Famous New Zealander Directors

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 1 
Taika Waititi
(Filmmaker Best Known for His Films: 'Boy', 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' and 'What We Do in the Shadows')
Taika Waititi
6
Birthdate: August 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raukokore, Waihau Bay, New Zealand

Taika Waititi is an actor, filmmaker, and comedian. One of the most popular New Zealand film personalities of all time, Waititi is renowned for directing films like Thor: Ragnarok and Boy. He has won prestigious awards including a BAFTA Award, an Academy Award, and a Grammy Award. In 2022, Waititi was included in Time magazine's 100 most influential people list.

 2 
Peter Jackson
(Director, Writer and Producer of the 'Lord of the Rings' Trilogy & the 'Hobbit' Trilogy)
Peter Jackson
7
Birthdate: October 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pukerua Bay, New Zealand

New Zealand director/producer Peter Jackson is best known for his three-time Academy Award-winning work in The Return of the King, the third part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The third-highest-grossing director ever, he is also the man behind The Hobbit trilogy and the 2005 film King Kong

 3 
Russell Crowe
(Actor Best Known for His Roles in the Films 'Gladiator', 'The Insider' and 'A Beautiful Mind')
Russell Crowe
5
Birthdate: April 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Active in the film industry for over 35 years, Russell Crowe is an actor, film producer, director, and musician. Gaining international fame with his role in the epic historical film Gladiator in 2000, he is the recipient of several awards, including an Academy Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.

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 4 
Richard Curtis
(Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer, Television producer, Writer)
Richard Curtis
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Richard Curtis is a New Zealand-born British screenwriter, film director, and producer. Widely regarded as one of Britain's most popular and successful comedy screenwriters, Curtis is best known for writing romantic comedy films like Bridget Jones's Diary, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Love Actually. Richard Curtis is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award.

 5 
Jane Campion
(Screenwriter, Film director, Actor)
Jane Campion
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

In 1993, Jane Campion became the first female filmmaker to be honored with the Palme d'Or for her film The Piano, which also earned her an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. In 2022, Campion became the first woman to win Oscars for both screenwriting and directing when her film The Power of the Dog earned her the Best Director award.

 6 
Lee Tamahori
(Film director, Actor)
Lee Tamahori
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wellington

Lee Tamahori is a New Zealand filmmaker who achieved international recognition in 2002 when he directed the 20th film in the popular James Bond series, Die Another Day. Lee Tamahori is also known for directing successful and popular movies like Once Were Warriors, Along Came a Spider, and Mahana.

 7 
Martin Campbell
(New Zealand Director Known for His Films: ‘The Mask of Zorro’, ‘GoldenEye’ and ‘Casino Royale’)
Martin Campbell
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hastings, New Zealand

Martin Campbell is a New Zealand film and TV director based in UK. He directed the British miniseries Edge of Darkness, for which he won a BAFTA. Beginning his career directing softcore sex comedies, he eventually graduated to directing popular action films, including two James Bond films. He also directed two Zorro films.

 8 
Andrew Niccol
(Screenwriter and Director Best Known for His FIlms: 'Good Kill' and 'The Truman')
Andrew Niccol
2
Birthdate: June 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paraparaumu, New Zealand

Andrew Niccol is a New Zealand screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for writing the 1998 American film The Truman Show, which won the BAFTA Award under the Best Original Screenplay category. Andrew Niccol's films explore social, political, and cultural issues.

 9 
Niki Caro
(Director known for 2002 film Whale Rider was critically praised and won a number of awards)
Niki Caro
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Niki Caro is a screenwriter and film director. She achieved international prominence in 2002 when she directed the critically acclaimed drama film Whale Rider, which won several honors at international film festivals. In 2020, she directed Mulan, becoming the second director from New Zealand to be hired by Disney to direct a movie with a minimum budget of $100 million.

