Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch for 2022

10 Directors to Watch
Raiff: Cooper Raiff; Diallo: Nechama Leitner; Gyllenhaal: Gareth Cattermole

How many new filmmakers attempt to break through every year? A hundred? A thousand? For 25 years — ever since a pair of up-and-comers named Wes Anderson and Alfonso Cuarón made the cut back in 1997 — Variety has been curating an annual list of just 10 helmers who stand out from the crowd, breakthrough storytellers we expect to go far. Past honorees have won studio gigs (Denis Villeneuve, Christopher Nolan), Oscars (Barry Jenkins, Steve McQueen) and even the Palme d’Or (Ruben Östlund, and most recently, “Titane” director Julia Ducournau).

Of the emerging talents selected for this year’s list, five will world premiere their first/latest features at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. Another, French director Audrey Diwan, will screen her Venice-winning abortion drama, “Happening,” at the festival — which, due to the spike of Omicron variant of COVID-19, will be happening virtually. Had the pandemic not flared up anew, these 10 directors would have been honored in person at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Variety’s longtime partner in the year’s most exciting new voices.