Allen Hughes is an acclaimed filmmaker whose major leap into the entertainment industry came with his and twin brother Albert’s jolting debut as the 20-year-old creators/directors of MENACE II SOCIETY. The film’s compelling, realistic look at inner-city life garnered international critical acclaim and put them on the map as major filmmakers.
Allen Hughes was born in Detroit, Michigan to an African American father and an Armenian American mother, Aida, whose family were Iranian Armenians from Tehran. Allen began making home movies at age 12.
Although Allen and his twin brother had been making short films at home, it wasn’t until Allen took a TV production class in high school that his flair for storytelling and natural filmmaking abilities were recognized. After he made a short film entitled “How to be a Burglar,” Allen’s teacher realized he had talent beyond his years and linked him in with the school’s public access channel. Allen went on to produce and star in three shows for the channel, which helped introduce him to a wider audience, and he and his brother began directing music videos shortly after.
It was on the set of a music video that Allen met and befriended the late rapper Easy-E, who had been a big influence on Allen growing up — not just because of his music, but because of the ways he dealt with theme and concept as a storyteller. Allen Hughes credits Easy-E with teaching him how to set himself apart from others and harvest his uniqueness.
Allen Hughes Filmography as Director
2013 Broken City
2011 Dr. Dre F. Eminem: I Need a Doctor
2010 The Book of Eli (uncredited)
2009 New York, I Love You (segment “Allen Hughes”)
2005 Knights of the South Bronx
2004 Touching Evil
2001 From Hell (as The Hughes Brothers)
1999 American Pimp
1995 Dead Presidents (as The Hughes Brothers)
1993 Menace II Society