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The 40 Best Film Directors to Follow on Instagram, From Martin Scorsese to Ana Lily Amirpour

From legendary auteurs like Martin Scorsese to rising stars like Jordan Peele, many of today's best directors can be found on Instagram.

Lena Dunham

Busier than ever. I freak for this woman ❤

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

Why You Should Follow Her: 

From sharing updates about her new show “Camping” to candidly reflecting on her recent hysterectomy, Lena Dunham’s Instagram feed is less of a social media outlet than it is a public diary — her fans consider it to be an uncommonly brave way for a voice of a generation to shine a light on her own humanity, while her critics invariably use Dunham’s account as fodder to lambast her across the rest of the internet. Whichever side you happen to fall on, Dunham’s Instagram is worth following for how it demolishes the line between an artist and their audience, offering a unique look at the ever-evolving nature of being a celebrity and also a person in this world.

Ava DuVernay


A post shared by Ava DuVernay (@ava) on

Why You Should Follow Her: 

A really great time to start following Ava DuVernay would have been a few weeks ago, right before she launched into the release of “A Wrinkle in Time” — her red carpet looks (and that unexpected selfie with Salman Rushdie) were enough to brighten up any timeline, and the video where a bunch of school kids learn they’re going to see the movie was the kind of heart-filling treasure that justifies being on social media in the first place. While DuVernay might be a bit more outspoken on Twitter, her Instagram is a wonderful and well-curated look at all the important work she’s doing, both on-screen and off.

Jon Favreau

Why You Should Follow Him:

Even 10 years after “Iron Man” it’s still hard for us to fully wrap our heads around the idea that Jon Favreau has become one of Disney’s go-to guys for massive blockbusters, but the “Swingers” star certainly seems to be enjoying every minute of his success. Favreau’s Instagram is as shiny and anodyne as his movies, as the most common sort of content on his page is photos of the filmmaker standing next to another famous person and grinning at the camera. Of course, when the other famous person is Chance the Rapper (teasing next summer’s remake of “The Lion King”), it’s more exciting than it sounds. Elsewhere, you can find a video of Favreau making Cuban sandwiches with Gwyneth Paltrow, and occasional close-ups of meat and bread.

Hannah Fidell

Why You Should Follow Her: 

The indie people tend to be a bit more relaxed with their social media than the studio types, and “A Teacher” writer-director Hannah Fidell certainly doesn’t buck that trend. Her Instagram is a lot lighter than a lot of her work (it definitely leans closer to “The Long Dumb Road” than “6 Years”), but it’s still an unvarnished look at the life of a kickass young filmmaker who’s living her dream with a little help from her friends (actress Lindsay Burdge makes a number of cameo appearances on Fidell’s page). Whether offering an inside look at Sundance or offering her unfiltered opinions on the Oscars, Fidell’s Instagram is almost as fun to follow as her career.

Robert Greene

Why You Should Follow Him: When most people take a selfie, it’s just a simple bit of self-expression. But when “Kate Plays Christine” director Robert Greene takes a selfie, it’s a veritable treatise on the hazy relationship between truth and fiction, documentary and reality. This is art, people. In addition to being a great filmmaker, Greene also comes across as a fun-loving family man, and it’s always endearing to see the world through his eyes.

James Gunn

Why You Should Follow Him: 

James Gunn spends a lot of time making Marvel movies, and his Instagram reflects that — it’s probably fair to assume that many of his 680,000+ followers are there for that sweet “Guardians of the Galaxy” content, and Gunn gives it to them in spades. You’ve got Baby Groot against a blue screen, Baby Groot as a mug, Baby Groot as a different mug, etc. Gunn also populates his feed with vacation pics, photos of his dog, and a story about meeting George Lucas at the “Black Panther” premiere. Stars: They’re just like us!

Chad Hartigan

Why You Should Follow Him: 

When he’s not winning televised film trivia championships directing beloved indie gems like “This Is Martin Bonner” and “Morris From America,” Chad Hartigan is running one of the most indispensable Instagram feeds for indie movie fans. His feed, which mostly consists of candid shots of IndieWire favorites hanging out together, is a who’s who of people we care about: Greta Gerwig, Sean Baker, Melanie Lynskey, Adele Romanski… Hartigan’s Instagram makes the indie film world look like one great party.

Anna Rose Holmer

Why You Should Follow Her: If you’ve seen “The Fits,” then you already know that Anna Rose Holmer can find something transcendent in even the most ordinary-looking of spaces (and if you haven’t seen “The Fits,” then you really need to fix that). The young filmmaker’s Instagram is similarly striking, from night shots in Bosnia and Herzegovina to patterned glimpses of swimming pools (Holmer knows a good pool when she sees it, full or empty) and glimpses from the set of “The OA,” Holmer’s Instagram is a great reminder that her career is worth following in any way you can.

Barry Jenkins

Why You Should Follow Him: 

Honestly, if this photo of Barry Jenkins holding onto his dog Cashew as they co-edit “If Beale Street Could Talk” were the only post on the “Moonlight” director’s account, he would still be worth a follow. Fortunately, Jenkins’s plenty of other things going on. He’s not the most frequent poster in the world (he’s a busy dude), but he makes every update count — whether it’s a photo of himself, a photo of Isabelle Huppert, or a photo of himself with Isabelle Huppert.

Rian Johnson

Why You Should Follow Him: 

Rian Johnson’s Instagram is terrific, especially now that he’s not quite as busy with work. Not only does he offer a great window into what it’s like to be in the middle of a massive international press tour, but he also makes it look good. In addition to the usual digital grabs of food and travel and Porgs, Johnson has been uploading some gorgeous black-and-white photos that he recently shot on film (it’s rare to find such sweet, sweet grain on Instagram). This image of Mark Hamill is especially nice.

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