Jean-Jacques Annaud biography
Enemy At The Gates Director
Date of Birth: October 1, 1943
Born in Draveil, south of Paris, France, Annaud attended the prestigious L'Institut des Hautes
Etudes Cinematographiques. He graduated at the age of 20 and quickly achieved success directing
Two years later he was sent to the French Cameroons as an Army Film Director by
the National Service.
While in Africa, he trained locals to make their own movies while working on a series of
educational films for the natives.
The experience convinced him to film his first feature,
Black and White in Color, in Africa, and he took a year to raise the money.
His hard work
paid off with an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1978.
Annaud's follow-up, Coup de Tête (or Hothead) (1979), established his reputation in
France, and his next film Quest for Fire (1981), a unique story of primitive man set 80,000
years ago, won French Cesar Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.
He won the Cesar Award again
directing Sean Connery in an adaptation of Umberto Eco's challenging novel The Name of the
Rose (1986), set in the 13th century.
His next project made international stars out of a bear
cub and a nine-foot two-inch Kodiak in The Bear (1989), which related the friendship of the
two animals with virtually no dialogue.
In 1997, Annaud released one of his most controversial films, Seven Years in Tibet. Starring
Brad Pitt, the film was panned by the critics and Annaud was barred from entering China due
to creating this film, which told the story of China's invasion and continued occupation of
He began the new millennium with a war thriller, Enemy At The Gates (2001), starring Jude
Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz and Ed Harris.
He returned to working with animals when he wrote, produced and directed Two Brothers (2004), about twin tiger cubs who are separated by humans, then later reunited under trying circumstances.