My Top Favorite Breakthrough Directors of 2018

by tlev-06565 | created - 30 Apr 2018 | updated - 30 Dec 2018 | Public

1. Bradley Cooper

Actor | A Star Is Born

Bradley Charles Cooper was born on January 5, 1975 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother, Gloria (Campano), is of Italian descent, and worked for a local NBC station. His father, Charles John Cooper, who was of Irish descent, was a stockbroker. Immediately after Bradley graduated from the ...

A Star is Born

2. Bo Burnham

Writer | Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham was born on August 21, 1990 in Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA as Robert Burnham. He is an actor and writer, known for Eighth Grade (2018), The Big Sick (2017) and Bo Burnham: what. (2013).

Eighth Grade

3. Jonah Hill

Actor | 21 Jump Street

Jonah Hill was born and raised in Los Angeles, the son of Sharon Feldstein (née Chalkin), a fashion designer and costume stylist, and Richard Feldstein, a tour accountant for Guns N' Roses. He is the brother of music manager Jordan Feldstein and actress Beanie Feldstein. He graduated from ...


4. Kay Cannon

Producer | 30 Rock

Kay Cannon is a screenwriter, actress and producer, best known for Pitch Perfect (2012), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017). She is also known for her work on NBC's 30 Rock (2006) and the Netflix Original Series Girlboss (2017).

Cannon has won three Writers Guild of America Awards ...


5. Quinn Shephard

Actress | Blame

Quinn Shephard is a writer, director and actress based out of the New York area, with a career spanning two decades. At age 15, Shephard began writing her debut feature Blame Blame (2017), inspired by playing Abigail Williams in a New Jersey regional production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. She ...


6. Carlos López Estrada

Director | Blindspotting

Carlos López Estrada is a director and writer, known for Blindspotting (2018), Legion (2017) and Billie Eilish: When the Party's Over (2018).


7. Polly Draper

Writer | The Naked Brothers Band

Polly Carey Draper is an award-winning actress, writer, producer, and director. She was born on June 15, 1955 in Gary, Indiana, USA, to Phyllis (Culbertson), a Peace Corps administrator, and William Henry Draper III, who headed the United Nations Development Programme. She is most known for her ...

Stella's Last Weekend

8. Lea Thompson

Actress | Back to the Future Part II

Lea Katherine Thompson was born on May 31, 1961, in Rochester, Minnesota. She is the youngest of five children. Her parents are Barbara Anne (Barry) and Clifford Elwin "Cliff" Thompson. Since all her siblings were much older than she, Lea says it seemed like she had more than two parents. The ...

The Year of Spectacular Man

9. Judy Greer

Actress | 13 Going on 30

Judy Greer was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, as Judith Therese Evans. She is the daughter of Mollie Ann (née Greer), a hospital administrator and former nun, and Richard Evans, a mechanical engineer. She has German, Irish, English, Welsh, and Scottish ancestry. After training for ...

a Happening of Monumental Proportions

10. Ike Barinholtz

Actor | Suicide Squad

Isaac "Ike" Barinholtz, born February 18, 1977, is an American actor, comedian, voice actor and writer, known as a cast member on MADtv (1995), from 2002-2007, and for his roles on The Mindy Project (2012) and Eastbound & Down (2009). He spent two years in Amsterdam with the famed comedy ...

The Oath

11. Jeff Tomsic

Producer | I'm Having a Difficult Time Killing My Parents

Jeff Tomsic is a producer and director, known for I'm Having a Difficult Time Killing My Parents (2011), Tag (2018) and This Is Not Happening (2015).


12. Aneesh Chaganty

Writer | Searching

Aneesh Chaganty is a writer and director, known for Searching (2018), Adventure, Wisconsin (2012) and Searching 2 (2020).


13. Ari Aster

Director | Hereditary

Ari Aster is a director and writer, known for Hereditary (2018), Midsommar (2019) and The Strange Thing About the Johnsons (2011).


14. Paul Dano

Actor | There Will Be Blood

An actor for all seasons and all kinds of roles (from dark, difficult characters to more loving ones) Paul Dano has an extensive body work that includes working with directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Steve McQueen, Dayton & Ferris, Ang Lee, Denis Villenueve and Paolo Sorrentino; acting with ...


