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Top 10 directors in the world - From the silent era, French New Wave to modern day gems

A director is the captain of the ship and can make or break a movie. Apart from Christopher Nolan and James Cameron, can you guess the other top directors in the world?

Top 10 directors in the world - From the silent era, French New Wave to modern day gems

Quentin Tarantino, Yash Chopra, Charlie Chaplin

Last Updated: 10.01 PM, May 25, 2024


Directors are the invisible storytellers, the guiding hands behind cinematic masterpieces. Their brilliance lies not just in crafting successful films but in their transformative power. They push the boundaries of filmmaking and constantly seek innovation. Their visionary powers not only inspire audiences but also actors and the entire crew. Their vision goes beyond individual projects, resulting in a unique style that becomes their signature.

Honouring them, here's a list of some of the top directors in the world, whose signature style is so distinctive that you would easily be able to recognise their movies.

Top 10 directors in the world:


Quentin Tarantino

This American filmmaker is not only a great director, but also an amazing screenwriter and actor as well. His films are widely known for their signature blend of graphic violence with aestheticized presentation, lengthy conversations featuring strong verbal exchanges, and a constant barrage of references to popular bygone era cultures. One example is Pulp Fiction (1994), in which he also played one of the lead roles, Jimmie Dimmick. Or Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019), which brought together Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Austin Butler.


Steven Spielberg

This filmmaker is a pioneer in creating modern-day masterpieces. He is considered one of the most commercially successful directors in history. Seven of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically significant’. Spielberg is the mind behind evergreen films like Jaws (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1994), and The Color Purple (2023).


Yash Chopra

Yash Chopra is a titan of Hindi cinema. His name is synonymous with grand productions and enduring love stories. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers for introducing iconic Bollywood romance to the world. His films are also known for their strong female characters. He was not afraid to showcase a woman with complexities, as someone who is independent and who has desires. This deeply resonates with the audience, making him a legend when it comes to portraying love on the big screen. His contribution to cinema led to the Dadasaheb Phalke and the Padma Bhushan Awards by the Government of India.


Sanjay Leela Bhansali

SLB weaves a unique tapestry by drawing inspiration from India’s rich classic heritage and its vibrant musical traditions. His films are not just stories, but grand spectacles that transport viewers to a bygone era. Bhansali is known to showcase the grandeur and meticulous detail in his films. A seven-time recipient of the National Film Award for, he also received a BAFTA nomination. His films like Devdas (2002), Black (2005), Bajirao Mastani (2015),and  Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022) remain evergreen.


Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa is a pioneer in Japanese cinema, who shattered cultural barriers and received international recognition for his profound storytelling. His films explore the depths of the human experience and are often steeped in Japanese history or set in dramatic landscapes. Rashomon (1950) and Ikiru (1952) established him as a master of emotional resonance. Later, he cemented his name as a legend with Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), and Ran (1985).


Federico Fellini

This Italian filmmaker’s visionary approach blurred the lines between dreams and reality, autobiography and fantasy. He used to delve into his own creative struggles and personal experiences to craft a unique cinematic language. This introspective style was exemplified in his masterpiece 8½ (1963). His films received 23 Academy Award nominations and La Strada (1956), Nights of Cabiria (1957) and Amarcord (1974) won several Oscars. He won the Academy Honorary Award in 1992 for his contributions to cinema.


Jean-Luc Godard

This French filmmaker’s influence on cinema is undeniable. He was the pioneer of the French New Wave (1950s-1960s). He revolutionised filmmaking with his debut feature, Breathless (1960). From pre-production to post-production, Godrad challenged convention with his raw and energetic style. He was also a prolific screenwriter. His films like Vivre Sa Vie (1962), Pierrot Le Fou (1965), Masculine-Feminine (1966), Goodbye To Language (2014) are considered masterpieces. In 2010, Godard was awarded an Academy Honorary Award.


Bong Joon-Ho

This South Korean filmmaker received historic success with his thriller masterpiece, Parasite (2019). This film became the first Korean-produced project to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Directing. Bong Joon-Ho’s this win transcended personal achievement, marking a significant shift in recognition for Asian cinema in the American film industry. His success serves as an inspiration and breaks barriers for Asian representation in Hollywood. After this success, Bong Joon-Ho has been roped in to direct Robert Pattinson’s upcoming sci-fi, Mickey 17, which is scheduled to be released in 2025.


Charlie Chaplin

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplinman, a man who wore many hats throughout his illustrious life, was a giant in the English entertainment world. He rose to unimaginable fame during the silent era, captivating the audiences with his unparalleled comedic talent. He was a true renaissance man of the silver screen. He starred in 93 films and directed 72 of them. Six of his films were selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress - The Immigrant (1917), The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940).


David Fincher

David Fincher is typically known for his iconic psychological thrillers. His films are both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, grossing over $2.1 billion worldwide. From Seven (1995), Fight Club (1999), Zodiac (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Gone Girl (2014) and his last release The Killer (2023), each highlight Fincher’s distinctive talent.

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