Top 100 African Directors

by minalex | created - 02 May 2013 | updated - 6 months ago | Public

Directors from Egypt (51), South Africa (17), Algeria (7), Senegal (5), Morocco (3), Tunisia (3), Burkina Faso (2), Cameroon (2), Mali (2), Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Niger and Uganda.

1. Togo Mizrahi

Director | Doktor Epameinondas

Togo Mizrahi was born on June 2, 1901 in Alexandria, Egypt. He was a director and writer, known for Doctor Epaminondas (1938), Nureddine and the Three Sailors (1944) and Captain Scorpion (1943). He died on June 5, 1986 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

3. Yusuf Wahbi

Actor | Kursi el iteraf

Yusuf Wahbi was born on July 14, 1898 in Faiyum, Egypt. He was an actor and director, known for Confession Chair (1949), The Defence (1935) and Passion and Revenge (1944). He died on October 17, 1982 in Cairo, Egypt.

4. Anwar Wagdi

Actor | Ghazal al-banat

Anwar Wagdi was born on October 11, 1904 in Cairo, Egypt as Mohamed Anwar Yehia Al Fattal Wagdi. He was an actor and director, known for The Flirtation of Girls (1949), Eternel Love (1951) and The Millionaire (1950). He was married to Layla Fawzi, Laila Mourad and Elham Hussein. He died on May 14, ...

6. Youssef Chahine

Director | Iskanderija... lih?

Youssef Chahine (born in Alexandria, Egypt, 1926) started studying in a friars' school, and then turned to English College until the High School Certificate. After one year in the University of Alexandria, he moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Pasadena Play House, taking courses on film ...

9. Izzuddin Dhulfeqar

Writer | El rajul el thani

Izzuddin Dhulfeqar was born on October 28, 1919 in Cairo, Egypt. He was a writer and director, known for The Second Man (1959), The Road of Hope (1958) and Among the Ruins (1959). He was married to Kawsar Shafik and Faten Hamamah. He died on July 1, 1963 in Cairo.

11. Fatin Abdulwahhab

Director | Al zouga talattashar

Husband of singer Laila Mourad and father of their only son Zaki.

12. Emil Nofal

Writer | Rip van Wyk

Emil Nofal was born in 1926 in South Africa. He was a writer and producer, known for Rip van Wyk (1960), Kimberley Jim (1963) and Voor sononder (1962). He died on July 18, 1986 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

17. Jans Rautenbach

Director | Jannie totsiens

Born in Boksburg in 1936, Jans Rautenbach is arguably South Africa's most celebrated and, at the same time, most controversial filmmaker. He began his career in the film industry working for Jamie Uys Film Productions and can be glimpsed as a bar patron in Emil Nofal's Kimberley Jim.

When Emil Nofal...

18. Mohamed Zinet

Actor | Tahia ya didou!

Mohamed Zinet was born on January 16, 1932 in Algiers, Algeria. He was an actor and director, known for Viva Didou! (1971), Madame Rosa (1977) and The Common Man (1975). He died on April 10, 1995 in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis, France.

19. Oumarou Ganda

Actor | L'éxilé

Oumarou Ganda was born in 1935 in Niamey, Niger. He was an actor and director, known for L'éxilé (1980), Le wazzou polygame (1971) and Cabascabo (1969). He died on January 1, 1981 in Niamey.

21. Tewfik Saleh

Director | Al-makhdu'un

The director of seven shorts and seven full-length feature films, Saleh graduated in 1949 in English literature and was trained in cinema in Paris until 1951. Tewfik Saleh's oeuvre is the only one in Egyptian cinema which may be considered purely "Third Worldist". All his films deal with social ...

22. Hasan El-Emam

Director | Wadaa' fi elfagr

Hasan El-Emam was born on March 6, 1919 in Mansoura, Egypt. He was a director and writer, known for Farewell at Dawn (1956), The Sin (1962) and A Woman on the Outside (1964). He died on January 29, 1988.