15. Director X.

Director | Across the Line

Director X (formerly known as Little X) was born on October 31st,1975 in Toronto, Canada, and is of Trinidadian and Swiss descent. Moving to New York City he became the protégé of pioneering hip hop director Hype Williams, X has been noted for directing high-budget, visually distinctive videos for ...


16. Drew Pearce

Producer | Hotel Artemis

Drew Pearce was born on August 24, 1975. He is a producer and writer, known for Hotel Artemis (2018), Iron Man 3 (2013) and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019).

Hotel Artemis

17. Elizabeth Chomko

Writer | What They Had

Elizabeth Chomko is an American director and writer best known for What They Had (2018). She is also a playwright and theatre actress, and has appeared in television and film roles on Terriers (2010), Common Law (2012), and South Boston Legal (2014) among others. Her screenplay for What They Had (...

What They Had

18. Boots Riley

Soundtrack | Sorry to Bother You

Boots Riley was born on April 1, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Raymond Lawrence Riley.

Sorry to Bother You

19. Julius Avery

Director | Overlord

Julius Avery is a director and writer, known for Overlord (2018), Son of a Gun (2014) and Jerrycan (2008).


Hot Summer Nights

21. Josie Rourke

Director | Mary Queen of Scots

Josie is the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse. Her productions have transferred to Broadway, the West-End and won Olivier Awards. Her shows have been translated into live cinema broadcasts, including Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston, Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Janet McTeer and Dominic ...

Mary Queen of Scots

22. Daniel Powell

Producer | Becks

Daniel Powell is a producer and writer, known for Becks (2017), Inside Amy Schumer (2013) and Thanksgiving (2016).

and Elizabeth Rohrbaugh


23. Jonathan Baker

Writer | Kin

Jonathan Baker is a writer and director, known for Kin (2018), Bag Man (2014) and Flight (2013).

and Josh Baker


24. Usher Morgan

Producer | Pickings

Usher Morgan is an award-winning screenwriter, film director, producer and studio executive residing in New York City. Morgan started his career in book publishing and later became involved with film production and distribution. He produced his first documentary film "The Thought Exchange" starring...


25. Jonathan Watson

Assistant_director | The Green Hornet


26. Cory Finley

Writer | Thoroughbreds

Cory Finley is a director and writer. He made his directorial debut with the film Thoroughbreds (2017), starring Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Anton Yelchin in one of his last films.

He was also one the writers of the short film Sauna (2017).

Finley is a member of Youngblood, a collective of up ...


27. Tim Kirkby

Director | Don't Forget the Driver

Tim Kirkby was born on November 13, 1970 in Sidcup, Kent, England. He is a director and producer, known for Don't Forget the Driver (2019), Fleabag (2016) and Brockmire (2017).

Action Point

28. Bart Layton

Writer | American Animals

Bart is the Creative director of leading British production company RAW. He is the creator and Executive Producer of numerous long running TV series and specials - including such titles as Locked Up Abroad. He is also a multi-award winning director and producer, known for tackling controversial ...

American Animals

29. Tyler Spindel

Producer | Love and Germophobia

After graduating from Harvard University, Tyler Spindel moved to Los Angeles to pursue his childhood dream of performing stand up comedy. Touring the country and hosting a weekly show at Hollywood's Laugh Factory nurtured a deeper understanding of comedy as an art form, eventually leading Tyler to ...

Father of the Year

30. Eva Vives

Director | All About Nina

Eva Vives was born on January 9, 1976 in Madrid, Spain. She is a director and writer, known for All About Nina (2018).

All About Nina

31. Claire Scanlon

Director | The Office

Claire Scanlon directs single cam comedies for both network and cable. She started her career editing documentaries for PBS and the Discovery Channel. After supervising post and producing Last Comic Standing, she joined The Office in its fifth season. After directing The Office, Claire transitioned...

