10 Of The Most Promising Up-And-Coming Filmmakers You Should Keep An Eye On

6. Derek Cianfrance

Why He Is Great: He is a very good friend of Ryan Gosling and can hire him whenever he wants.

Career Kickstarter: Blue Valentine

Memorable Movie Moment: Dean (Ryan Gosling) slowly walks away while his wife Cindy (Michelle Williams) and his kid go back to the house. With the fireworks letting off in the background, the scene is an absolute tearjerker.

In the past few years, another commercial and documentary veteran by the name of Derek Cianfrance has made his way into directing Hollywood stars. Cianfrance attended the University of Colorado, studying film production. In his student years he made three films that won a lot of prestigious awards including Special Deans Grant for Achievement in the Arts, as well as The Independent Film Channel’s Award for Excellence in Student Filmmaking.

Among those three films was his first feature Brother Tied which was praised by the critics at Sundance in 1998. Derek was only 23 years old when he made that film. After that he advanced into the world of documentary filmmaking and portraits of musicians from which he would return with Blue Valentine. He has two upcoming films, one of which is an adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel of M. L. Stedman The Light between Oceans.


7. Gareth Evans

Why He Is Great: He goes the extra mile in his work, vast knowledge and intuition in martial arts cinema

Career Kickstarter: Merantau

Memorable Movie Moment: The whole movie

A Welshman who resides and works in Indonesia is one of the hottest names in the world of action cinema. It looks like Duncan Jones has a competition for the most exotic introduction. The towering Gareth Evans would be forever known as the man who brought the Indonesian martial art “pencak silat” into the world of film. Evans graduated from University of Glamorgan with MA in Scriptwriting for Film and Television.

Before achieving international success he made his living helping people learn Welsh over the Internet. Evans was introduced to pencak silat while making a documentary on the same subject. His fascination with it led to the discovery of the Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais. He was cast in Merantau which became a major hit in 2009. The collaboration between Evans and Uwais continues with the soon-to-be trilogy The Raid.


8. Jeff Nichols

Why He Is Great: Experiments with new genres, always casts Michael Shannon

Career Kickstarter: Take Shelter (although Shotgun Stories was a great success as well)

Memorable Movie Moment: The diner scene where Curtis (Michael Shannon) goes mad and yells at everybody about his vision of incoming disaster.

Jeff Nichols is becoming more and more productive with the advance of his flm career. For now that can only be a good thing, given his previous work. In a lot of interviews he talks about how he always works more on the characters and their development rather than the plot itself. It is an interesting approach which clearly works very well for him. In his work there’s also the on screen and theme dominance of the male characters.

For example, in Nichols’s passion project Mud, the childhood, the adult love experience and the redemption is purely expressed through the male point of view. That exploration of masculine psychology is about to become his trademark with a next film in production which is going to be centered around a quite unusual father-son relationship.

Jeff Nichols studied filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2012 he was the President of the Jury of the 7th Rome Film Festival. His next film is called Midnight Special with a plot centered around a father and his son who possesses special powers. It is a very anticipated sci-fi debut for Nichols. The cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and, of course, Michael Shannon.


9. Martin McDonaghWhy He Is Great: Razor-sharp writing, extremely vulgar but still very likeable

Career Kickstarter: In Bruges (although Six Shooter is just enough to catapult any newborn director in the film heights)

Memorable Movie Moment: For just a few seconds Colin Farell tires out a rather large man that is chasing him.

The writer who thinks himself as “lazy” is actually standing only next to William Shakespeare in written plays that are running simultaneously in London’s theatre district West-End – four! All that was accomplished by the time he turned 27! The irony here is that Martin actually prefers writing for film or maybe he’s just trying to sound like he can show Shakespeare how it’s done at any time. He began his writing career by scripting radio plays. None of them were ever produced but they taught him he could write dialogue and storytelling and in his own opinion that was all you needed for the theatre.

Born to a family of working-class Irish immigrants, McDonagh was jumping from one job to the other with no desire of pursuing a formal education or a degree. The rabbit loving writer and director always blends dark comedy, gory violence and fast-paced dialogue. He frequently casts Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, but the collaboration with the first can be traced back to his academy award winning short film Six Shooter in 2004. McDonagh has no upcoming film projects in production.


10. Neill Blomkamp

Why He Is Great: Remarkable use of the sci-fi genre to deliver social messages, visual effects specialist

Career Kickstarter: District 9

Memorable Movie Moment: The reversed surprise on Wikus’s birthday party by Wikus himself is pure nightmare for his family, relatives and friends.

When he was 18, Blomkamp immigrated to Canada with his family and enrolled in Vancouver Film School. He was hired to illustrate photo-real future aircraft for Popular Science’s ‘Next century in Аviation’ in 2003, and in 2004 he illustrated ‘The Future of the Automobile’. Blomkamp also worked as a visual effects artist at The Embassy Visual Effects in Vancouver as well as at Rainmaker Digital Effects.

Time named Blomkamp as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2009. He also directed a trilogy of live-action short films in 2007, known collectively as Landfall. They were set in the Halo universe, to promote the release of Halo 3. Later he attracted Peter Jackson’s attention through his commercial work and shorts. After all these early achievements along with his exceptional filmography, one can boldly suggest that Blomkamp may turn out to be the next James Cameron if he continues with the heavy contribution to the science fiction genre.

Neill Blomkamp’s feature debut District 9 uses cinéma vérité technique to develop a close and personal connection to the viewer. The film received four Oscar nominations and is way more successful than his second film Elysium which didn’t quite met the expectaions of the audience and the critics. His next project is called Chappie (although we would like to see a Halo movie in the making) and it features his long time friend and regular cast Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver.

More filmmakers who are not less impressive than the above and deserve your absolute attention: Denis Villeneuve, Xavier Dolan, Shawn Christensen, Caleb Slain, Joseph Kosinski, Gareth Edwards, John Hillcoat, Rian Johnson, Jonathan Levine, Nicholas Winding Refn, John Michael McDonagh, Ramin Bahrani, Sean Durkin, Rodrigo Cortes, J.A. Bayona, Sarah Polley, Noah Baumbach.

Author Bio: Plamen Dimitrov is a student from Bulgaria with way too much knowledge in pop culture. All he does is read books, watch films, play video games and sometimes write.