10 to Watch 2014 Criteria and Nominating Jury


Photo by Lee J. Haywood.
Photo by Lee J. Haywood.

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The Independent's 10 to Watch is launching again for its 6th year. This annual series highlights talented filmmakers, producers, programmers, etc., whose work challenges, inspires, and who we think will rock it in the coming year.

Nominations are open from February 13th – 28th, so get thinking. Send us the names of your colleagues, friends, or even yourself. Our selection process prioritizes those who worked on an independent film to be released in 2014. We are looking for filmmakers who are creating work that you love, that you are passionate about, that is brave, or that moves you in some significant way.

Nominating Jury

This year, members of our nominating jury will lead the way by pointing us toward the rising stars in their respective fields. At least one of their nominees will be chosen for 10 to Watch 2014 along with filmmakers from the pool of open nominations. We are thrilled to have the insight from this talented jury:

Chico Colvard, filmmaker and series curator
Chico Colvard is a filmmaker, lecturer, and the Founding Film Series Curator at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In 2012, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Academic Leadership and Outstanding Service to the Students at UMass Boston. His award-winning documentary, Family Affair, premiered at Sundance and has broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network: OWN and other cable channels around the world. He is a former Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, Flaherty Fellow, Firelight Media Producing Fellow, and Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH. He has received funding from the Ford Foundation, LEF Moving Image Fund, Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, and Vital Projects Fund. He is a former DocYard moderator, a frequent guest speaker at colleges and universities, film festival panelist, and former juror at Full Frame, Silverdocs, Woods Hole and IFFBoston. His new film, Black Memorabilia, examines the subculture around the collectibles and antiques that serve as reminders of America’s troubled racial past and present.

Josh Green, partner and producer for Game 7 Films
After serving over 10 years as the vice president of distribution for NY-based Emerging Pictures, Josh Green formed production and distribution services company Game 7 Films. His recent credits include executive producer on Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, which is currently in release via Cinedigm Entertainment and Independent Lens and producer on hip-hop documentary I Want My Name Back, also in release via Image Entertainment and BET. Green has several new features and docs in development and continues to represent finished films for sale and consult on distribution campaigns. He is a graduate of Columbia Business School and Cornell University.

Linda Olszewski, vice president of acquisitions for Shorts International
Linda Olszewski leads acquisitions of Academy nominated live-action, animated, and documentary short films for Shorts International, including iTunes and all Shorts International TV channels. She holds an MA in film and was one of the first people hired at DreamWorks. Her credits include co-founder/ director of the DreamWorks Short Film Festival, member of Hanna-Barbera’s shorts development team for What a Cartoon!, senior programmer for the Palm Springs Short Film Festival and Sofia Independent, and feature film screener for the Sundance Film Festival. She has served on many juries and panels including SXSW, Winterthur, Savannah, Nordisk Panorama, Lebu, Odense, Guanajuato (GIFF), Bend, In the Palace, TriBeCa, Cannes, Sundance, Aspen, Hollyshorts, TIFF, Clermont Ferrand, Al Cine, Morelia, Worldwide Shorts in Toronto and Sao Paulo.

Kamal Sinclair, senior manager, New Frontier Story Lab, Sundance Institute
Kamal Sinclair is a transmedia producer, theatrical director, community arts leader and multi-disciplinary artist. She serves as the Senior Manager of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Storylab, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology; and, as artist and producer on the Question Bridge: Black Males collaborative transmedia art project. In 2012, she worked at 42 Entertainment on projects such as Legends of Alcatraz and Random Acts of Fusion. Her professional career began as a cast member of the Off-Broadway hit STOMP and founding artistic director of Universal Arts. As a consultant she worked on projects for the Woodruff Arts Center, Fractured Atlas, Hank Willis Thomas Studios, the National Black Arts Festival and other arts entities that led to major funding for arts and arts education initiatives, the production of major audience engagement events, strategic planning for art programs and business training platforms for artists and arts managers. She graduated with her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her MBA from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business.

What We're Looking for in 10 to Watch Nominees

We review and consider every nomination that we receive. Here is a guide to the kinds of filmmakers we hope to identify as 10 to Watch for 2014:

  • Someone set to make a notable impact on independent film in 2014, usually with a project that will premiere in the calendar year.
  • Someone working towards becoming more established or a seasoned filmmaker who is venturing into new territory.
  • Someone whose creative endeavors would greatly benefit from a vote of confidence from her or his peers.
  • Someone who has received past recognition such as a grant or inclusion in a national film festival.
  • A diverse group in all regards--gender, nationality, age, ethnicity, creative strengths, etc…
  • Nominees can work in animation, documentary, experimental, drama, genre, comedy, shorts, web series, etc…
  • Nominees can be directors, writers, camera people, producers, programmers, etc…
  • Nominees should reflect a wide array of alternatives (and disruptions) in distribution and types of film.
  • Although it’s not a film competition, we would like to see work samples, if not a whole film, if appropriate.
  • We are particularly interested in filmmakers who are embracing interactive, multi and transmedia.
  • We are interested in filmmakers working in English language cinema.

How to Submit a Nomination

DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 28, 2014. Please send the nominee name, complete contact info (email, phone, website(s), etc), bio, and reason for nomination to maddy AT independent-magazine DOT org. Thanks one and all!

For past coverage, read 10 to Watch in 2013, 10 to Watch in 2012, 10 to Watch in 2011, 10 to Watch in 2010 and 10 to Watch in 2009.