10 Best Documentary Filmmakers In The World

Documentary films, some claim, are much harder to make than a feature length movie.

These are movies without frills, concentrating on serious socio-political issues, and providing the much needed in depth analysis of various topics.

So, here we take a look at some of the greats of the documentary world!

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Michael Moore

1.    Michael Moore

Maker of the critical documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore is probably one of the most prominent documentary makers of the 21st century. His usual approach is to delve into various sectors within the American industry and produce critical aspects of them. Another famous documentary film by him is Columbine and Sicko.

2.    Rosie Malek – Yonan

One of the few documentary makers who concentrate on regional identities, Malek – Yonan has produced several documentaries that befell the Assyrian population during the various wars across history. She also has documentaries featuring conditions in Iraq and has also been a prominent actress in various films and television shows.

Morgan Spurlock

3.    Morgan Spurlock

A political activist turned documentary maker, Morgan is famous for documentaries such as Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden, Super-Size Me, and various others.  He has also worked as a comedian, television show host, producer, screenwriter, and has also been a part of the famed CNN show known as Inside Man.

4.    Robert Hughes

Known for his documentary films for television, Robert Hughes takes a critical view on various aspects of Australian and British history. His most famous documentary work is The Fatal Shore, and he has also written a bestselling book The Shock of The New as a critic of modern art.

Eleanor Coppola

5.    Eleanor Coppola

Her famous 1991 documentary, Heart of Darkness, is what brought Eleanor to the spotlight. Since then she has produced various documentaries chronicling the filmmaking capability of her husband, Francis Ford Coppola. She is also an artist and a writer.

6.    Alan Lomax

Concentrating on the folk music of America and England, the documentaries of Alan Lomax were crucial in reviving folk music across many lands.

Most of his work concentrates on the era from 1940 – 1960. Additionally, he has recorded a score of folk music and oral history regarding the same.

Jennie Livingston

7.    Jennie Livingston

Jennie Livingston is known for her explosive documentary, Paris Is Burning, which delved into the drag performance culture in New York underground run by African Americans and Latinos. She has also produced other short films and documentaries on queer culture and the various issues that entail them.

8.    Henry Louis Gates

An Emmy Award winning filmmaker and a professor at a highly prestigious university, Henry Gates has created various documentaries that explore the African American culture and its roots. Some of the famous ones include African American Lives, Wonders of The African World, Many Rivers to Cross, etc.

9.    Rory Kennedy

Concentrating on social issues such as treatment of prisoners of war, Mexican border politics, nuclear radiation, etc., Rory Kennedy is best known as a documentary filmmaker and philanthropist. Many of her documentaries have received large levels of television acclamations.

10.  Shelby Steele

Shelby Steele’s documentaries deal with issues such as multiculturalism, racism, etc. He is also a famed writer best known for the book The Content of Our Character. He has also been very critical of the identity Barrack Obama. His most notable works in documentary filmmaking are Seven Days in Bensonhurst and Jefferson’s Blood.


Films and movies are a great and must-watch source of entertainment; considering the fact that you are even watching a documentary or bibliography kind of stuff, then too the exception for being nothing is ruled out – there always is something really interesting in every documentary that you won’t dare to forget your whole life.

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