Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch for 2023

Jingyi Shao Eva Longoria Elijah Bynum Variety 10 Directors to Watch
Shao: Courtesy of Tiffanie Marie; Longoria: Brian Bowen Smith

For more than a quarter-century, Variety has been canvassing the field of emerging filmmaking talents for the artists whose voices set them apart: directors with an original point of view and the chops to go the distance. The idea is to identify talent before they “pop,” although in some cases, they’ve already started racking up awards — like Charlotte Wells, who won the Gothams’ Breakthrough Director prize shortly after being selected for the list.

Six of these filmmakers have yet to unveil their latest work to the world, and we’re grateful to them for giving us an early look. Three — Elijah Bynum, Laurel Parmet and Niza Mansoor — will debut their films later this month at the Sundance Film Festival. Others, such as Eva Longoria and Jingyi Shao, have made crowd-pleasers that will be released later in the year. And we fully expect to see Maggie Betts (and star Jamie Foxx) in the awards conversation this time next year.

The 10 directors will be honored in person on Jan. 6 at the Palm Springs Film Festival, where a couple of last year’s alumni (Aitch Alberto and Goran Stolevski) will also be screening their films.