Luc Besson is a French filmmaker, screenwriter and producer.
Starting out in 1977 as an assistant director in France and the USA, he gradually emerged as one of very few French directors and producers of international stature.
In 1983, Luc Besson directed his first feature, The Last Battle, which won him a prize at the Avoriaz Festival. Two years later, he made Subway, starring Isabelle Adjani and Christophe Lambert, which garnered three César Awards and established the director's signature visual style.
After the success of Subway, he followed up with The Big Blue. Although poorly received at the 1988 Cannes Festival, the film went on to score 10 million admissions in France and became a fully-fledged social phenomenon. Despite unfavorable reviews, audiences also flocked to see his next two movies, La Femme Nikita (1990) and The Professional (Leon) (1994), which confirmed the director's popularity in France and added an international dimension.
Between these two features, Luc Besson directed a pioneering documentary, Atlantis (1991), which, twenty years ahead of its time, raised awareness of nature's beauty and the vital issue of environmental protection.
In 1995, Luc Besson began work on an ambitious sci-fi project, The Fifth Element, which became one of the biggest hits of any French film in the USA and won him the 1998 César Award for Best Director.
In 1999, he directed his version of the story of The messenger: Joan of Arc, which earned him another César nomination for Best Director.
In 2000, Luc Besson was asked to chair the jury of the 53rd Cannes Festival, becoming the youngest ever Cannes jury president.
The next five years were essentially devoted to his activities as a producer. In ten years, EuropaCorp has become one of European cinema's foremost studios.
After a five-year gap, Luc Besson made his directorial comeback in 2005 with Angel-A, and followed it in 2006 with his first animated movie Arthur and the Invisibles, adapted from his own novel of the same name. In 2009, Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard was released and the trilogy will be completed by Arthur and the War of the Two Worlds, due for release in France on October 13, 2010.
In 2010, Luc Besson made a movie adaptation of Tardi's comic book series The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, starring Louise Bourgoin in the title role.
Throughout his career as a director, he has made music videos, notably for Serge Gainsbourg and Mylène Farmer, and commercials for leading international brand names. Besides the feature films he has directed, Luc Besson has written and produced over twenty movies, including the Taxi franchise and, more recently, Taken, the biggest grossing French film ever in the USA.