Breaking into the film industry can be difficult, and having the opportunity to direct your own film can be even more difficult. But while getting a foot in Hollywood can be challenging, even the greats like Scorsese, Spielberg and Coppola had to start somewhere. Every new director has a debut film, and every director goes through a period of uncertainty and darkness.

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It can sometimes be difficult to find the next great director among the hundreds and thousands just starting out, but the first films of any director are likely indicative of their overall talent. Even if they’ve been around for a while, they might only have a handful of movies right now, so they can be considered on the rise.

10 Jennifer Kent

Babadook's drawing scaring a child in bed

Jennifer Kent burst onto the auteur horror scene in 2014 with her first film. The Babadook. The critically acclaimed film tells the horrifying tale of a mother’s resentment of her son after the death of her husband and the couple’s struggle to weather the sudden presence of a monster manifested by the mother’s resentment.

The film is beautiful, haunting, and immensely significant, and its success propelled Kent into the film industry. The director premiered her second film, The Nightingale, in 2018 with similar success and acclaim.

9 Charlie kaufman

Lucy looks down the street at I'm thinking of ending things

Charlie Kaufman is an unusual case in the world of cinema. He’s a screenwriter who gets more credit than the director for creating a movie. When Charlie Kaufman writes a movie, it almost doesn’t matter who the director is, because everyone knows that Kaufman’s vision is what will drive that movie forward. But while Kaufman is an established and well-known screenwriter, he actually has very few directing credits to his name.

After writing five films, Kaufman finally began directing his own scripts in 2008 with his mind-blowing drama. Synecdoche, New York. He then went on to co-direct the gleefully strange Anomaly, which was filmed entirely with puppets, and only directed his third film, I’m thinking of ending things in 2020. The man had already developed a devoted following from his early days as a screenwriter, and it’s safe to say that the following will only grow as he continues to write and direct his own brand of original work.

8 Jordan peele

Daniel Kaluuya with tears in his eyes, scared in Get Out

Many might know Peele from his various acting roles or from his comedy show. Key and Peele. But while the man’s talent for comedy and acting has been established, Peele proved in 2017 that he could direct as well.

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His brilliant debut Salt It was the talk of the nation when it was released, and it received near-universal praise for the way it tackled the issues of racism with a fantastic twist on the classic horror genre. After the great success of Salt, Peele went on to direct in 2019 We, another horror thriller with undertones of deep social commentary. Fans are eager to see what Jordan Peele creates next.

7 Ari aster

A terrified Toni Collette in Hereditary

Ari Aster, the biggest new name in horror, shocked audiences and delighted critics in 2018 with how abjectly horrible Hereditary. Aster’s debut film is noted for its impressive cinematography and use of lighting, as well as a boundless story that leaves a lasting impression on audiences. Hereditary It doesn’t shy away from heavy gore, and it’s unstructured like most horror movies.

Instead, it uses its unwavering camera and the emotional weight provided by its top-tier actors and story to devastate viewers. After Aster’s skillful debut, he went on to direct the 2019 film. Midsummer, another intrepidly brutal horror film that made clever use of daylight to create a deeply haunting setting.

6 Chloe zhao

Frances McDormand in a field in Nomadland

Chloé Zhao made a name for herself in 2020 with her third feature film Nomadland. That movie, starring two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, was very well received and considered among the best of the year. Nomadland tells the slow, down-to-earth story of a nomad living in a van that goes from town to town and survives on seasonal jobs.

The film is a deeply moving image of loneliness and a beautiful depiction of an unconventional lifestyle. Before directing Nomadland, Zhao directed Songs that my brothers taught me in 2015 and The horseman in 2017. Next in line for her is the MCU Eternal.

5 Benny safdie

Adam Sandler shows jewelry at Uncut Gems

Co-director of four feature films, Benny Safdie is known for his collaborations with his brother Josh, who himself has directed only one feature film without Benny. The conducting duo has produced works such as the excellent and frenzied Good time, starring Robert Pattinson, 2009’s daddy long legsand from 2014 Heaven knows what.

But Brother Safdie’s big break came in 2019 when they released the brilliant and well-received Uncut gems. Starring Adam Sandler as a deplorable gambling addict, Uncut gems It offered audiences a wild ride as they followed Sandler’s character through the streets of New York and sank deeper into debt and danger. Many claim that their last film was a masterpiece and fans are eagerly awaiting what they will do next.

4 Robert Eggers

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in front of the lighthouse

Robert Eggers is a director with a different style. His films, which fall outside the psychological horror genre, are extremely bleak. Eggers has a keen eye for detail and uses that eye to create meticulous sets with vintage precision that serve as immersive backdrops for his films. Eggers has two films to his name, the one from 2015 The witchand 2019 The lighthouse. They are both incredibly dark and atmospheric, and both excel at bringing the terror and tension out of their well-developed characters.

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The lighthouse, Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two warring lighthouse keepers stranded with each other on a small island, it is an experiential film that relies heavily on its stunning cinematography and sound design to captivate and captivate.

3 Brandon Cronenberg

Andrea Riseborough looks off to the side at Possessor

Brandon Cronenberg is a new director with big shoes to fill. The son of David Cronenberg, prolific director and pioneer of the body horror genre, Brandon has stepped forward and has already shown that he is ready to carry on his father’s cinematic legacy. With just two feature films under his belt, Brandon has already caused quite a stir in the independent film world. Her debut photo, 2012 Antiviral, received mixed reviews, but still demanded attention for its somewhat shocking theme and style.

His second job, 2020’s Holder, it is nothing less than a masterpiece. Full of blood and strangely tenuous, violence up close, Holder follows a young corporate assassin as she uses technology to project her consciousness onto the bodies of others to carry out her murders. It’s an extremely hard-hitting movie, filled to the brim with extremely stylized visuals and extremely powerful themes. One of the best movies of 2020, Holder demonstrates the considerable directorial talent of Brandon Cronenberg.

two Alex garland

Alicia Vikander as Ava in Ex Machina

Alex Garland is a master of high-concept stylized sci-fi. His first movie, Ex machina, is a brilliant and haunting piece that raises ridiculously deep and fascinating questions through its complex characters and mysterious situations. It contains two magnificent performances by Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander and uses gradual twists and slow reveals to amaze and perplex audiences.

Garland’s second movie, Annihilation, it is not as good as the first one, but it still portrays interesting characters and fascinating dilemmas through the use of creative and magnificent visuals, sounds and effects.

one Greta gerwig

Saoirse Ronan leans against a wall in Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig is a prolific actress who recently began directing. He has co-written and starred in many films by his romantic partner, Noah Baumbach. But while she’s a great actress and writer, her recent foray into directing has revealed her true talents. Gerwig made her solo directorial debut in 2017 when she wrote and directed Lady bird. Universally adored by critics and audiences alike, Lady bird It was among the best films of 2017 and it is still an incredibly impressive first film.

Gerwig proved his skills once again two years later with 2019 Little woman, which he directed and adapted to a new script. Greta Gerwig is a master of modern cinema. She can act, she can write, and she can definitely direct. Fans are beyond excited to see what he does next.

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