List of directorial debuts

This is a list of film directorial debuts in chronological order. The films and dates referred to are a director's first commercial cinematic release. Many film makers have directed works which were not commercially released, for example early works by Orson Welles such as his filming of his stage production of Twelfth Night in 1933 or his experimental short film The Hearts of Age in 1934. Often these early works weren't intended for commercial release either by intent, such as film school projects or inability to find distribution.

Subsequently, many directors learnt their trade in the medium of television as it became popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Notable directors who did their first directorial work in this medium include Robert Altman, Sidney Lumet, and Alfonso Cuarón. As commercial television advertising became more cinematic in the 1960s and 1970s, many directors early work was in this medium, including directors such as Alan Parker and Ridley Scott. With the success of MTV and the popularity of music video from the early 1980s, this gave another avenue for directors to hone their skills. Notable directors whose early work was in music videos include David Fincher, Jonathan Glazer, Michel Gondry, and Spike Jonze.

The following symbols indicate where a director has worked in another medium prior to directing commercially.

Indicates where a director has created other earlier works for television

# Indicates when a director's earlier work is uncredited

Indicates when a director's earlier work has not been released in cinemas, for example film school productions, short films or music videos.

Refer to individual entries for further detail.























See also


  1. Youngs, Ian (June 23, 2015). "Louis Le Prince, who shot the world's first film in Leeds". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  2. Malthête, Jacques (2003). "Un feu d'artifice improvisé ? Les effets pyrotechniques chez Méliès". 1895 (in French). AFRHC: 61–72. ISBN 2-913758-31-2. ISSN 1960-6176.
  3. "The 50 greatest debut movies: part three". Time Out. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  4. "Eric's Top 10 Directorial Debuts". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  5. "The 50 greatest debut movies: part five". Time Out. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  6. "15 Facts About Orson Welles' CITIZEN KANE: America's Greatest Film Turns 75". Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  7. Lloyd, Ann; Robinson, David (1987). The Illustrated History of Cinema. Macmillan. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-02-919241-2.
  8. "The 50 greatest debut movies: part two". Time Out. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  9. "The 50 greatest debut movies: part six". Time Out. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  10. "The 50 greatest debut movies: part four". Time Out. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  11. Jarecki, Nicholas. Breaking In — How 20 Film Directors Got Their Start. ISBN 0-7679-0674-8.
  12. Lowenstein, Stephen. My First Movie. ISBN 0-375-42081-9.
  13. "Time Out's 50 greatest directorial debuts of all time". Time Out. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  14. "The Top Grossing Directorial Debuts of All-time". Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  15. "J.D.'s Top 10 Directorial Debuts". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  16. Bobbin, Jay (August 18, 1996). "'Losing Chase' (SHOW) Actor Kevin Bacon ("Apollo 13..." Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  17. Kevin Ouellette (July 15, 2008). "Review: Dangan Runner". Nippon Cinema. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  18. Albert, Antonio (May 12, 1993). "Imanol Arias debuta como director de cine con 'Un asunto privado'". El País (in Spanish). Madrid: Prisa. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  19. "Top 5 Female Directorial Debuts". October 24, 2011.
  20. "10 best-reviewed directorial debuts since 1990". Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  21. "10 worst-reviewed directorial debuts since 1990". Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  22. "The Doom Dispatch: The Ten best Directorial Debuts of the Decade". Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  23. "Sob Stories: The quiet beauty of Man Push Cart". Slate Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  24. Bradshaw, Peter (August 8, 2009). "Katalin Varga". London: Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  25. "TIFF '10:Day 7". Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  26. "SXSW Review: Attack The Block Could Be The Best Action Movie of the Year". March 17, 2011.
  27. Kevin Ma (June 1, 2014). "Bona announces Q1 2014 results". Film Business Asia. Retrieved June 1, 2014.


  1. Co-directed with Robert N. Bradbury
  2. As Detlef Sierck
  3. Co-directed with Anthony Hankey
  4. Co-directed with Gunther von Fritsch
  5. Co-directed with Brian Desmond Hurst
  6. Co-directed with Robert Jordan Hill
  7. Co-directed with Yakov Bazelyan
  8. Directed segment Interlude in the Marshland
  9. Co-directed with Bradley R. Swirnoff
  10. Co-directed with Rintaro
  11. Co-directed with Kenneth Tsang
  12. Co-directed with Jesse Wells
  13. Co-directed with Frank Lustig
  14. Co-directed with David Van Taylor
  15. Co-directed with Quentin Lee
  16. Co-directed with John Lasseter
  17. Co-directed with Jim Wynorski
  18. Co-directed with Kevin Lima
  19. Co-directed with David Silverman
  20. Co-directed with Corey Yuen
  21. Co-directed with Ryan Fleck
  22. Co-directed with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino
  23. Co-directed with Roger Allers
  24. Co-directed with Tim Johnson
  25. Co-directed with Vincent Paronnaud
  26. Co-directed with Matthew Robinson
  27. Co-directed with Pete Docter
  28. Co-directed with Alastair Fothergill
  29. Co-directed with Chris Renaud
  30. Co-directed with Guy Jenkin
  31. Co-directed with Jocelyn Towne
  32. Co-directed with Mike Mitchell
  33. As Declan Dale
  34. Co-directed with Andrew Stanton
  35. Co-directed with Nicholas Stoller
  36. Co-directed with Conrad Vernon
  37. Co-directed with Lee Unkrich
  38. Co-directed with Rich Moore
  39. Co-directed with Peter Ramsey
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