Filmmaker Mag Picks Top 25 Indie Filmmakers

Filmmaker Magazine's annual list salutes 25 newcomers and up ‘n’ comers

Is this the next generation of independent film?

Filmmaker Magazine thinks so.  The magazine's annual list of 25 filmmakers “posed to shape the next generation of independent film” include a number of young writers, directors, producers and actors who got their start making shorts that screened in film festivals.  It also includes plenty of NYU film school students, and a lot of filmmakers who’ll be looking for representation now that they’ve been featured in this year’s list.

(See related slideshow)

This is definitely a batch of newcomers and up 'n' comers; when the magazine lists contact information for all 25 people on the list, in only seven cases are those contact agents or managers.  

Among those listed in past installments are directors Derek Cianfrance (whose “Blue Valentine” will be released in December by the Weinstein Company), Craig Brewer (“Hustle and Flow”) and Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), and actors Ryan Gosling, Ellen Page and Peter Sarsgaard.

The list, with extensive biographies and interviews, is available at Filmmaker Magazine.

This year’s names:

New LowAdam Bowers
Writer, director and actor.  His first film, the comedy “New Low”   (right), screened in Sundance’s NEXT section this year. 

Jason Byrne
Director and archivist. His CalArts thesis project “Scrap Vessel” is currently playing festivals, while he works as an audio/visual archivist for the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Rebecca Richman Cohen
Editor (“Fahrenheit 9/11”) and documentary filmmaker. Sierra Leone-set “War Don Don” debuts on HBO on September 29.

Sara Colangelo
Director of Seattle International Film Festival narrative-short winner “Little Accidents.” Currently working on documentary, and on feature loosely based on “Little Accidents.”

Danfung Dennis
Director.  Former photojournalist began making his first feature, “Hell and Back Again,” while embedded with the Marines in Afghanistan; it follows a sergeant who returns home to recover from his injuries.

Trieste Kelly Dunn
Actress.  Has appeared in Aaron Katz’s “Cold Weather,”Brett Haley’s “The New Year” and Zach Clark’s “Vacation!”

Sean Durkin
Producer, writer and director.  His short “Mary Last Seen” won the short film prize at the 2010 Cannes’ Directors Fortnight; upcoming feature “Martha Marcy May Marlene” follows a character from the short.

Marc Fratello
Director.  His short “Babyland” won the Focus Features Best Film Award at the 2010 Columbia University Film Festival, the Student Choice Award, and an Audience Award.

Rashaad Ernesto Green
Director. Shorts include HBO Short Film Award winner “Premature,” and “Choices.” Currently preparing feature “Gun Hill Road.”

Jade Healy
Production designer. Recent films include “happythankyoumoreplease,” “House of the Devil,” “The Imperialists Are Still Alive!” and “Alexander the Last.”

Alex Jablonski & Michael Totten
Filmmakers of series of monthly short-documentary series “Sparrow Songs.“

Arielle Javitch
Writer-director. A former dancer, she began making short dance films, then branched out into narrative storytelling.  Her first film, “Look Stranger,” focuses on a refugee played by Anamaria Marinca (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”).

Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Directing team responsible for web series “American Nobodies” and 14 short films, including Sundance entry “Charlie and the Rabbit.”

Victoria Mahoney
Writer-director, former actress. Currently in post-production on “Yelling at the Sky,” a narrative drama starring Zoe Kravitz, Gabourey Sidibe and Tim Blake Nelson.

Julius Onah
Writer-director of recent LAFF short “Goodbye Chicken, Farewell Goat.” Working on feature debut, “The Girl Is In Trouble,” with executive producer Spike Lee.

Holden Abigail Osborne
Writer-director. Her two-part short film “Solitary/Release,” a SXSW entry this year, combines a documentary about her brother’s return from prison, and a fictionalization of the story starring James Franco.

Matt Porterfield
Writer-director. Baltimore-based director’s second film, “Putty Hill,” recently screened at the Berlin Film Festival  and will be distributed theatrically by Cinema Guild.

Radical Friend
L.A.-based directing team of Julia Grigorian and Kirby McClure. Background includes music videos; next project is a commission from the Creators Project on “The Digital Flesh,” a multi-city, multi-media work.

Sultan Sharrief
Writer-director. Autobiographical feature “Bilal’s Stand,” made largely with local teens in Detroit, played Sundance, the Berlin Film Festival and New Directors/New Films.

Brent Stewart
Director and producer for Nomadic Independence Pictures.  Feature debut, “The Colonel’s Bride,” premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival. 

Mike Stoklasa
Writer-director.  Best-known for “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review,” a feature-length trashing of George Lucas’ film that was championed by “Lost” producer Damon Lindelhof. Next film is “Feeding Frenzy,” an ‘80s-style monster movie.

Zac Stuart-Pontier
Editor and assistant director.  Recent editing jobs include three feature documentaries: “NY Export: Opus Jazz,” “Beautiful Darling” and “Catfish.”

Kasper Tuxen
Danish-born actor-turned-cinematographer. Work includes videos for Royksopp, and features “3 Backyards” and “Beginners.”

David Wilson
Director, and co-founder of the True/False Film Festival.  His bird-watching short, “Big Birding Day,” played at this year’s SXSW. Currently shooting a documentary in Branson, Missouri with A.J. Schnack.

Susan Youssef
Writer-director.  Currently in post-production on “Habibi Rasak Kharban,” an adaptation of a 12th century Sufi parable and the first film to be set in Gaza in 15 years.