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BAFTA Award for Best Direction facts for kids

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BAFTA Award for Best Direction
The 2023 recipient: Christopher Nolan
Presented by British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Location London
Country United Kingdom
First awarded 1968
Currently held by Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer (2023)

The BAFTA Award for Best Direction, formerly known as David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction, is a British Academy Film Award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to a film director for a specific film.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a British organisation that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, children's film and television, and interactive media. Since 1968, selected films have been awarded with the BAFTA award for Best Direction at an annual ceremony.

In the following lists, the titles and names in bold with a gold background are the winners and recipients respectively; those not in bold are the remaining nominees. The winner is also the first name listed in each category.


The award was originally known as David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction, in honour of British director David Lean.

There are no records showing any nominations, or a winner, for this award at the 39th British Academy Film Awards, presented in 1986 for films released in 1985.

Winners and nominees

     indicates the winner


Year Director Film
Mike Nichols The Graduate
Lindsay Anderson if....
Carol Reed Oliver!
Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet
John Schlesinger Midnight Cowboy
Richard Attenborough Oh! What a Lovely War
Ken Russell Women in Love
Peter Yates Bullitt


Year Director Film
George Roy Hill Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Robert Altman M*A*S*H
David Lean Ryan's Daughter
Ken Loach Kes
John Schlesinger Sunday Bloody Sunday
Miloš Forman Taking Off
Joseph Losey The Go-Between
Luchino Visconti Death in Venice
Bob Fosse Cabaret
Peter Bogdanovich The Last Picture Show
William Friedkin The French Connection
Stanley Kubrick A Clockwork Orange
François Truffaut Day for Night
Luis Buñuel The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Nicolas Roeg Don't Look Now
Fred Zinnemann The Day of the Jackal
Roman Polanski Chinatown
Francis Ford Coppola The Conversation
Sidney Lumet Murder on the Orient Express / Serpico
Louis Malle Lacombe Lucien
Stanley Kubrick Barry Lyndon
Sidney Lumet Dog Day Afternoon
Martin Scorsese Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Steven Spielberg Jaws
Miloš Forman One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Alan J. Pakula All the President's Men
Alan Parker Bugsy Malone
Martin Scorsese Taxi Driver
Woody Allen Annie Hall
Richard Attenborough A Bridge Too Far
John G. Avildsen Rocky
Sidney Lumet Network
Alan Parker Midnight Express
Robert Altman A Wedding
Steven Spielberg Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Fred Zinnemann Julia
Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse Now
Woody Allen Manhattan
Michael Cimino The Deer Hunter
John Schlesinger Yanks


Year Director Film
Akira Kurosawa Kagemusha
Robert Benton Kramer vs. Kramer
David Lynch The Elephant Man
Alan Parker Fame
Louis Malle Atlantic City
Bill Forsyth Gregory's Girl
Hugh Hudson Chariots of Fire
Karel Reisz The French Lieutenant's Woman
Richard Attenborough Gandhi
Costa-Gavras Missing
Mark Rydell On Golden Pond
Steven Spielberg E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Bill Forsyth Local Hero
James Ivory Heat and Dust
Sydney Pollack Tootsie
Martin Scorsese The King of Comedy
Wim Wenders Paris, Texas
Roland Joffé The Killing Fields
Sergio Leone Once Upon a Time in America
Peter Yates The Dresser
Not awarded
Woody Allen Hannah and Her Sisters
Roland Joffé The Mission
Neil Jordan Mona Lisa
James Ivory A Room with a View
Oliver Stone Platoon
Richard Attenborough Cry Freedom
Claude Berri Jean de Florette
John Boorman Hope and Glory
Louis Malle Goodbye, Children (Au revoir les enfants)
Gabriel Axel Babette's Feast
Bernardo Bertolucci The Last Emperor
Charles Crichton A Fish Called Wanda
Kenneth Branagh Henry V
Stephen Frears Dangerous Liaisons
Alan Parker Mississippi Burning
Peter Weir Dead Poets Society


