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Podcast: Top 3 Directorial Debuts

Podcast: Top 3 Directorial Debuts

This week on the InSession Film Podcast, we reviewed Transcendence, which was directed by the great cinematographer and first time director, Wally Pfister. While the film overall wasn’t great, to Pfister’s credit, a $100 Million studio film with the premise of Transcendence, wouldn’t have been easy for any first-time director. However, for this week’s Top 3, we discuss some of the best directorial debuts we’ve seen over the years. For some of these directors, it’s not only their first film but arguably their best work too. There are many great films to choose from and we had a fun discussion about it.

That being said, what first-time directors would make your list? Here are the one’s that made ours:


1) Frank Darabont – The Shawshank Redemption
2) Orson Welles – Citzen Kane
3) Niel Blomkamp – District 9


1) Ben Affleck – Gone Baby Gone
2) Tyler Perry – Madea’s Family Reunion
3) Richard Kelly – Donnie Darko

Honorable Mentions (Combined)

Malcolm Lee – Best Man, Quentin Tarantino – Reservoir Dogs, Shane Carruth – Primer, David Lynch – Eraserhead, Terrence Malick – Badlands, Wes Anderson – Bottle Rocket, Jon Huston – Maltese Falcoln

Hopefully you guys enjoyed our lists and if you agree or disagree with us, let us know in the comment section below. There are many, many other great directors we didn’t mention here, leaving room for others to be discussed that could easily be in a Top 3. So, what would be your Top 3? Leave a comment in the comment section or email us at

For the entire podcast, click here or listen below.

For more lists done by the InSession Film crew and other guests, be sure see our Top 3 Movie Lists page.

Huge movie fanatic and InSession Film founder and owner. I pretend to know a lot about movies, but mostly I'm good at discussing them. My favorite movies include Shawshank Redemption, Warrior, Top Gun and Transformers (fav as a kid!). Follow me on Twitter @RealJDDuran

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