LUC BESSON (Director) began his career in cinema in 1977, working a number of
assistant director positions in France and the United States, and thereby gradually positioning
himself as one of the few French directors and producers with an international scope.
In 1983, he directed his first feature film, The Last Battle, which earned him recognition at the
Avoriaz Film Festival.
Two years later he directed Subway, starring Isabelle Adjani and Christopher Lambert. The
industry rewarded him with three Cesar Awards. Luc Besson's visual style was clearly established.
Building on his success, he undertook the direction of The Big Blue. Though poorly received
at the Cannes Film Festival, the film gained 10 million admissions and went one to become a
veritable social phenomenon.
Despite an unfavourable critical climate, both La Femme Nikita (1990) and Leon: the
Professional (1994) were publicly acclaimed, solidly establishing his popularity in France and earning
him an international reputation.
Between these films, he directed Atlantis (1991), a documentary aimed at raising awareness
about the beauty of nature and the need to protect the environment.
In 1995 he launched into directing a bold science fiction picture: The Fifth Element. The
blockbuster became one of the biggest box office hits of any French film in the United States. In
1998, Luc Besson took home a Cesar Award for Best Director.
In 1999, he directed his version of Joan of Arc, winning him another nomination as Best
Director at the Cesar Awards.
In 2000, he was named President of the Jury for the 53rd Cannes Film Festival, becoming
the youngest jury president in the history of the festival.
He devoted most of the next five years to production. Since creating EuropaCorp ten years
ago, the studio has become one of the major studios of the European film industry.
In 2005, he returned to directing with Angel-A, and the following year with his first animated
picture, Arthur and the Invisibles, adapted from the book he wrote. This animation was followed up by
two others: Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard (2009) and Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds.
In 2010, Luc Besson adapted Tardi's series of graphic novels with The Extraordinary
Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, with Louis Bourgoin starring in the title role.
2011 marks the release of The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh in the role of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
He will soon start production on his upcoming film, Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson.
Throughout his directing career, Luc Besson also directed a number of music videos,
including Serge Gainsbourg and Mylene Farmer, as well as commercials for internationally
In addition to the films he has directed, Luc Besson has written over twenty screenplays for
features. Among them are the Taxi series and the recent Taken 2, which as of today lays claim to
being the biggest box office hit of any French film in the United States.
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