The 10 helmers include fest favorites
Variety has announced its 10 Directors to Watch list, representing up-and-coming helmers whose early work suggests promising careers ahead.The lineup includes Zal Batmanglij (“Sound of My Voice”), Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”), Gareth Evans (“The Raid”), Philippe Falardeau (“Monsieur Lazhar”), Gerardo Naranjo (“Miss Bala”), Matt Piedmont (“Casa de mi padre”), Michael R. Roskam (“Bullhead”), Lynn Shelton (“Your Sister’s Sister”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and filmmaking duo Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh, aka the “Bandito Brothers,” former stuntmen whose “Act of Valor” stars actual Navy SEALs in a ground-breaking actioner. Four of the helmers were also tapped to represent their home countries in the Oscar foreign language category: Donzelli’s French “War” was selected for the opening night slot of Critics Week at Cannes; Canadian Falardeau recently earned the audience prize for “Monsieur Lazhar” at the Whistler film fest; Naranjo unveiled Mexican thriller “Miss Bala” at Cannes; and Roskam’s Belgian debut “Bullhead” has been winning prizes at both art- and genre-film fests. A handful of the films are still traveling the festival circuit. At least five will screen at the Palm Springs sprocket opera next month, while later in January, another five are heading to Sundance, where Zeitlin’s “Beasts” is set to preem in narrative competition. Profiles of the directors will appear in Daily Variety on Jan. 6.