23. Djibril Diop Mambéty

Director | Touki-Bouki

Born the son of a Muslim cleric in Colobane, near Dakar, Senegal, Djibril Diop Mambéty received no formal training in filmmaking. He experimented with theater, but in 1968, he was asked to leave an avant-garde theater group. Shortly thereafter, he made his first film short called Badou Boy (1970), ...

25. Ousmane Sembene

Director | Moolaadé

The first film director from an African country to achieve international recognition, Ousmane Sembene remains the major figure in the rise of an independent post-colonial African cinema. Sembene's roots were not, as might be expected, in the educated élite. After working as a mechanic and ...

26. Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa

Director | Muna Moto

Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa was born in 1940 in Cameroon. He is a director and writer, known for Muna Moto (1975), Le prix de la liberté (1978) and Music and Music: Super Concert (1981).

27. Ali Badr Khan

Director | Chafika et Metwal

Ali Badr Khan was born in 1946 in Cairo, Egypt. He is a director and writer, known for Chafika et Metwal (1979), Al-raii wa al nesaa (1991) and The Hunger (1986). He was previously married to Suad Husni.

28. Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina

Director | Rih al awras

Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina was born on February 26, 1934 in M'sila, Algeria. He is a director and writer, known for The Winds of the Aures (1966), Chronicle of the Years of Fire (1975) and Sandstorm (1982).

29. Ashley Lazarus

Director | Rashi: A Light After the Dark Ages

Ashley Lazarus was born in South Africa. He is a director and producer, known for Rashi: A Light After the Dark Ages (1999), Golden Rendezvous (1977) and e'Lollipop (1975).

30. Haile Gerima

Director | Teza

Halie Gerima arrived in the United States from his native Gondar, Ethiopia, to study acting and directing at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Illinois. He later transferred to the Theater Department at UCLA where he completed the Master's Program in Film. Afterward, he relocated to Washington, DC, ...

31. Salah Abouseif

Director | El fatawa

Egyptian director, former editor, whose films dealt with social conditions in his country. He was a member of the jury at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival.

32. Med Hondo

Director | Sarraounia

Med Hondo was born on May 4, 1936 in Atar, Mauritania as Abid Mohamed Medoun Hondo. He was an actor and director, known for Sarraounia (1986), Oh, Sun (1967) and Les Bicots-Nègres vos voisins (1974). He died on March 2, 2019 in Paris, France.

33. Hussein Kamal

Director | Emberatoriet meem

Hussein Kamal was born in 1932 in Egypt. He was a director and actor, known for Emberatoriet meem (1972), The Postman (1968) and Away from Land (1976). He died on March 24, 2003 in Cairo, Egypt.

34. Jamie Uys

Director | The Gods Must Be Crazy

Jamie Uys was an internationally acclaimed film director who completed 24 films. Prizes for his work included the 1981 Grand Prix at the Festival International du Film de Comedy Vevey for 'The Gods Must be Crazy' and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association award for best documentary in 1974 for '...

36. Gaston Kaboré

Director | Zan Boko

Kabore started out as a history student at the Centre d'Etudes Superieures d'Histoire d'Ouagadougou and continued his studies in Paris where he received an MA. During his studies he became interested in how Africa was portrayed abroad, which then led him, in 1974, to study cinematography at the ...

40. Ahmed Yehia

Director | Laila Baka Feha Al Qamar

Ahmed Yehia is a director and actor, known for Laila Baka Feha Al Qamar (1980), As Not to Fly the Smoke (1984) and Al-azab emra aa (1977).

41. Ross Devenish

Director | The Guest: An Episode in the Life of Eugène Marais

Ross Devenish was born on November 15, 1939 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He is a director and assistant director, known for The Guest: An Episode in the Life of Eugène Marais (1977), Marigolds in August (1980) and Goal! The World Cup (1966).

43. Atef El-Taieb

Director | Leila Sakhina

Atef El-Taieb was born on December 26, 1947. He was a director and assistant director, known for Leila Sakhina (1995), Gallipoli (1981) and El zamar (1985). He died on June 23, 1995.