 10 
Parris Goebel
(Choreographer)
Parris Goebel
0
Birthdate: October 29, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manurewa, New Zealand

Parris Goebel is a New Zealand dancer, choreographer, singer, actress, and director. She is credited with founding a dance school named The Palace Dance Studio where she serves as the main choreographer. Parris Goebel's dance school has produced groups like The Royal Family, which has won the prestigious World Hip Hop Dance Championship thrice in a row.

 11 
Roger Donaldson
(New Zealand Film Director and Producer)
Roger Donaldson
2
Birthdate: November 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ballarat, Australia

Roger Donaldson is an Australian-born New Zealand film producer, director, and writer. He is best known for his association with world-renowned actors like Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, and Anthony Hopkins. Roger Donaldson is credited with directing several successful films like No Way Out, Cadillac Man, and Species.  

 12 
Andrew Adamson
(Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter)
Andrew Adamson
2
Birthdate: December 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Auckland

Andrew Adamson is a New Zealand screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for directing the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning films, Shrek and Shrek 2. Andrew Adamson also achieved international recognition for directing the 2005 fantasy film, The Chronicles of Narnia.

 13 
Michael Hurst
(Best Known for His Role in TV Series 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys')
Michael Hurst
0
Birthdate: September 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lancashire, England

Michael Hurst is a British-born New Zealand film director, actor, and writer. He is best known for his portrayal of Iolaus in American TV series like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. As a director, Michael Hurst is renowned for directing popular TV series like Spartacus and Legend of the Seeker.

 14 
Nathaniel Lees
(Best known for film roles in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions)
Nathaniel Lees
0
Birthdate: July 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Nathaniel Lees is a New Zealand actor and theatre director. He is best known for playing Uglúk in the second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is also known for portraying Mifune in The Matrix trilogy. Lees' contribution to theatre in New Zealand earned him the Senior Pacific Artist Award at the Arts Pasifika Awards in 2004.

 15 
James Napier Robertson
(Director, screenwriter and actor)
James Napier Robertson
0
Birthdate: March 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

James Napier Robertson is a New Zealand film director, writer, actor, and producer. He is best known for directing the 2014 film The Dark Horse, which earned him the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards at the New Zealand Film Awards. The film is also widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever produced in New Zealand.

 16 
Len Lye
(artist, film director, sculptor)
Len Lye
1
Birthdate: June 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Christchurch
Died: May 15, 1980

Len Lye was a New Zealand artist best remembered for his kinetic sculptures and experimental films. His films are preserved at the New Zealand Film Archive, New York City's Museum of Modern Art, and British Film Institute. His sculptures are also preserved by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

 17 
Roseanne Liang
(Director/co-writer of My Wedding and Other Secrets)
Roseanne Liang
0
Birthplace: New Zealand

Roseanne Liang is a New Zealand filmmaker known for her 2011 romantic comedy film My Wedding and Other Secrets, which became the highest-grossing film of the year in New Zealand. She is also renowned for directing many critically acclaimed short films like Take 3 and Do No Harm. Roseanne Liang is also credited with co-creating the popular TV series Creamerie. 

 18 
George Lowe
(Mountaineer)
George Lowe
1
Birthdate: January 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hastings, New Zealand
Died: March 20, 2013

George Lowe was a New Zealand-born explorer, mountaineer, educator, and film director. He was part of the famous 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition, which saw Edmund Hillary summit the world's highest peak. George Lowe, who was mentored by Sir Edmund, is credited with co-founding the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust UK in 1989.

 19 
Alexander Grant
(Ballet dancer)
Alexander Grant
0
Birthdate: February 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand
Died: September 30, 2011

Alexander Grant was a New Zealand dancer and teacher best remembered as an exponent of ballet. He became known as the most remarkable actor-dancer in the Royal Ballet's golden period between 1940 and 1960. His outstanding achievements in ballet were honored by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand with an Icon Award.

 20 
David J. Reid
(Director)
David J. Reid
0
Birthdate: December 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Zealand

Riley Reid is a New Zealand actress best known for appearing in films like Children of Bodom: Are You Dead Yet? and Alien Hunger. Riley Reid is often confused with the popular American pornographic actress with the same name.