: September 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bromont-Lamothe, France
Died: December 18, 1999

 34 Jacques Tati

Jacques Tati
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Famous As: Film actor, Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Comedian, Film producer
Birthdate: October 9, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Le Pecq
Died: November 4, 1982

 35 Yoann Lemoine

Yoann Lemoine
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Famous As: Music Video Director
Birthdate: March 16, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, France

 36 Claire Denis

Claire Denis
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France

 37 Céline Sciamma

Céline Sciamma
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: November 12, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pontoise, France

 38 Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Film director, Film critic, Writer
Birthdate: January 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris

 39 Marc Dorcel

Marc Dorcel
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Famous As: film producer, film director
Birthdate: March 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Algeria

 40 Éric Rohmer

Éric Rohmer
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Famous As: French film director
Birthdate: March 21, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tulle
Died: January 11, 2010

 41 Fanny Ardant

Fanny Ardant
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saumur, France

 42 Alexandre Aja

Alexandre Aja
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer, Film director
Birthdate: August 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris

 43 Judith Godrèche

Judith Godrèche
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

 44 Dany Boon

Dany Boon
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Armentières, France

 45 Mireille Darc

Mireille Darc
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Famous As: Actor, Model, Director
Birthdate: May 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toulon

 46 Maurice Krafft

Maurice Krafft
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Famous As: Volcanologists
Birthdate: March 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alsace, French
Died: June 3, 1991

 47 Abdellatif Kechiche

Abdellatif Kechiche
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Famous As: Actor, Screenwriter, Film director
Birthdate: December 7, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tunis

 48 Stanley Weber

Stanley Weber
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 13, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

 49 Daniel Auteuil

Daniel Auteuil
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 24, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Algiers, Algeria

 50 Costa Gavras

Costa Gavras.
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: February 12, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Iraia, Greece

Costa Gavras is a Greek-French screenwriter and filmmaker best known for making movies with social and political themes. His 1969 political thriller film Z, which earned him an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, was the first movie to receive nominations for both the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture at the Academy Awards.