Are you a filmmaker spending your year traveling to film festivals? Do you want some whiskey? All the bars are closed, but a bunch of us are meeting in my room to drink once we get back to the hotel.
  1. Bill Ross, Western
    The closest thing I've ever found to a modern day folk hero. If I told you half the stories I have of nights out with him, you'd never believe me.
  2. Hannah Fidell, Six Years
    We live two miles apart, but I'll probably see her more on the road than at home. She's about to be huge. Huge! Say it like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
  3. Nathan Silver, Stinking Heaven
    Not sure he even knew who I was until I was on a jury that gave him the award for Best Feature. Not complaining. He's brilliant and I am lucky to be his friend now.
  4. Onur Tukel/Melodie Sisk, Applesauce
    Onur is a Turkish Woody Allen who looks like a sheepdog. We first met in Memphis when he tried to convince me not to see his film, Richards Wedding. I did and it's great. Melodie is going to be the most in demand producer by 2017, so get her while you can. She can make anything work.
  5. Aaron Hillis, Video Free Brooklyn
    Not a filmmaker this year, but will be at nearly every fest I am at. The most relentless party hound I have ever met, and also the most magnetic. If you live in nyc, go to his video store.
  6. Ryan Scafuro/Jarred Alterman, American Renaissance
    Two amazingly talented cinematographers teamed up for a short doc. Jarred's film, Conveto, is particularly striking.
  7. Ti West, In a Valley of Violence
    Ti was the first filmmaker friend I made at a fest. We met as scared babies who didn't know what we were doing at the second fest I ever attended (Los Angeles Film Festival, 2006). It's been amazing to watch him grow as a filmmaker. This film is going to make him a star.
  8. Honorable mentons
    Gillian Horvat, Leah Shore, Michelle Witten, Brandon Harris, Alex Ross Perry
  9. Filmmakers I WISH were on the circuit this year:
    Zach Clark!, Adam Donaghey, Toby Halbrooks/James M Johnston/David Lowery, Dan Lindsay, Justin Benson, Lydia Hyslop, Chad Hartigan, more of the Film Fatales