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25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM 2002

This year, when Filmmaker surveyed the producers, festival programmers, critics and development executives who suggest filmmakers for our annual "25 New Faces" list, we were pitched some compelling candidates. One exec proposed Alex Rivera, a filmmaker whose futuristic Latino sci-fi pic The Sleep Dealer is moving forward at Fox. Another mentioned the astonishing young d.p. Tim Orr, who recently completed lensing David Gordon Green’s new pic, All the Real Girls. The brilliant playwright-turned-screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary) was on several lists, as was Peter Sollett, the 26-year-old New York director whose Long Way Home premiered in this year’s Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.

The problem was that all these folks had been "discovered" by Filmmaker two years ago, in 2000. You see, "25 New Faces" is Filmmaker’s annual attempt at extending the "long lead" of our quarterly publication a couple of years into the future. And indeed, given the tortoise-like pacing of independent film development and financing, it may be two more years before you hear news from some of these folks. But to date, all have impressed us with truly remarkable work. This list places short filmmakers whose work has been downloaded by more viewers than attend the Angelika or Sunset Five in a single year alongside others whose work principally screens in smaller regional festivals. There are a couple of Sundance vets here – J.T. Petty, whose scary ghost story, Soft for Digging, was buried in the festival’s experimental Frontier sidebar, and Lucy Walker, whose Devil’s Playground is opening doors for her as a narrative filmmaker – as well as directors whose work was inexplicably passed on by the festival. There are writers whose scripts have only been read in screenplay labs, and another who is represented by CAA. So remember the names here – you’ll be loving their work, we hope, sometime in the not-too-distant future.


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