44. Souleymane Cissé

Director | Yeelen

Souleymane Cissé was born on April 21, 1940 in Bamako, Mali. He is a director and writer, known for Brightness (1987), Work (1978) and The Wind (1982).

45. John Akomfrah

Director | The Nine Muses

Ghana born John Akomfrah is known for his experimental documentaries and video installations on the subjects of race, migration, and slavery in the encounters between European colonisers and African subjects.In the 1980s working in London, he helped found the Black Audio Film Collective and later ...

46. Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Director | Guimba, un tyran une époque

Born in 1945 in San (in Ségou, the 4th region of Mali). Has studied filmmaking at the Ecole Nationale Louis Lumière (National School Louis Lumière), Paris. Worked as filmaker at the Centre National de Production Cinématographique (CNPC) in Mali, when he returned. Has created, with other young ...

48. Idrissa Ouedraogo

Director | Yaaba

Idrissa Ouedraogo was born on January 21, 1954 in Banfora, Upper Volta. He was a director and writer, known for Yaaba (1989), The Law (1990) and Samba Traoré (1992). He died on February 18, 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

49. Mohamed Khan

Director | Banat wist el-balad

The director Mohamed Khan was born on October 26th 1942. He completed his high school in Egypt, then traveled to England where he earned his diploma in 1962. He directed several movies in 8mm. He went back to Egypt in 1963 & worked as script writer in a Cairo production company. Worked in Lebanon ...

50. Henri Duparc

Director | Le sixième doigt

Henri Duparc was born on December 23, 1941 in Forecariah, Guinea. He was a director and writer, known for Le sixième doigt (1990), Caramel (2005) and Bal poussière (1989). He died on April 18, 2006 in Paris, France.

51. Férid Boughedir

Director | Asfour Stah

Férid Boughedir was born in 1944 in Tunis, French Protectorate of Tunisia. He is a director and writer, known for Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces (1990), Sweet Smell of Spring (2016) and A Summer in La Goulette (1996).

52. Cedric Sundstrom

Director | Captive Rage

Cedric Sundstrom was born in South Africa of Swedish decent. From the age of 13 he started making films on 8mm with friends in the neighborhood. After college he worked in the theatre as an actor and stage manager. He got to work as an assistant director on international films made in South Africa....

53. Daoud Abdel Sayed

Director | Ard al-Khof

Began as Youssef Chahine 's assistant in ''The Land".

54. Jean-Marie Téno

Director | Clando

Jean-Marie Teno, Africa's preeminent documentary filmmaker, has been producing and directing films on the colonial and post-colonial history of Africa for over twenty years. Films by Jean-Marie Teno have been honored at festivals worldwide: Berlin, Toronto, Yamagata, Cinema du Reel, Visions du Reel...

55. Flora Gomes

Director | Nha fala

Flora Gomes was born on December 31, 1949 in Cadique, Guinea-Bissau as Florentino Gomes. He is a director and writer, known for My Voice My Voice (2002), The Blue Eyes of Yonta (1992) and Mortu Nega (1988).

56. Khairy Beshara

Director | Moondog

He was born on June 30, 1947 in Tanta, Egypt when his mother was going to visit some relatives in this Delta town north of Cairo. He lived until he was five years old in the countryside as the eldest of four siblings. The family had to move to Cairo for school and He grew up in the popular ...

57. Richard Stanley

Writer | Hardware

Richard Stanley is the award-winning South African-born filmmaker, who made a name of himself with his first feature film, the sci-fi movie Hardware (1990). A low budget movie about a mad-dog android loose in an apartment was released in 1990. Critics slammed it as a Terminator rip-off, yet the ...

58. Yusri Nasrullah

Writer | El Medina

Yusri Nasrullah was born in 1952 in Giza, Egypt. He is a writer and director, known for El Medina (1999), Summer Thefts (1988) and After the Battle (2012).

60. Regardt van den Bergh

Director | Tornado and the Kalahari Horse Whisperer

Regardt van den Bergh is an actor and director, known for Tornado and the Kalahari Horse Whisperer (2009), Uitvlucht (2015) and Faith Like Potatoes (2006).

