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Introduction: 10 Directors to Watch

As Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch series turns 10 this year, it seems we even got it right in some cases over the past decade.

Straight out of the gate, back in 1997, we touted Alfonso Cuaron, who went on to both indie (“Y tu mama tambien”) and studio (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) hits. Both Jan Sverak (“Kolya”) and James Moll (“The Last Days”) collected Oscars after their inclusion.

Distinctive helmers such as Wes Anderson (class of 1997), Michael Winterbottom (1997) and Lukas Moodysson (2001) continue to make films that define the international filmmaking scene, with Winterbottom proving to be the king of work ethic, with nine powerful films released since his listing, including his latest “A Cock and Bull Story.”

Moodysson has impacted Scandi cinema with films like “Lilya4Ever” and bows his newest and most experimental film, “Container,” at next month’s Berlin film fest .

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This year, a number of alums have films in the kudo mix, including George Clooney (2003), Fernando Meirelles (2003), Niki Caro (2003), Chris Nolan (2001) and Gavin Hood (2000).

Some have major projects ahead: Justin Lin (2002), whose “Annapolis” hits theaters this month, is filming U’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” Anand Tucker (1999) is prepping New Line’s “His Dark Materials.”

And several past honorees will be showing new films at Sundance this week, including Baltasar Kormakur (2001), Fabian Bielinsky (2002) and Carlos Reygadas (2003).

It’s fun to be right, but it’s even more fun to see dynamic, creative helmers thriving, making essential cinema.

Hilary Brougher

Neil Burger

Ryan Fleck

Josef Fares

Chris Gorak

Neil Marshall

Bennett Miller

Marc Rothemund

Patrick Stettner

Joe Wright

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