This article is part of our 2020 return. Follow us and discover the best and most interesting films, shows, performances and more from this very strange year. In this post, we celebrate the most interesting new filmmakers we met in 2020.
The 2020 narrative may be about what didn’t happen over the course of the year, but as we move further away from it, the story will turn into a gala of voices raising our spirits when they were lowest. In 2020, an ocean of new talent emerged and their films caught our hearts and minds. They gave up distraction and nourishment.
Calling many of these people “new” is a bit inaccurate. Many of these filmmakers hail from other regions of the industry, but by 2020 they have branched into new areas of creativity. These new adventures promise you a lot of entertainment for our future. As exciting as this batch is, what comes next of them has left us epic sweaty and feverish.
In a year when we needed hope above all else, we were inspired beyond anticipation by the new filmmakers we met. These artists expressed confidence that the best is yet to come.
20. Jason Woliner (Borat follow-up film)
Jason Woliner has spent most of his life in the entertainment industry. He started acting at four and went before us as the “brutal boy” from Weekend at Bernie’s. He has since written and directed for an absurd amount of television. We talk everything from What we do in the shade, to Nathan for you, to parks and recreation. Not to mention some killer stand-up specials like Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour and Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious.
His directorial debut, Borat Subsequent Filmfeels like a game changer. Similar to the first film, the sequel creates an intoxicating mix of fictional and pseudo-punk storytelling. Woliner laughs an awful lot out of our deeply concerned society and captures the scene of 2020. It’s a horror show and a train wreck, but also the fucking American thing we’ve seen all year.
19. Alex Thompson (Saint Frances)
Saint Frances is a brutal, sincere movie (which you probably missed). It is the saga of a woman who becomes a nanny for a precocious child after an abortion. Alex ThompsonIn collaboration with star and screenwriter Kelly O’Sullivan, an intricate quilt of emotions is woven. The film never judges its leading role and manages to honor their scuffle with themselves. We all try to do our best. Doubt is essential to the process of life. Just keep swimming.
18. Sue Kim (Speed Cubers)
Sue Kim is the global Marketing Executive Producer responsible for the recent KFC rebranding as well as numerous commercial overhauls at Nike, Adidas and Wieden + Kennedy. After her son competed in a speed cubing competition in Oregon, Kim developed an obsession. Her fascination led her to the intricate relationship between rivals Feliks Zemdegs and Max Park and to the mission to contain their incredibly heartfelt rivalry in a thirty-nine minute documentary (now streamed on Netflix).
Speed Cubers achieves tremendous humanity in a niche environment. In the narrative, Kim unleashes the appeal of the sport, but more importantly, she celebrates the glorious bond between Zemdegs and Park. Your connection provides a guide for the rest of us. Watch those around you; marvel at their gifts.
17. Ross Stewart (Wolfwalker)
Ross Stewart has thrived in the background of several brilliant animation works: The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, ParaNorman. He directed and scripted alongside Tomm Moore, Will Collins and Jericca Cleland and raised the studio Cartoon Saloon to heights that were already damn high. Wolf Wanderer is an incredibly inventive animated adventure (one of the best films of the year) against the English invasion of Ireland. The film not only brings another piece of untapped folklore to the screen, but also in liquid form. The artistic style is constantly changing to suit the characters’ emotions and highlights the many abilities the medium offers.
16. Florian Zeller (The Father)
Florian Zeller is already a master. His novels and plays always dominate the conversation, but the task of translating your own stage work onto the screen could easily prove disastrous. While many are still waiting to see The fatherThanks to this year’s Bonkers distribution calendar, I want to tell you that this is for sure one of the best accomplishments of the year. The adaptation encompasses all available cinematic tools and avoids the claustrophobic trap of a theatrical experience packed into a television. The father’s interpretation of Alzheimer’s is unlike any we’ve seen before, and it gives us an impressive feat from Anthony Hopkins.