61. Moufida Tlatli

Editor | Samt el qusur

Was raised in Tunisia in a tradition-oriented family. It was in high school, thanks to her philosophy teacher, who ran a film club, that she developed a taste for the cinema. After graduating from the IDHEC film school in 1968, in the editing department, she went back to live in Tunisia in 1972. ...

63. Moussa Sene Absa

Director | L'extraordinaire destin de Madame Brouette

Moussa Sene Absa was born in 1958 in Dakar, Senegal. He is a director and writer, known for Madame Brouette (2002), Tableau ferraille (1997) and Teranga Blues (2007).

64. Adel Adeeb

Director | Hysteria

Adel Adeeb is a director and producer, known for Hysteria (1996), The Baby Doll Night (2008) and Ashyak Wad Fi Roxy (1999).

66. Katinka Heyns

Actress | Babbelkous

Katinka Heyns is a producer and director, known for Babbelkous (1974), Eendag op 'n Reëndag (1975) and Die Storie van Klara Viljee (1992).

67. Moussa Touré

Director | TGV

Born in 1958 in Sénégal, Moussa Touré starts working early for the cinema. Debuting as a technician he soon turns to direction, with a first short in 1987 and a first feature in 1991, the multi-awarded Toubab Bi (1991). As of 1987 he creates his own production firm "Les Films du Crocodile" through ...

68. Nabil Ayouch

Producer | Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue

Nabil Ayouch was born April 1st 1969 in Paris. He works and lives in Casablanca. In 1997, Nabil Ayouch directed his first feature film, MEKTOUB which, like ALI ZAOUA (2000) represented Morocco at the Oscars. Next came UNE MINUTE DE SOLEIL EN MOINS (2003) and WHATEVER LOLA WANTS (2008), produced by ...

A French-Moroccan director.

69. Ismaël Ferroukhi

Writer | Le grand voyage

Ismaël Ferroukhi is a writer and director, known for The Great Journey (2004), Free Men (2011) and L'exposé (1993).

70. Gavin Hood

Director | Tsotsi

Gavin Hood was born on May 12, 1963 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is an actor and producer, known for Tsotsi (2005), Eye in the Sky (2015) and Official Secrets (2019). He was previously married to Janine Eser.

71. Mehdi Charef

Writer | Le thé au harem d'Archimède

Mehdi Charef was born on October 21, 1952 in Marnia, Oran, France. He is a writer and director, known for Tea in the Harem (1985), Daughter of Keltoum (2001) and Au pays des Juliets (1992).

72. Sandra Nashaat

Director | El-Maslaha

Sandra Nashaat is a director and assistant director, known for The Deal (2012), Al rahina (2006) and Private Alexandria (2005).

73. Oliver Schmitz

Director | Le secret de Chanda

Oliver Schmitz is an award-winning South African director. He has, with his film Life Above All, been shortlisted for "Best Foreign Film" at the academy awards and received accolades from the likes of Roger Ebert. His 1980s gangster drama Mapantsula has become a classic and is taught in film ...

74. Abdellatif Kechiche

Writer | La vie d'Adèle

Abdellatif Kechiche was born on December 7, 1960 in Tunis, Tunisia. He is an actor and writer, known for Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013), Games of Love and Chance (2003) and The Secret of the Grain (2007).

75. Sharif Arafah

Director | Tamantashar Yom

Sharif Arafah is a director and writer, known for 18 Days (2011), Halim (2006) and The Treasure 2 (2019).

78. Ralph Ziman

Director | Jerusalema

Ralph Ziman was born in 1963 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a director and writer, known for Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008), The Zookeeper (2001) and Hearts & Minds (1995). He is married to Maria. They have two children.

80. Nour Eddine Lakhmari

Director | Casanegra

Nour Eddine Lakhmari was born on February 15, 1964 in Safi, Morocco. He is a director and writer, known for Casanegra (2008), El kadia (2006) and Burnout (2017).

81. Neill Blomkamp

Director | District 9

Neill Blomkamp was born on September 17, 1979 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a director and writer, known for District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). He is married to Terri Tatchell. They have one child.

