May 27, 1973
Born in Athens, Greece in 1973, Yorgos Lanthimos briefly studied business and played professional basketball before he turned to study film in his hometown. Although there were very few Greek films being made, Lanthimos managed to find work behind the camera as a commercial director. He co-directed his first feature, a comedy called "My Best Friend" (2001), but the mainstream sensibility didn't suit his style. "Kinetta" (2005) was his first solo directing effort, and his unique style and framing earned the film entry into international festivals in Berlin and Toronto. His aesthetic was on full display in "Dogtooth" (2009), a drama about a family that has withdrawn from the outside world. The film earned the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Lanthimos' next film "Alps" (2011) wasn't met with the same regard, but his first English language film, "The Lobster" (2015), cemented his reputation as a wholly unique auteur. The film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and Lanthimos was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. His follow up, the thoughtful psychological thriller "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" (2017) starring Nicole Kidman didn't have as much success, but again Lanthimos bounced back with his most high profile project to date. "The Favourite" (2018) won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.