Lars von Trier is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He is closely associated with the Dogme 95 collective, an avant-garde filmmaking movement, although his own films have taken a variety of approaches. Known as a provocateur, he is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential directors in world cinema. Von Trier suffers periodically from depression, and also from various fears and phobias, including an intense fear of flying. As he quipped in an interview, “basically, I’m afraid of everything in life, except filmmaking.” His first feature was The Element of Crime (1984). Von Trier’s filmography also includes Breaking the Waves (1996); Dancer in the Dark (2000), starring Björk as Selma; Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011). He was born on April 30, 1956.