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VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

LUC BESSON (Writer/Director) began his career in cinema in 1977, working a number of assistant positions in France under such directors as Patrick Grandperret and Claude Faraldo. At the age of 19, he travelled to the US where he worked as a studio hand. Upon returning to Paris, he was determined to become a filmmaker.

In 1983, he directed his first feature film, The Last Battle, which earned him a number of awards including "The Special Jury Award" 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 oceanic epic, The Big Blue. The film gained 10 million admissions and played in French theaters for a year, eventually becoming a diving cult classic and social phenomenon.

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.

His passion for the beauties and mysteries of aquatic life became apparent through is direction of Atlantis (1991): a documentary aimed at raising awareness about 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, both in the US and in France, of any French film ever made. In 1998, Luc Besson took home a Cesar Award for "Best Director."

In 1999, he directed Joan of Arc, a film recounting the brave feats of France's national heroine.

In the same year, he founded the motion picture studio EuropaCorp, headquartered near Paris.

Within 10 years it became one of the major studios of the European film industry.

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.

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 featured the voices of legendary stars including Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and David Bowie.

In 2010, Luc Besson adapted Tardi's series of graphic novels with The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, with Louise Bourgoin starring in the title role. 2011 marked the release of The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh in the role of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 2013, he brought to the screen Tonino Benacquista's acclaimed novel Malavita, starring no less than Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer.

In 2014, he directed the science-fiction thriller Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. The film became a global megahit, grossing almost half a billion dollars worldwide.

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 renowned brands.

In addition to the films he has directed, Luc Besson has written over 50 screenplays for features. Among them include the hugely successful Taxi, Taken, and Transporter franchises.

Besson is one of a kind in that he's the only French director to have as many worldwide hits as a producer as he does as a director. Some of his producing credits include Gary Oldman's indie film Nil by Mouth which took home an award at the Cannes Film Festival that year, as well as Tommy Lee Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and the western drama The Homesman, both of which achieved wide public acclaim.

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