Variety has selected its 10 Directors to Watch for 2017, marking the 20th anniversary of a talent-spotlighting effort that identified such directors as Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, and Taika Waititi long before they were household names.
This year’s list brings together up-and-coming feature helmers from all corners of the industry: domestic and international, narrative and documentary, directing everything from heartwarming to horror fare. The directors range from breakthrough indie voice Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) to Indian director Ritesh Batra (who makes his English-language debut with “The Sense of an Ending”). What all 10 have in common (technically 11, as the list includes a pair of siblings) is a clear vision, distinct voice, and thrilling potential to revolutionize the business in his or her own way.
The lineup includes six debut features, including a couple that have yet to make their festival debuts: Geremy Jasper’s “Patti Cake$” and “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” from brothers and accomplished commercials directors Emmett and Brendan Malloy. Julia Ducournau’s shocking “Raw” made its mind-blowing bow in Cannes, while stage veteran William Oldroyd premiered his “Lady Macbeth” in Toronto.
The 10 Directors to Watch are:
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- Maren Ade (“Toni Erdmann”)
- Ritesh Batra (“The Sense of an Ending”)
- Otto Bell (“The Eagle Huntress”)
- Julia Ducournau (“Raw”)
- Geremy Jasper (“Patti Cake$”)
- Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”)
- Emmett & Brendan Malloy (“The Tribes of Palos Verdes”)
- Kleber Mendonça Filho (“Aquarius”)
- William Oldroyd (“Lady Macbeth”)
- David Sandberg (“Lights Out”)
The directors will be profiled in a special standalone issue of Variety on Jan. 3, the same day they will be honored in person at the Palm Springs Film Festival.
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.