The symposium on Saturday marked the first time the directors' - four Europeans and an Israeli - were gathered in the same place, the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Vice President Mike Goodrich, who acted as a moderator, said the fan-flocked event intends to generate dialogue among filmmakers. The press association will host the 66th annual Golden Globe ceremony on Sunday.
Ari Folman, director of the Israeli animated war drama "Waltz with Bashir," arrived fresh from a win at Thursday's Critics' Choice awards.
"Basically, it's like arriving into a different planet," Folman said of Los Angeles, where he's been for a week. "And everything here has nothing to do with my everyday life, I can tell you that for sure."
Italy's Matteo Garrone received a Hollywood endorsement when director Martin Scorsese championed his docudrama "Gomorrah." Also a critical sensation at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Garrone hopes all the attention will help the movie succeed when it is released in the U.S. in February.
"The nomination for the movie, it's a great honor for me, and for all the people that worked on this project, this movie," Garrone said.
Swedish director Jan Troell is vying for his second Globe - decades after his 1971 win - as a nominee for his Swedish-Danish historical drama "Everlasting Moments."
Troell noted that he's actually distantly related to the makers of the other Swedish presence at this year's Globes. His wife's cousin is Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA, the Swedish pop group whose music is the soundtrack for best musical or comedy picture nominee "Mamma Mia!"
First-time director Philippe Claudel, nominee for the French drama "I've Loved You So Long," was giddy, literally giggling, when asked about his Golden Globes experience.
Less anxious was Uli Edel, who directed German entry "The Baader-Meinhof Complex."
"First of all, you just need a tuxedo," said Edel. "I have to get a tuxedo and go to the Golden Globes. So, it's very simple."
By Michael Cidoni