Costa-Gavras was born on the 13th of February 1933 in Loutra-Iraias (Greece).
At 22 years old he leaves Greece as an economic migrant to study in Paris. He enrolls at Sorbonne University before being admitted to the National Institute of Film (IDHEC). After graduating he works as Assistant Director alongside eminent French directors René Clair, René Clement, Henri Verneuil, Jacques Demy, Marcel Ophüls, Jean Giono and Jean Becker.
In 1965 he directed his first feature film, Compartiment tueurs. His subsequent films were huge successes: Z, won two Oscars in 1969, two awards at the Cannes Film festival and dozens more awards.
Through his political films, Costa-Gavras has tackled burning issues of the era and has continued his work between France and the United States, directing 20 films, including Un homme de trop, Section Spéciale, Missing (Palme d'Or and Best Actor for Jack Lemmon in 1982), Hanna K, Betrayed, L'Aveu, Etat de Siege, Clair de femme, Conseil de famille, La petite apocalypse, Mad City, Music Box, Amen, Le Couperet, Eden à l'Ouest , Le capital …
Costa-Gavras is married to Michèle Ray since 1968. They have three children: Alexandre, Julie and Romain. Alexandre is a producer, Julie and Romain are film directors.
In 2018 he published his auto biography "Va où il est impossible d'aller".
Since 2007, he is President of the Cinémathèque Française.