15 Mexican Directors You Should Be Watching

It's no secret that Mexican films are breaking all kinds of box-office records. Eugenio Derbez's bilingual comedy Instructions Not Included became the highest-grossing Spanish-language movie in U.S. history last month. A few weeks later, Alfonso Cuaron's thrilling drama Gravity impressed critics and audiences worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing October release ever. And, most recently, Pulling Strings became the surprise indie hit of the year

Hispanic audiences comprise a huge portion of movie-goers, so it's no surprise that more Latino themed flicks are hitting the big screen. Check out some of the Latinos and Latinas behind the camera with our list of the 15 Mexican directors you should be watching:

1. directors slide 01

Alfonso Cuaron: 

Cuaron’s new film Gravity shattered box office records, becoming the biggest October opening ever. But, this isn’t Cuaron’s first success: he’s the man behind hit movies Y Tu Mamá Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Children of Men. The Mexico City native has been nominated for three Oscars, but never won. Could this be his year? 

2. directors slide 02

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu:

Inarritu is the genius behind feature films Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Biutiful, and Babel, which earned him Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. The Mexican has now turned his sights to comedy; he’s set to direct Birdman, starring Emma Stone and Michael Keaton.

3. directors slide 03

Guillermo del Toro: 

One of the most recognizable faces of Mexican cinema, Guillermo del Toro is known for his dark fantasy pieces, like critically-acclaimed Pan’s Labryinth. Other films you should check out? Horror movie The Devil’s Backbone and adventure flick Pacific Rim.

4. directors slide 04

Patricia Riggen:

In an entertainment industry that doesn’t boast many women, becoming a successful Latina director is quite a feat! Riggen is set to direct The 33, a film about the 33 miners who became trapped 2,300 feet under the ground in Chile. Her other noteworthy flicks include Girl in Progress, starring Eva Mendes, and Under the Same Moon, an indie film starring Adrian Alonso, Kate del Castillo, Eugenio Derbez, and America Ferrera. 


5. directors slide 05

Eugenio Derbez: 

This actor-turned-director is receiving critical acclaim for his new film, Instructions Not Included, which recently surpassed Pan’s Labryinth as the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. history! Many hope Derbez picks up an Oscar for the film next March.

6. directors slide 06

Guillermo Arriaga:

This prolific director is the man behind huge Spanish and English-language hits, like Amores Perros with Gael Garcia Bernal, 21 Grams with Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro, and The Burning Plain with Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence.

7. directors slide 07

Robert Rodriguez:

Robert Rodriguez needs no introduction. The mastermind behind action thrillers Sin City, Spy Kids, and Planet Terror is back on the big screen this month with his star-studded action flick Machete Kills, featuring Hollywood heavyweights Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega, and Charlie Sheen. 

8. directors slide 08

Fernando Eimbcke:

Fernando Eimbcke may be young, but he’s already made a successful career for himself directing music videos and short films. His feature debut, Duck Soup, received critical acclaim and won the Ariel Award (the Mexican version of the Academy Awards) for Best Film. 

9. directors slide 09

Carlos Carrera

Nominated for an Academy Award for his film El Crimen del Padre Amaro, Carlos Carrera is definitely one Mexican director to look out for. In 2009, he directed Backyard: El Traspatio about the female homicides in Ciudad Juarez. The film earned him a silver plaque at the 2009 Chicago International Film Festival. 

10. directors slide 10

Michel Franco

His breakout film, 2012 drama After Lucia, won the top price at the 2012 Cannes FIlm Festival. The movie -- and this director -- are on the must-watch list for fans of Mexican drama.

11. directors slide 11

Carlos Reygadas

Carlos Reygadas has already scored two Cannes Film Festival awards! In 2007, he took home the Jury Prize Award for Silent Light, and in 2012 he won the coveted Best Director Award for Post Tenebras Lux. 

12. directors slide 12

Juan Carlos Rulfo:

Rulfo boasts an impressive filmography and an even more impressive list of awards. The director of In the Pit won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and took home honors at the Goya Awards, the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the Havana Film Festival, and others. 

13. directors slide 13

Luis Mandoki:

Luis Mandoki has achieved incredible crossover success, directing American hits When A Man Loves a Woman, Message in a Bottle, and Angel Eyes. Additionally, the director took home an Ariel Award in 1980 for his film El Secreto. 

14. directors slide 14

Alejandro Monteverde

The 36-year-old director took home the top prize at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival for his first feature film, Bella. Monteverde also received the “American By Choice” award from the Department of Citizenship for his positive contribution to Latino art and culture in the United States.

15. directors slide 15

Arturo Ripstein:

This prolific director is probably best known for his film Deep Crimson, which took home eight Ariel Awards, including Best Actor and Best Actress.