The best foreign movie directors come from around the world and are responsible for a wide variety of successful, avant-garde, and powerful films. These directors prove that you don’t have to be American or even make English movies to carve out a successful career and craft great movies.

  1. Akira Kurosawa Directing 30 films in a 57-year career, Kurosawa is one of the most influential movie directors of all time. Noted for his bold style, this Japanese director created classic films such as “Seven Samurai”, “Yojimbo”, and “Rashômon.” He earned several Oscar’s for Best Foreign Language Film as well as the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990.

  2. Federico Fellini Stemming from Italy, this foreign director is widely revered among both his contemporaries and later directors that he has influenced. He is responsible for several prodigious films like “La Dolce Vita”, “8 ½”, and “La Strada.” He has also left an eternal mark on pop-culture, introducing the term “paparazzi” into the English language, based off of the photographer Paparazzo from “La Dolce Vita.”

  3. Ingmar Bergman This Swedish-born director was an incredibly talented and prolific film director, making over sixty films in just over six decades. Some of his more famous films include “The Seventh Seal”, “Through a Glass Darkly”, and “Persona.” His films are very existential, and sometimes challenging, but nonetheless of garnered universal praise and several Academy Awards.

  4. François Truffaut One of the founders of the French New Wave, Truffaut would forever change cinema with his radical way of filmmaking. Combining neorealism, auteur theory, and existentialism, this French Director introduced an extremely expressive form of filmmaking with long tracking shots, jump cuts, and handheld camera movement. These techniques would influence the New Hollywood movement and are still a staple of today’s cinema.

  5. Alfonso Cuarón From Mexico City, Mexico, Cuarón is one of the most successful foreign movie directors. With Spanish language hits such as “Sólo Con Tu Pareja” and “Y Tu Mamá También”, Cuarón would go to direct big Hollywood films such as “Great Expectations” with Robert De Niro and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” His criminally underrated “Children of Men” is not to be missed.

  6. Alejandro González Iñárritu Another Mexican directoer, Iñárritu has crafted films that deal with human nature and our inability to communicate. A contemporary of Cuarón, together they are responsible for a rise in prominence of Mexican cinema. His four feature films-“Amores Perros”, “21 Grams”, “Babel”, and “Biutiful”-have been critical successes and earned him a total of 12 academy award nominations.