Variety has selected its 10 Producers to Watch for 2018, a diverse mix of producers from the U.S. and the thriving international film scene. Variety Producers to Watch, which was originally launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, returned to the Croisette last year and will once again be presented there this year.
Regardless of their home base, these producers all share a fierce commitment to storytelling. Their films have played festivals including Berlin, Sundance and Venice, and a number are screening at Cannes.
Producer Dina Emam’s first narrative feature, “Yomeddine,” was selected for competition. It will vie alongside Russian-made “Leto,” a music filled biopic that Murad Osmann and Ilya Stewart produced for director Kirill Serebrennikov, now under house arrest in that country.
Variety has also selected the forces behind “I, Tonya,” an Oscar winner for Allison Janney (Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara), and Rachel Song, who brought two movies to Sundance this year: “A Kid Like Jake” and “Nancy.”
The 10 producers to watch are:
Tom Ackerley & Josey McNamara (“I, Tonya”)
Sol Bondy & Jamila Wenske (“The Tale,” “The Bookshop”)
Dina Emam (“Yomeddine”)
Anna-Maria Kantarius (“Amateurs”)
Lasha Khalvashi (“Scary Mother,” “Horizon”)
Christopher Lemole & Tim Zajaros (“Mudbound,” “Arctic”)
Murad Osmann & Ilya Stewart (“Leto”)
Shaun Sanghani (“Class Rank,” “The Pretenders”)
Hugo Selignac (“Sink or Swim”)
Rachel Song (“A Kid Like Jake”)
The producers will be profiled in Variety’s Cannes issue on May 2, and honored in person at Nespresso beach at Cannes on May 14. Veteran Canadian film executive Victor Loewy will be honored for his long and esteemed career in international cinema at the event.
The 10 to Watch series, which is celebrating its 21th anniversary this year, spotlights emerging writers, actors, producers, directors, comics and cinematographers. Honorees are curated from submissions from the entertainment industry and selected by a team of Variety’s critics, reporters and editors.