Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese

The mentor

Published in 2009

Martin Scorsese was born in 1942, on the lower east side of Manhattan in the neighborhood called Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films.

He earned a BS degree in film communications in 1964, followed by an MA in 1966 at New York University’s School of Film. During this time, he made numerous prize-winning short films.

In 1968, Scorsese completed his first feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door? and later won critical and popular acclaim for his 1973 film Mean Streets. He went on to become one of the world’s leading film-makers. In 1976, Scorsese’s Taxi Driver was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and it was followed with a series of outstanding successes, including New York, New York, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Casino, Kundun, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York and The Aviator. Scorsese’s most recent feature, The Departed, was released to critical acclaim in October 2006 (the film would later win several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director). Shine A Light, Scorsese’s documentary of the Rolling Stones in concert, was released worldwide in April 2008. His next film, Shutter Island, opens in 2009.

Scorsese’s artistic excellence has been recognized with many honours, including the Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival, the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, a Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.

In addition to his work as a film-maker, he has also been a staunch advocate for film preservation. He is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion picture history; and, in 2007, he launched the World Cinema Foundation (of which he serves as both founder and chair), dedicated to the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world.