Lucrecia Martel (born December 14, 1966) is an Argentine film director, screenwriter, and producer whose feature films have frequented Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, and many other international film festivals. Film scholar Paul Julian Smith wrote in 2015 that she is “arguably the most critically acclaimed auteur in Spanish-language art cinema outside Latin America” and that her “transnational auteurism and demanding features have earned her a hard-won reputation in the world art cinema festival circuit.”. Similarly, film scholar Haden Guest has called her “one of the most prodigiously talented filmmakers in contemporary world cinema,” and film scholar David Oubiña has called her body of work a “rare perfection.” In April 2018, Vogue called her "one of the greatest directors in the world right now".
Her 2001 debut feature film La Ciénaga (The Swamp), about an indulgent bourgeois extended family spending the summertime in a decrepit vacation home in provincial Salta, Argentina, was internationally highly acclaimed upon release and introduced a new and vital voice to Argentine cinema. David Oubiña called it "one of the highest achievements" of the New Argentine Cinema, a wave of contemporary filmmaking that began in the mid-1990s in reaction to decades of political and economic crises in the country. The film, Oubiña wrote, is "a rare expression of an extremely troubled moment in the nation’s recent history. It is a masterpiece of singular maturity".
Martel's succeeding three feature films received further international acclaim: the adolescent drama The Holy Girl (La niña Santa) (2004), the psychological thriller The Headless Woman (La Mujer sin Cabeza) (2008), and the period drama adaptation Zama (2017).