Top 25 UP-and-COMING Directors to Look out for

by HLMPartDeux | created - 26 Jan 2012 | updated - 26 Jul 2012 | Public

*First Film must have been within last 5 years *Listed by Date of First Film(aka Newness)

Honorable Mentions of UP-and-COMING directors that made 1 film more than 5 years ago and therefore had to be excluded ------------------- 1) Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) - Excluded due to "The Pallbearer (1996)" 2) Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad) - Excluded due to "The Daytrippers (1996)" 3) James Gunn (Slither, Super) - Excluded due to "Tromeo & Juliet (1996)" 4) Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) - Excluded due to "Gossip (2000)" 5) Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) - Excluded due to "Brother Tied (1998)" 6) Mike Cahill (Another Earth) - Excluded due to "Boxers & Ballerinas (2004)" 7) Lee Daniels (Precious) - Excluded due to "Shadowboxer (2005)" 8) Bobcat Goldthwait (Worlds Greatest Dad) - Excluded due to "Shakes The Clown (1991)" 9) David Yates (Harry Potter) - Excluded due to "The Tichborne Claimant (1998)" 10) Rian Johnson (Brick, Brothers Bloom) - Excluded due to "Brick (2005)" 11) Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) - Excluded due to "Capote (2005)" 12) Andrew Domink (Assassination of Jesse James) - Excluded due to "Chopper (2000)" 13) Johnathan Dayton/Valarie faris (Little Miss Sunshine) - Excluded due to Little Miss Sunshine (2006) 14) Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, 40 year old virgin) - Excluded due to "40 Year old Virgin (2005)"

1. Benh Zeitlin

Director | Beasts of the Southern Wild

Born in New York City and raised in Sunnyside, Queens and then Westchester County, Benh Zeitlin began his career as a film-maker at the tender age of 6 years when he and a friend made a Batman movie. He continued making films as a child before attending Wesleyan University, where he majored in film...

First Film Directed: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)(USA) Last Film Directed: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)(USA) Upcoming Film: N/A

2. John Michael McDonagh

Writer | The Guard

John Michael McDonagh was born in 1967 in London, England. He is a writer and director, known for The Guard (2011), Calvary (2014) and War on Everyone (2016).

First Film Directed: The Guard (2011)(UK) Last Film Directed: The Guard (2011)(UK) Upcoming Film: Calvary (2013)(UK)

3. Joe Cornish

Writer | Attack the Block

Joe Cornish was born on December 20, 1968 in London, England as Joseph Murray Cornish. He is a writer and director, known for Attack the Block (2011), Ant-Man (2015) and The Adventures of Tintin (2011).

First Film Directed: Attack the Block (2011)(UK) Last Film Directed: Attack the Block (2011)(UK) Upcoming Film: N/A (Possibly Attack the Block Sequel or Die Hard 5)

4. Dee Rees

Director | Mudbound

Writer/Director Dee Rees is an alumna of New York University's graduate film program and a Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow.

In 2018, Dee became the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her highly-acclaimed film Mudbound (2017). The film, ...

First Film Directed: Pariah (2011)(USA) Last Film Directed: Pariah (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Bolo (2013)(USA)

5. J.C. Chandor

Producer | A Most Violent Year

J.C. Chandor was born as Jeffrey McDonald Chandor. He is a producer and director, known for A Most Violent Year (2014), Margin Call (2011) and All Is Lost (2013). He has been married to Mary Cameron Goodyear since 2004. They have two children.

First Film Directed: Margin Call (2011)(USA) Last Film Directed: Margin Call (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: All Is Lost (2013)(USA)

6. James Bobin

Writer | Muppets Most Wanted

James Bobin was born in 1972 in Hampshire, England. He is a writer and director, known for Muppets Most Wanted (2014), The Muppets (2011) and Flight of the Conchords (2007).

First Film Directed: The Muppets (2011)(USA) Last Film Directed: The Muppets (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: The Muppets 2 (2013)(USA)

7. David Michôd

Writer | The Rover

David Michôd is a writer and producer, known for The Rover (2014), Animal Kingdom (2010) and War Machine (2017). He is married to Mirrah Foulkes.

First Film Directed: Animal Kingdom (2010)(Australia) Last Film Directed: Animal Kingdom (2010)(Australia) Upcoming Film: Sydney Unplugged (segment)(2013)(Australia); The Rover (2013)(Australia)

8. Ruben Fleischer

Director | Zombieland

Ruben Fleischer was born on October 31, 1974 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Ruben Samuel Fleischer. He is a producer and writer, known for Zombieland (2009), Gangster Squad (2013) and Venom (2018). He has been married to Holly Shakoor Fleischer since November 10, 2012.

First Film Directed: Zombieland (2009)(USA) Last Film Directed: 30 Minutes of Less (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Gangster Squad (2012)(USA)

9. Duncan Jones

Director | Moon

Duncan Jones was born on May 30, 1971 in Bromley, Kent, England as Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. He is a director and writer, known for Moon (2009), Source Code (2011) and Mute (2018). He has been married to Rodene Ronquillo since November 6, 2012. They have two children.

First Film Directed: Moon (2009)(USA) Last Film Directed: Source Code (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Mute(Sequel to "Moon") (2011)(USA)

10. Cary Joji Fukunaga

Producer | Beasts of No Nation

Cary Joji Fukunaga was born on July 10, 1977 in Oakland, California, USA. He is a producer and director, known for Beasts of No Nation (2015), Sin Nombre (2009) and Maniac (2018).

