Abel Ferrara is a legend in the world of cinema, which has set its own filmmaking style for decades. The director is known for the provocative and often controversial content in his films, the use of neo-noir imagery and gritty urban settings. Ferrara was born in 1951 in Bronx, and is of Italian and Irish descent. He began directing as a student on Super 8 amateur films. In the mid-1970s, he met the writer Nicholas Saint-John, who become a permanent co-author of most of his screenplays, including Ferrara’s feature debut – "Driller Killer", and later "Ms.45". The good reviews in the press, especially after his second feature film, lead to bigger budgets and working with the bigger names in cinema. But Ferrara did not allow aesthetic compromises and quickly won himself the name of one of the harshest underworld portrayals of New York. In this respect he can only be compared to Martin Scorsese. Although he was commissioned by major film studios for various projects, he preferred the freedom of independent filmmaking and working with familiar actors who like himself, were not afraid to challenge the film specialists and the audience. Among the cinema “chameleons” he worked most often with are Christopher Walken, Harvey Keitel, Matthew Modine, Forest Whitaker, Dennis Hopper, Giancarlo Esposito and others.
“Meeting a director who shares your most important interests, finding a common language with them and building mutual trust is the actor’s dream. When you have this, you only think about films.” This is how Willem Dafoe explains his longtime collaboration with Abel Ferrara, starring in several of director’s works ("New Rose Hotel" 1998, "Go Go Tales" 2007, "4 h 44, Last Day on Earth" 2011, "Pasolini" 2014).
Abel Ferrara was awarded the Sofia Municipality award for outstanding achievements in world cinema in 2018.