LUC BESSON (Written and Directed by)
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
In 1983, Besson made his directorial debut
with The Last Battle, which earned him recognition
at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival.
Two years later, he directed Subway, which
starred Isabelle Adjani and Christopher Lambert.
The film received three Cesar Awards. Besson's
visual style was clearly established.
Building on his success, Besson wrote and
directed The Big Blue. Though poorly received
at the Cannes Film Festival, the film went on to
become a veritable social phenomenon.
Despite an unfavorable critical climate, La
Femme Nikita (1990) and Leon: The Professional
(1994) were both publicly acclaimed, solidly
establishing his popularity in France and earning
him an international reputation.
Between these f ilms, Besson 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 film: The Fifth Element. The
blockbuster became one of the biggest box-office hits
of any French film in the United States. In 1998,
Besson took home a Cesar Award for Best Director.
In 1999, he directed his version of Joan of
Arc, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc,
which earned him another nomination for Best
Director at the Cesar Awards.
In 2000, he was named President of the
Jury for the 53rd Annual Cannes Film Festival,
becoming the youngest jury president in the
history of the festival.
Also in 2000, Besson co-created EuropaCorp and
devoted a majority of the next five years to production,
making EuropaCorp one of the major studios of the
European film industry.
In 2005, he returned to directing with
Angel-A. In 2006, he directed and co-wrote his
first animated picture, Arthur and the Invisibles,
which was adapted from the book he wrote.
Arthur and the Invisibles spawned two sequels:
Arthur 2: The Revenge of Maltazard (2009) and
Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds (2010).
In 2010, Besson adapted Jacques Tardi's series
of graphic novels "The Extraordinary Adventures
of Adele Blanc-Sec," for the screen, which starred
Louis Bourgoin in the title role.
In 2011, he directed Michelle Yeoh in
The Lady, about Nobel Peace Prize winner
Aung San Suu Kyi.
In 2013, Besson brought Tonino Benacquista's
acclaimed novel "Malavita" to the screen in The
Family, which starred Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee
Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Throughout his directing career, Besson has
directed music videos for a number of artists,
including Serge Gainsbourg and Mylene Farmer,
as well as commercials for internationally
In addition to the films he has directed, Besson
has written more than 20 screenplays for features,
including the Taxi series and Taken 2, which
currently lays claim to being the biggest box-office
hit of any French film in the United States.
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