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Variety Unveils 10 Directors to Watch for 2016

Variety extends partnership with Palm Springs film festival, planning desert bash for latest edition of 10 Directors to Watch.

"Captain Fantastic"
Captain Fantastic

Variety has named its 10 Directors to Watch for 2016, spotlighting feature helmers from across the filmmaking landscape. The list represents a cross-section of studio and independent talents, working both in Hollywood and overseas, all of whom are expected to go on to great things — some as soon as the year-end awards race.

All but three of the directors are making their feature debuts. Joining these impressive tyros, Colombian helmer Ciro Guerra has premiered two films in Cannes; Peter Landesman’s sophomore pic, “Concussion,” bowed this week at the AFI Film Festival; and actor-turned-director Matt Ross (“28 Hotel Rooms”) is a Sundance alum whose “Captain Fantastic” is positioned for a 2016 festival launch.

The 10 Directors to Watch are:

The directors will be profiled in a special standalone issue of Variety on Dec. 29, then honored in person several days later at the Palm Springs Film Festival, where at least five of the films are expected to screen.

Variety’s 10 to Watch series spotlights emerging writers, actors, producers, directors, comics and cinematographers. The honorees are selected by a team of Variety editors, critics and reporters on the basis of the films indicated above, most of which premiered on the festival circuit. Only “Ex Machina,” from novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland, has already opened theatrically on U.S. screens. Elizabeth Wood’s “White Girl” was produced by Killer Films and will see its world premiere sometime next year.

Directors who have appeared on the 10 to Watch list in years past include Sam Taylor-Johnson (from “Nowhere Boy” to “Fifty Shades of Grey”), Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies,” “Sicario”), Gaspar Noe (“I Stand Alone,” “Love”) and Baltasar Kormakur (“101 Reykjavik,” “Everest”).