82. Rachid Bouchareb

Director | Cheb

Rachid Bouchareb was born on September 1, 1959 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for Cheb (1991), Little Senegal (2000) and Days of Glory (2006).

A French-Algerian director

85. Steven Silver

Director | The Last Just Man

A writer, director and producer, Steven began his career in the South African film industry, before writing and co-producing Gerrie & Louise, an International Emmy award-winning, feature-length documentary for the CBC in 1997. As a director, his documentaries include several projects for the ...

86. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Director | Daratt

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun was born in 1961 in Abéché, Chad. He is a director and writer, known for Dry Season (2006), A Screaming Man (2010) and Abouna (2002).

87. Nabwana I.G.G.

Writer | Bad Black

Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (IGG) produces, directs, shoots, writes, and edits action films from his home in the slums of Wakaliga, Uganda.

A self-taught filmmaker, IGG's film education consists of one course in computer repair (he was forced to drop out after the first month due to lack of funds...

88. Ahmad Abdalla

Director | Microphone

Born in Cairo 19 December 1979, Graduated from the Faculty of Music Education, worked as a film editor from 2003 .living in Cairo - Egypt. Heliopolis was his first long feature film which was considered as one of the beginnings of the Egyptian independent cinema new wave. Still occasionally ...

89. Mohamed Amin

Writer | Bentein men misr

Mohamed Amin is a writer and director, known for Bentein men misr (2010), Febrayer Al Eswed (2013) and Film sakafi (2001).

91. Amr Salama

Director | Asmaa

Amr Salama has directed and written 4 feature films, including On A Day Like Today (2008), Asmaa (2011), which received more than 20 international awards, Excuse My French (2014) which received more than 15 awards, only directed Made In Egypt (2014) and only wrote Snapshot (2012). Salama ...

92. Ayten Amin

Director | Villa 69

Ayten Amin is a director and assistant director, known for Villa 69 (2013), Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad, and the Politician (2011) and Cairo, Visions of Hope.

93. Jehane Noujaim

Producer | Control Room

Jehane Noujaim was born on May 17, 1974 in Cairo, Egypt. She is a producer and director, known for Control Room (2004), Startup.com (2001) and The Square (2013).

94. Abderrahmane Sissako

Director | Timbuktu

Abderrahmane Sissako was born on October 13, 1961 in Kiffa, Mauritania. He is a director and writer, known for Timbuktu (2014), Life on Earth (1998) and Waiting for Happiness (2002).

95. Marwan Hamed

Director | Omaret yakobean

Marwan Hamed is a young Egyptian film director, He is the son of author Wahid Hamed and journalist Zeinab Sweidan. He was graduated from the higher institution of cinema in 1999. He has worked as a director assistant for The directors Samir Saif and Sherif Arafa. He Directed short films and one of ...

97. Mohamed Diab

Writer | Eshtebak

Mohamed Diab is an award-winning writer and director, who's work is often centered on pressing issues concerning Egyptian society.

He's known for his directorial debut film Cairo 678 (Les Femmes du bus 678), which was released a month before the Egyptian revolution and was deemed by the New York ...

98. Rayhana Obermeyer

Director | À mon âge je me cache encore pour fumer

Rayhana Obermeyer is an actress and director, known for I Still Hide to Smoke (2016), Let Them Come (2015) and Paris Prestige (2016).

99. Hani Khalifa

Director | Sahar el layaly

Hani Khalifa born originally in upper Egypt and started as an assistant director in movies such as "Joy Thief" and "Nut Shells". In 2003 he made his directorial directorial debut"Sahar Al Layali" or "Sleepless Nights", the movie had a critical acclaim in Festivals like Cairo International festival ...

100. Yasir Al-Yasiri

Director | 122

Yasir AlYasiri is a director, producer & writer, known for On Borrowed Time (2018) , 122 (2019) and Murk Light (2012). Yasir is renowned for his work in the Arab entertainment industry as a music video director as he had ten awards under his belt before his film debut with Murk Light (2013), which ...



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