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Theory that holds that a film's director is its author (French, auteur). It originated in France in the 1950s and was promoted by Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard and the journal Cahiers du Cinéma. The director oversees and writes the film's audio and visual scenario and therefore is considered more responsible for its content than the screenwriter. Supporters maintain that the most successful films bear the distinctive imprint of their director.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on auteur theory, visit Britannica.com.