Latin American film directors

Top 10 Latin American film directors

July 4, 2022

Latin American film directors are a hot commodity nowadays, so here is the definite list of the best Latino filmmakers in the world today.

Faithful followers of the Oscars have noticed over the last few years that Latin American directors have been constantly considered among the best of the best. Del Toro, González Iñárritu, or Cuarón are now widely acclaimed and worshipped. However, there are other names that shouldn’t be forgotten that have left their mark on film history.

1. Miguel Arteta (Puerto Rico)

Just by glancing at the actors that trusted in the projects of this Puerto Rican filmmaker provides him with the highest references. Not many directors from outside the United States have worked with Jennifer Aniston, Michael Cera or Salma Hayek. What’s more, the Sundance critical audience also surrendered to his latest creation Beatriz at Dinner (2017).

2. Celina Murga (Argentina)

Celina Murga was noticed by the world thanks to her films Ana and the Others (2003) and A Week Alone (2007). Next, the one and only Martin Scorsese took Murga under his wing and produced The Third Side of the River (2014). He was right, the film won numerous awards at international film festivals.

3. Juan José Campanella (Argentina)

Juan José Campanella is another talented Argentinian director. He had been well known in Latin America but The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) brought him international fame and a few accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

4. Alejandro Jodorovsky (Chile)

Jodorovsky might not be for everyone but you cannot deny his influence on the history of Latin American cinema. Some considered him original, some weird, but we must admit that his oneiric worlds stay with you long after the movie ends. He’s the perfect filmmaker for lovers of surreal worlds.

5. Alejandro Amenabar (Chile)

We should be thankful to Chile for another great movie director. Anyone who has seen Thesis (1996), or The Sea Inside (2004) will never forget Alejandro Amenabar. This Chilean-Spanish filmmaker has the critic’s approval as well as the recognition from Hollywood, that even some of its biggest stars have collaborated with him, such as Nicole Kidman in The Others (2004).

6. Fernando Meirelles (Brasil)

Meirelles is one of the few Brazilian filmmakers’ names which sound familiar to non-Portuguese speakers. City of God (2002) brought him an Oscar nomination for Best Director and a broader audience has now recognized him for his latest film The Two Popes (2019) produced by Netflix.

7. Alfonso Arau (Mexico)

Alfonso Arau gained his international fans long before “Los Tres Amigos”. Like Water for Chocolate (1992) brought magical realism to movie theaters and A Walk in the Clouds (1995) is a well-known title for any romantic film enthusiast.

8. Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico)

 2013 was the year when Cuarón won the first Oscar for a Mexican Director. Gravity (2013) with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney showed us a new way of making science fiction movies. What’s even more surprising, Cuarón won another Academy Award in 2019 for Roma.

9. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexico)

Iñárritu is one of three directors to win back-to-back Academy Awards. Birdman won 3 Oscars in 2014, and The Revenant another one a year later. However, his long-term fans have followed him since his 2000 debut Amores Perros and later with Babel (2006), both Academy Awards nominees in different categories.

10. Guillermo del Toro (Mexico)

Guilermo del Toro picked up multiple Oscars in 2018 for his movie The Shape of Water. His trademark style mixes earthly elements with fantastical worlds producing great visual features. His films often work as incredible fairy tales criticizing past and modern political realities.

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