First Film Directed: Sin Nombre (2009)(USA/Mexico) Last Film Directed: Jane Eyre (2011)(USA/UK) Upcoming Film: No Blood, No Guts, No Glory (2013)(USA)

11. Marc Webb

Director | (500) Days of Summer

Marc Webb was born on August 31, 1974. He is a producer and director, known for 500 Days of Summer (2009), Gifted (2017) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015). He is married to Jane Herman. They have one child.

First Film Directed: 500 Days of Summer (2009)(USA) Last Film Directed: 500 Days of Summer (2009)(USA) Upcoming Film: The Amazing Spiderman (2012)(USA)

12. Phil Lord

Producer | Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Phil Lord was born on July 12, 1975 in Miami, Florida, USA as Philip A. Lord. He is a producer and writer, known for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), The Lego Movie (2014) and Clone High (2002).

First Film Directed: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)(USA) Last Film Directed: 21 Jump Street (2012)(USA) Upcoming Film: Lego: The Piece of Resistance (2014)(USA)

*Phil Lord and Chris Miller are kind of a package deal so I think they count as one.

13. Nicholas Stoller

Producer | The Muppets

Nicholas Stoller is an English-American screenwriter and director. He is known best for directing the 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and writing/directing its 2010 spin-off/sequel, Get Him to the Greek. He also wrote The Muppets and directed the Seth Rogen comedy, Neighbors. He is a ...

First Film Directed: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)(USA) Last Film Directed: Get Him to the Greek (2010)(USA) Upcoming Film: The Five-Year Engagement (2012)(USA)

14. Rupert Wyatt

Director | Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Writer, Director and Producer Rupert Wyatt was born and raised in the South of England.

He is the founding member of the film collective Picture Farm that along with its prolific Commercial output has produced numerous Documentaries and Feature Films including the multi-award winning DARK DAYS (2001...

First Film Directed: The Escapist (2008)(USA) Last Film Directed: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)(USA)

15. Steve McQueen

Director | 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and writer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008). He is married to Bianca Stigter. They have two children.

First Film Directed: Hunger (2008)(UK) Last Film Directed: Shame (2011)(UK) Upcoming Film: 12 Years A Slave (2013)(UK/USA)

16. Martin McDonagh

Writer | In Bruges

Martin McDonagh was born on March 26, 1970 in Camberwell, London, England. He is a writer and director, known for In Bruges (2008), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) and Seven Psychopaths (2012).

First Film Directed: In Bruges (2008)(UK) Last Film Directed: In Bruges (2008)(UK) Upcoming Film: Seven Psychopaths (2012) (UK)

17. Jonathan Levine

Writer | The Wackness

Jonathan Levine is a writer and director, known for The Wackness (2008), 50/50 (2011) and Long Shot (2019).

First Film Directed: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006-completed, 2008-released)(USA) Last Film Directed: 50/50 (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Warm Bodies (2013)(USA)

18. Tate Taylor

Director | The Help

Tate Taylor was born on June 3, 1969 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. He is an actor and director, known for The Help (2011), Winter's Bone (2010) and Pretty Ugly People (2008).

First Film Directed: Pretty Ugly People (2008)(USA) Last Film Directed: The Help (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Peace Like a River (2013)(USA)

19. Rodrigo Cortés

Editor | Buried

Rodrigo Cortés was born in 1973 in Pazos Hermos, Ourense, Galicia, Spain as Rodrigo Cortés Giráldez. He is an editor, known for Buried (2010), Red Lights (2012) and The Contestant (2007).

First Film Directed: The Contestant (2007)(Spain) Last Film Directed: Buried (2010)(Spain) Upcoming Film: Red Lights (2012)(USA/Spain)

20. Jeff Nichols

Writer | Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols was born on December 7, 1978 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. He is a writer, known for Take Shelter (2011), Midnight Special (2016) and Loving (2016).

First Film Directed: Shotgun Stories (2007)(USA) Last Film Directed: Take Shelter (2011)(USA) Upcoming Film: Mud (2012)(USA)

21. J.A. Bayona

Director | El orfanato

J.A. Bayona was born on May 9, 1975 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain as Juan Antonio García Bayona. He is a director, known for The Orphanage (2007), The Impossible (2012) and A Monster Calls (2016).

First Film Directed: The Orphanage (2007)(USA) Last Film Directed: The Orphanage (2007)(USA) Upcoming Film: The Impossible (2012)(USA)

22. Ben Affleck

Producer | Argo

American actor and filmmaker Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, is a social worker; the two are divorced. Ben has...

First Film Directed: Gone Baby Gone (2007)(USA) Last Film Directed: Town (2010)(USA) Upcoming Film: Argo (2012)(USA)

23. Tony Gilroy

Writer | Michael Clayton

Tony Gilroy was born in Manhattan, New York, New York, USA; and raised in upstate New York. His father, Frank D. Gilroy, was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, director, and screenwriter. Tony has penned many films, including The Devil's Advocate (1997) and The Cutting Edge (1992).

First Film Directed: Michael Clayton (2007)(USA) Last Film Directed: Duplicity (2009)(USA) Upcoming Film: The Bourne Legacy (2012)(USA)

24. Charles Ferguson

Producer | Inside Job

Charles Ferguson was born on March 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California, USA as Charles Henry Ferguson. He is a producer and director, known for Inside Job (2010), No End in Sight (2007) and Watergate (2018).

First Film Directed: No End in Sight (2007)(USA) Last Film Directed: Inside Job (2010)(USA) Upcoming Film: Untitled HBO Wikileaks Movie (2013)(USA)

25. Sarah Polley

Actress | The Sweet Hereafter

Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...

First Film Directed: Away From Her (2006)(Canada) Last Film Directed: Away From Her (2006)(Canada) Upcoming Film: Take This Waltz (2012)(Canada)

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