Making the best directors list is not always about the directing skills of these professionals. It includes the basis of the movie itself, as most directors are only involved in films which they are passionate about. Canada is proud of the many filmmakers who have contributed to this industry over the years.

Male Directors

The list of best Canadian directors is long, but some legends cannot go without being mentioned when this is the topic being covered.

  • David Cronenberg: This is a director who can be considered as one of the best directors in the world and for good reasons. Mr Cronenberg had humble beginnings in the movie industry. His hard work and patience paid off as he remained dedicated to this industry throughout the years.

Between the years of 1969 and 2014, David produced 21 feature films. He has been recognized for his work through the following awards:

  • Berlin Film Festival
  • TIFF
  • Induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame
  • Recipient of a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award
  • Officer of the Order of Canada, achieved in 2002
  • Cannes Lifetime Achievement Award 2006
  • A worldwide exhibition in 2014

Along with several other accolades and awards.

  • Claude Jutra: His first career choice was medicine mostly to please his parents, but fate had a different plan for him. His passion was in the visual arts, which developed at a very young age. He became most known for the direction of Mon Oncle Antoine. Unfortunately, Claude ended his own life when he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease.

Female Directors

Women directors have made their mark in the Canadian movie industry. Their works have been well received on an international level.

  • Patricia Rozema: It is ironic that Patricia ended up with a career as a director. This is because as a child, she had a strict Dutch upbringing which prohibited television watching. She was sixteen before she was allowed to attend a movie theatre. The first feature she directed was a huge hit, which was I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing. This movie received several nominations that included:
  • Nomination for Best Director at the 1988 Genie Awards
  • Nomination for Best Screenplay at the 1988 Genie Awards

The result is that this movie has reached the list for top 10 Canadian films of all time. A list which is produced by the very prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

  • Alanis Obomsawin: Another female director who has stood out in the Canadian film industry. Considered to be an activist, she was profiled in the documentary Telescope produced by CBC. As a result, she was appointed as a consultant for Indigenous Programming. In 1971 she produced her first film called Christmas at Moose Factory which was a very successful documentary.

She was born in 1932 and has directed more than 40 documentaries with the National Film Board of Canada, all with the focus on indigenous rights.

Some of the accolades she has received are:

  • Retrospectives at the Hot Docs Film Festival along with the Museum of Modern Art
  • The Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Award named in her honor
  • Governor Generals Award for Artistic Achievement

The individuals showcased here are examples of the type of talent and skills which Canadian directors possess and how they, along with many others, have contributed to the film industry. This is an essential industry to Canada and one that is strongly supported.