French director Claude Lelouch performs a variety of functions on his films; writer producer, cinematographer and editor, but believes the director is the most important role on any set.
As a young child in France, Lelouch's mother hid him in movie theaters as not to be found by the Nazis. There he watched films over and over and earned a deep passionate respect for the art. His first paid directing experience came when he won $10,000 from a Canadian company for sneakily filming the bodies of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin at Lenin’s mausoleum. After a stint in the French Army’s film department, Lelouch set out to make his first film, Le propre de l'homme (1961).
After a string of films throughout the 1960s, Lelouch found international recognition and critical acclaim with A Man and Woman (1966) which he directed, wrote, produced, shot and edited. A Man and Woman won Lelouch two Oscars, for Best Screenplay and Best Foreign Film, as well as a directing nomination. The film also earned Lelouch a DGA Awards nomination in 1967. Lelouch has gone on to direct over 50 films, earning another Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay for And Now My Love (1974) and a BAFTA nomination for his unique interpretation of Les Misérables (1995). Lelouch continues to direct, write and produce steadily saying, “You can spend two or three years without making a film, but you can't spend two to three years without shooting anything.”