Film Schools

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2011

The Independent's Nikki Chase lists the top 10 filmmakers we think you should watch this year.


An image from "When the Mountains Tremble," a film by Pamela Yates, one of our 10 to Watch. Photo by Jean-Marie Simon © 2011.

Wondering who will be named to The Independent's 10 to Watch 2012 list? Here's a reminder of last year's inspiring filmmakers as we put the finishing touches on this year's roll out.

It's time for our annual 10 Filmmakers to Watch list. We’ve pooled our resources and brainpower to get the scoop on who’s who this year.

Facebook Exclusive Content for 10 to Watch

Via Facebook, The Independent announces our 10 to Watch in 2011 with one filmmaker (and one piece of exclusive content) per day, from May 6th through the 15th.

A still from <i>Short Term 12</i>, a film by Destin Daniel Cretton, one of The Independent's 10 filmmakers to Watch.

We'll be announcing our annual list of 10 of the most talented filmmakers we think you should keep your eye on by posting exclusive content daily on our Facebook page.

Editor's Note: This collaborative reporting effort was led by Nikki Chase, Maddy Kadish and Beth Brosnan.

From Documentary to Fictional Filmmaker: How to Make the Transition

With her recent narrative feature, "Toe to Toe," Emily Abt learned how to move from documentary to fiction filmmaking.


Filmmaker Emily Abt, on-set.
The Independent's Angela Wu gleans five tips from professor and award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt (All of Us, Toe to Toe) on how to make the not-always-easy transition from documentarian to narrative filmmaker.
Award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt started her career as a documentarian. Her first film, Take It From Me, focused on welfare reform and aired on the PBS documentary series POV in 2001.

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll"

Kurt Brokaw hand selects and reviews films from Tribeca 2010.


Andy Serkis as Ian Dury.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

(Mat Whitecross. 2009. UK. 115 min.)

Struggle and Triumph for Haiti's Ciné Institute

Against all odds, students and faculty at Haiti's Ciné Institute use their cameras to transform pain and destruction into artful moving images.


The tent that functions as Ciné Institute's classroom.

In a special report for The Independent, Beth Brosnan speaks with students and staff of Ciné Institute, Haiti's only professional film school, about life after the region's devastating earthquake. Brosnan explores how, months later, they're using filmmaking techniques to cope with tragedy, rebuild, and even thrive in the face of adversity.

On January 12th, Haiti’s only professional film school, Ciné Institute, lost its main building in the massive earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince region.

Tribeca 2010: Melanie Schiele on "Delilah, Before"

Melanie Schiele discusses how relocating to Singapore helped inspire her short film, "Delilah, Before."


A still from "Delilah, Before."

Shot entirely in Singapore as part of the NYU Tisch Asia MFA program, Delilah, Before marks the directorial debut of filmmaker Melanie Schiele. Here, she talks about the program and the film, as the film screens at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

After working in various capacities as writer, director, producer and cinematographer on over 20 student shorts as part of New York University’s Tisch Asia in Singapore, Filmmaker Melanie Schiele makes her directorial debut with the short Delilah, Before.

Film-Friendly State: Shooting in Illinois

Chicago has served as a backdrop for a number of films...but as Jennifer Sheffield found out, Illinois has a lot more to offer than just a pretty skyline.


The Chicago skyline...one advantage of shooting in Illinois. (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs, flickr.com)

In the third installment of The Independent's Film-Friendly State series, we explore the indie ins and outs of Illinois, including tax breaks, the infamous skyline, and why Central Illinois is the next cinematic hot spot -- no, really.

In her role as managing director of the Illinois Film Office, Betsy Steinberg spends a lot of time talking with filmmakers on both coasts and overseas. “In Chicago, and around the state, the abundance of looks is never-ending,” she says. “Every filmmaker says it is the most under-photgraphed place in the movies.”

10 to Watch in 2010... Plus Five Runners-Up

After 10 days of Facebook-exclusive interviews, the suspense is finally over: The Independent's 10 filmmakers to keep an eye on in 2010... and the runners-up.


An image from Dash Shaw's <i>Slobs and Nags</i>.

They come from all walks of life, and each has a different story to tell. Some have found success, while others are just beginning their careers. And although their filmmaking reflects this diversity, they all have one major thing in common (other than being on this list): talent. Be sure to take notes as you read...you'll want to remember these filmmakers.

Choosing The Independent's 10 to Watch is like trying to predict the future, or the stock market, or the weather in New England. The films on this list are in all stages of production and the filmmakers range from seasoned professionals to debut artists. So you might wonder how we named this particular group. How, exactly, does one go about predicting what 2010 has in store?

The 10 Best Academic Programs for Aspiring Screenwriters

The Independent takes a look at the best degree and non-degree granting programs for screenwriters.


Students particpating in the USC Writing for Screen and TV Video program.

The Independent's Jericho Parms sifts through the multitude of programs for aspiring screenwriters and boils down the essentials so you can find the best fit to help you achieve your screenwriting goal, whether that be having as many finished screenplays by the end of the program as possible, or walking away with an education that not only helps you put your ideas on paper, but helps prepare you to sell your ideas to the people who can get them up on the big screen.

Whether or not to pursue an education in the film industry has long been a hot topic. Clearly, there are identifiable pros and cons of electing to formally study film, more particularly choosing to concentrate on a single element, such as screenwriting.

The 10 Best Academic Programs for Documentary Filmmakers

An overview of the best programs from Duke to Stanford to Maine


The Digital Media Academy's Documentary Filmmaking Camp has programs for adults, kids and teens (pictured).

Choosing the right school is hard, but it can be even harder when you have a specialized focus, like documentary filmmaking. Whether you're a novice or a veteran filmmaker looking to try something new, this top ten list of the best documentary film programs, both degree granting and non-degree granting, boils down the programs so you can find exactly the right fit.

These days, it’s fairly easy to find an excellent place to learn how to make narrative films. Ten Best lists exist by the fistful, and a Google search of “learn filmmaking” returns more than 30,000 hits.

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