Best of 2013: Fifteen New Directors To Watch
The rules I set for myself are simple: To be eligible for the list the director in question must have released at home or on the festival circuit their first or second feature film. You're n movie number three? Then you don't qualify for this list with the one exception being one of the selections below who actually released his second, third and fourth features all within the calendar year. And he's already in post on another one to release in 2014 while also directing fifteen episodes of television within 2013 as well. Man likes to keep busy, evidently.
Using those criteria I drafted an initial short list of twenty three names which has since been cut down to fifteen. Here they are, in alphabetical order.
Jeff Barnaby (Canada)
Native Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby has been turning heads with his acclaimed short films for years so expectations were running quite high for his feature debut, Rhymes For Young Ghouls. He did not disappoint.
Though his work is very much rooted in his cultural experience Barnaby seems to have no interest whatsoever in speaking only to the native community or making social issue films. The issues seep through everywhere, sure, but only inasmuch as his characters rail against the circumstances they find themselves in. There's a bit of Cormac McCarthy in Barnaby and his scathing glare along with a wealth of experience distilled down into a pointed anger. Call Rhymes a protest film and you're not too far off and I just can't shake the feeling that we're still just scratching the surface where Barnaby is concerned. As good a debut as this is I still expect exponential growth over his next efforts.