COSTA-GAVRAS Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Costa Gavras.                                                               
Birth name: Constantin Costa-Gavras                                               
Born: 13 February 1933 Loutra Iraias, Greece                                       
Constantinos Gavras (born February 13, 1933, Loutra Iraias, Greece), better       
known as (Constantin) Costa-Gavras (and other variants), is a Greek-French         
filmmaker best known for films with overt political themes, most famously the     
dark, fast-paced thriller, Z (1969). Most of his movies were made in French;       
starting with Missing (1982), several were made in English.                       
Costa-Gavras was born to a poor family in the village of Loutra Iraias (Λουτρά
Ηραίας), Arcadia. His family spent the Second World War in a village in the 
Peloponnese, and moved to Athens after the war. His father had been a member of   
the left-wing EAM branch of the Greek Resistance, and was imprisoned after the     
war as a suspected communist. His father's record made it impossible for him to   
attend university or emigrate to the United States, so after high school           
Costa-Gavras went to France, where he began his studies of law in 1951.           
In 1956, he left his university studies to study film at the French national       
film school, IDHEC. After film school, he apprenticed under Yves Allegret, and     
became an assistant director for Jean Giono and Rene Clair. After several         
further positions as first assistant director, he directed his first feature       
film, Compartiment Tueurs, in 1965.                                               
Costa-Gavras was president of the Cinémathèque française from 1982 to 1987. He 
is a first cousin of recording artist Jimmie Spheeris and filmmaker Penelope       
Spheeris. His daughter Julie Gavras is also a filmmaker.