Minnesota is home to some well known Directors and Producers who have left their marks in Film and Theater. The following is a list of those Directors and Producers.
- Coen Brothers (Ethan and Joel) (St. Louis Park, MN)
Film Directors/Writers. Film Credits include True Grit, Fargo, A Simple Man, Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy, Miller’s Crossing, Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn’t There, No Country for Old Men, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, and Burn After Reading. They have been nominated for numerous awards. They have won the Academy Award (Oscar) for their Writing on Fargo (1996), and Oscars for Directing, Best Picture and Writing for the film, No Country for Old Men (2007).
- Pete Docter (Bloomington, MN)
Animator/Writer/Director. One of the original team of animators at Pixar. He has worked on films that include Toy Story (1995), Monsters, Inc (2001), Wall-E (2008). He co-wrote and co-directed the films “Up” (2009) and “Inside Out” (2015), both which won the Academy Award (Oscar) in the Animated Feature Film category.
- Terry Gilliam (Minneapolis, MN)
Actor/Writer/Director, began career as the animator for Monty Python, Director of several feature films including: Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). He was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) for his Writing for the film, Brazil (1985). His family moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles when he was 12 years old.
- George Roy Hill (Minneapolis, MN)
Director / Producer / Actor. Academy Award (Oscar) for Directing, The Sting (1973). Also directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Other films include: Slap Shot (1977), The World According to Garp (1982), Funny Farm (1988) and his favorite, The Great Waldo Pepper (1975). Hill graduated from Blake High School in Hopkins, MN and Yale University with a music degree. He loved airplanes and became a Marine Pilot during World War II and the Korean War.
- Mark Steven Johnson (Hastings, MN)
Writer / Director / Producer. Screenplays for Daredevil (2003), Ghost Rider (2007), Grumpy Old Men (1993), Grumpier Old Men (1995). Directed; Daredevil (2003), Ghost Rider (2007), Simon Birch (1998), When in Rome (2010).
- Drew Kunin (Minneapolis, MN)
Sound Mixer; Nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) in 2013 for “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” for “Life of Pi”. Received the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Miniseries or a Special” for his work on “Stalin” a TV mini series. He has worked on over 70 films, including “Lost in Translation”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Adaptation”.
- Bill (William) Pohlad (Minneapolis, MN)
Film Producer/Financier. Films include; Food, Inc. (2008), Into the Wild (2007), A Prairie Home Companion (2006), Brokeback Mountain (2005) and 2014’s Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Motion Picture – Twelve Years a Slave (2014).
- Pat Proft (Columbia Heights, MN)
Writer/Actor. Arguably one of the funniest writers ever in Film or TV. Credits include “The Naked Gun” (all), “Police Squad” (all), “Hot Shots” (all), “Real Genius”, Scary Movie” (all), “Police Academy” (all) and “Bachelor Party”. Dozens of film and television credits. Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award in 1981.
- Stephen Sommers (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Sommers was born in Indiana but grew up in St. Cloud, MN. He wrote and directed The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Van Helsing. He also wrote and produced The Scorpion King. His director debut came in 1989 with the St. Cloud based film “Catch Me If You Can”.
- Mike Todd (Minneapolis, MN)
Film Producer/Inventor. Produced the Academy Award (Oscar) winning film “Around the World in 80 Days”. Popularized CinemaScope and Cinerama. Invented the “Todd-AO” system of synchronizing multiple sound tracks on 70-millimeter film. Married to Elizabeth Taylor. Died tragically in a plane crash.
- Paul von Stoetzel (unknown)
Director/Writer/Producer/Actor. Films include; Asleep in the Deep (2005), Snuff: A Documentary About Killing on Camera (2008), Dinner Date (2009/II). Graduated from the University of Minnesota.
Honorary Minnesotans (non-resident)
Individuals who were NOT born (or raised) in Minnesota, but have lived in Minnesota for a short period of time.
- Peter Berg (New York City, NY)
Berg is a graduate of Macalester Collge in St. Paul, MN where he studied Theater Arts. He went on to direct notable films like “Friday Night Lights” (2004), “The Kingdom” (2007), “Hancock” (2008), “Deepwater Horizon” (2016), and “Patriots Day” (2016). He was also a cast member on the CBS medical drama, “Chicago Hope” (1995–1999).
- Peter Del Vecho (Boston, Massachusetts)
Film Producer of Disney’s feature film “Frozen”, a winner of the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Animated Feature Film. Del Vecho lived in the Twin Cities for 10 years after college and worked at the Guthrie Theater where he worked as a associate producing director. He is a BFA graduate of Boston University.