James Marsh (born 30 April 1963) is a British film and documentary director best known for his work on Man on Wire, which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and The Theory of Everything, the multi-award winning biopic of physicist Stephen Hawking.
Marsh began his early career in directing with several documentaries made for the BBC. His first TV documentary was the 90-minute, Troubleman – The Last Years of Marvin Gaye, and was followed by the 26-minute 1990 documentary The Animator of Prague starring Jan Svankmajer and his works. Later came The Burger and the King: The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley, in 1995, and the Welsh musician John Cale, which was made in 1998. His relationship continued with the BBC as a producer in 1993 for three Arena series episodes.
In 2005 he directed the film The King which was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival
In 2008 he made the documentary Man on Wire, about Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Man on Wire won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 81st annual Oscars, the BAFTA Award for Best British film, the Independent Spirit Award, and many others. The film, called “exhilarating”, has had a hugely positive audience response and was among the Top Ten Films of 2008 on many critics’ lists.