Year Director Film
Martin Scorsese Goodfellas
Woody Allen Crimes and Misdemeanors
Bruce Beresford Driving Miss Daisy
Giuseppe Tornatore Cinema Paradiso
Alan Parker The Commitments
Kevin Costner Dances with Wolves
Jonathan Demme The Silence of the Lambs
Ridley Scott Thelma & Louise
Robert Altman The Player
Clint Eastwood Unforgiven
James Ivory Howards End
Neil Jordan The Crying Game
Steven Spielberg Schindler's List
Richard Attenborough Shadowlands
Jane Campion The Piano
James Ivory The Remains of the Day
Mike Newell Four Weddings and a Funeral
Krzysztof Kieślowski Three Colours: Red (Trois couleurs : Rouge)
Quentin Tarantino Pulp Fiction
Robert Zemeckis Forrest Gump
Michael Radford Il Postino: The Postman
Mel Gibson Braveheart
Nicholas Hytner The Madness of King George
Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility
Joel Coen Fargo
Scott Hicks Shine
Mike Leigh Secrets & Lies
Anthony Minghella The English Patient
Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet
James Cameron Titanic
Peter Cattaneo The Full Monty
Curtis Hanson L.A. Confidential
Peter Weir The Truman Show
Shekhar Kapur Elizabeth
John Madden Shakespeare in Love
Steven Spielberg Saving Private Ryan
Pedro Almodóvar All About My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre)
Neil Jordan The End of the Affair
Sam Mendes American Beauty
Anthony Minghella The Talented Mr. Ripley
M. Night Shyamalan The Sixth Sense


Year Director Film
Ang Lee Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long)
Stephen Daldry Billy Elliot
Ridley Scott Gladiator
Steven Soderbergh Erin Brockovich
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Robert Altman Gosford Park
Ron Howard A Beautiful Mind
Jean-Pierre Jeunet Amélie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain)
Baz Luhrmann Moulin Rouge!
Roman Polanski The Pianist
Stephen Daldry The Hours
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Rob Marshall Chicago
Martin Scorsese Gangs of New York
Peter Weir Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Tim Burton Big Fish
Sofia Coppola Lost in Translation
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Anthony Minghella Cold Mountain
Mike Leigh Vera Drake
Marc Forster Finding Neverland
Michel Gondry Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Michael Mann Collateral
Martin Scorsese The Aviator
Ang Lee Brokeback Mountain
George Clooney Good Night, and Good Luck.
Paul Haggis Crash
Fernando Meirelles The Constant Gardener
Bennett Miller Capote
Paul Greengrass United 93
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris Little Miss Sunshine
Stephen Frears The Queen
Alejandro González Iñárritu Babel
Martin Scorsese The Departed
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson There Will Be Blood
Paul Greengrass The Bourne Ultimatum
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
Joe Wright Atonement
Danny Boyle Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry The Reader
Clint Eastwood Changeling
David Fincher The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard Frost/Nixon
Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker
Neill Blomkamp District 9
James Cameron Avatar
Lone Scherfig An Education
Quentin Tarantino Inglourious Basterds


Year Director Film
David Fincher The Social Network
Darren Aronofsky Black Swan
Danny Boyle 127 Hours
Tom Hooper The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan Inception
Michel Hazanavicius The Artist
Tomas Alfredson Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Lynne Ramsay We Need to Talk About Kevin
Nicolas Winding Refn Drive
Martin Scorsese Hugo
Ben Affleck Argo
Kathryn Bigelow Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke Amour
Ang Lee Life of Pi
Quentin Tarantino Django Unchained
Alfonso Cuarón Gravity
Paul Greengrass Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell American Hustle
Martin Scorsese The Wolf of Wall Street
Richard Linklater Boyhood
Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel
Damien Chazelle Whiplash
Alejandro G. Iñárritu Birdman
James Marsh The Theory of Everything
Alejandro G. Iñárritu The Revenant
Todd Haynes Carol
Adam McKay The Big Short
Ridley Scott The Martian
Steven Spielberg Bridge of Spies
Damien Chazelle La La Land
Tom Ford Nocturnal Animals
Ken Loach I, Daniel Blake
Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve Arrival
Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water
Luca Guadagnino Call Me by Your Name
Martin McDonagh Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan Dunkirk
Denis Villeneuve Blade Runner 2049
Alfonso Cuarón Roma
Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born
Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite
Spike Lee BlacKkKlansman
Paweł Pawlikowski Cold War
Sam Mendes 1917
Bong Joon-ho Parasite
Todd Phillips Joker
Martin Scorsese The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Year Director Film
Chloé Zhao Nomadland
Lee Isaac Chung Minari
Sarah Gavron Rocks
Shannon Murphy Babyteeth
Thomas Vinterberg Another Round
Jasmila Žbanić Quo Vadis, Aida?
Jane Campion The Power of the Dog
Paul Thomas Anderson Licorice Pizza
Audrey Diwan Happening
Julia Ducournau Titane
Ryusuke Hamaguchi Drive My Car
Aleem Khan After Love
Edward Berger All Quiet on the Western Front
Park Chan-wook Decision to Leave
Todd Field Tár
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh The Banshees of Inisherin
Gina Prince-Bythewood The Woman King
Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer
Andrew Haigh All of Us Strangers
Justine Triet Anatomy of a Fall
Alexander Payne The Holdovers
Bradley Cooper Maestro
Jonathan Glazer The Zone of Interest

Multiple wins

Multiple nominations

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Anexo:BAFTA al mejor director para niños

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