Set It Up

32. Christian Papierniak

Director | Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town

Christian Papierniak is best known as the writer/director/producer of the award winning indie feature, "Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town" as well as the Director of NBA2K's "My Career" story mode.

"Izzy" world premiered "in-competition" at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival. It was the Jury winner of ...

Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town

33. Heather Graham

Actress | Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Heather Joan Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Joan (Bransfield), a schoolteacher and children's book author, and James Graham, an FBI agent. She and her sister, actress Aimee Graham, were raised by their strictly Catholic parents. They relocated often, as a result of their father's ...

Half Magic

34. Sophie Brooks

Director | The Boy Downstairs

Sophie Brooks' first short film, Malcolm, won second place at NYU's New Visions and Voices Festival. Her subsequent film, Maple Leaves, premiered at The Palm Springs International Short Film Festival in 2014. The Boy Downstairs is her first feature.

The Boy Downstairs will premiere at the 2017 ...

The Boy Downstairs

35. Kyle Newacheck

Writer | Workaholics

Kyle Newacheck was born on January 23, 1984 in Walnut Creek, California, USA as Kyle Richard Newacheck. He is a writer and producer, known for Workaholics (2011), Murder Mystery (2019) and Game Over, Man! (2018).

Game Over, Man

36. Brian Shoaf

Writer | Aardvark

Brian Shoaf is a filmmaker and actor. He is the writer/director of the feature film Aardvark, and one of six directors to contribute to the anthology feature Bushwick Beats. He has worked on a number of projects with Periods Films, including the features Breakup at a Wedding and Periods. He was ...


37. Olivia Milch

Writer | Ocean's Eight

Olivia Milch is a writer, known for Ocean's Eight (2018), Dude (2018) and Queen & Country.


38. Jennifer Morrison

Actress | House M.D.

Jennifer Marie Morrison was born in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest child of teachers David and Judy Morrison. She was raised in Arlington Heights, IL, with a younger sister and brother. She attended the same school her parents taught at, Prospect High School. As a child, she did some work as a model...

Sun Dogs

39. Abby Kohn

Writer | I Feel Pretty

Abby Kohn is a writer and producer, known for I Feel Pretty (2018), Never Been Kissed (1999) and He's Just Not That Into You (2009).

and Marc Silverstein

I Feel Pretty

40. Robert Smigel

Writer | Saturday Night Live

Robert Smigel is an American actor, humorist, comedian, writer and director known for his Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" cartoon shorts and as the puppeteer and voice behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.

Smigel's most famous creation, however, would be the foul-mouthed puppet Triumph, the Insult...

The Week of

Sierra Burgess is a Loser

42. Mélanie Laurent

Actress | Inglourious Basterds

Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the French version of The Simpsons (1989). She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from ...

Like Me

44. Peter Livolsi

Director | The House of Tomorrow

Peter Livolsi is known for his work on The House of Tomorrow (2017), Leonard in Slow Motion (2014) and Duncan Removed (2006).

The House of Tomorrow

and Bob Fisher


46. Bill Kiely

Director | Age of Summer

American director Bill Kiely has spent his adult career telling stories. A graduate of the Art Center in Pasadena's film program, Bill founded Windowseat Pictures in Venice Beach (2003) and has directed commercial and documentary projects for brands such as Nike, USAF, Bud Light, and Vans.

Age of ...

Age of Summer

47. Bill Holderman

Producer | Book Club

Bill Holderman is a producer, known for Book Club (2018), The Old Man & the Gun (2018) and A Walk in the Woods (2015).

Book Club

48. Timothy McNeil

Writer | Anything

Timothy McNeil was born in 1958 in Houston, Texas, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Anything (2017), Small Days (2010) and Starship Troopers (1997). He has been married to Judy McNeil since August 21, 1980. They have two children.


49. Jennifer Fox

Producer | The Tale

Jennifer Fox is a producer and director, known for The Tale (2018), Beirut: The Last Home Movie (1987) and My Reincarnation (2011).

the Tale

51. Dominic Cooke

Director | The Hollow Crown

Dominic Cooke is a director and writer, known for The Hollow Crown (2012), Follies and Ironbark (2020).

On Chesil Beach

Recently Viewed