Following is the list of top ten American independent filmmakers of the last decade as recognized by the American Film Festival audience:
★ Ana Lily Amirpour
★ Sean Baker
★ Josephine Decker
★ James Franco
★ Debra Granik
★ Barry Jenkins
★ David Robert Mitchell
★ Alex Ross Perry
★ James Ponsoldt
★ Benny Safdie / Josh Safdie
Our audience have selected 10 filmmakers whose work was presented at the AFF in the first 10 years of its existence. Some of their films were released in Polish cinemas, such as David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows and Under the Silver Lake or Florida Project by Sean Baker. Also, Polish audience was additionally acquainted with the filmmakers through their European premieres and buzz around them. For example, the Safdie Brothers gained wide recognition since their cooperation with Robert Pattinson on Good Time and their presentation at Cannes Film Festival.
By far, Barry Jenkins with his Academy Award winning Moonlight clearly gained the largest international success of our ten filmmakers.
Some of the top ten filmmakers were, not surprisingly, discoveries of the American FF.
For instance, James Ponsoldt’s Spectacular Now with Miles Teller and End of the Tour with Jesse Eisenberg were only shown in Poland at the AFF in 2013 and 2015, respectively. We are looking forward to seeing James’ new work, hopefully another true indie film.
Another of AFF’s discovery is Alex Ross Perry, who recently wrote and directed Her Smell, starring his permanent collaborator, Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell. Alex is also a strong propagator of traditional cinematic experience and filming on film, opposite digital. We are proud and happy he is included in our list and that it was the AFF that introduced his work in Poland (AFF has presented all his film since 2010).
The top ten list includes 3 women filmmakers.
One of the three, Debra Granik is also the AFF’s trademark filmmaker. Granik’s Winter’s Bone won the first Spectrum competition at the first American Festival in 2010 and all her subsequent films screened in Poland at AFF.
Also, Josephine Decker who directed among others, Madeleine’s Madeleine, was showcased at the New Horizons and American Film Festivals in Wroclaw. We are waiting for her new film, Shirley coming up this fall.
Ana Lily Amirpour is also working on a new film – hopefully as original and independent as A Girl that Walks Home Alone at Night.
The most popular among 27 people shortlisted by our programmers was James Franco. Not surprisingly, as Franco is everywhere, filming or being filmed. It is hard to differentiate between his acting and directing talent. We are going to try and include his new film, The Pretenders to our Anniversary 10th edition of the festival.
Thank you for participating in the poll. As you know we strive keep our festival as indie as possible.