The Movie Waffler TMW's 10 Best Directorial Debuts Of 2019 | The Movie Waffler

TMW's 10 Best Directorial Debuts Of 2019

2019 introduced us to an exciting new crop of first time filmmakers.

While established filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Noah Baumbach all received praise in 2019, we were also introduced to an exciting batch of new filmmakers, and in a notable cultural shift, most of them are women.

Here are the 10 first time narrative feature filmmakers who impressed us the most in 2019.

The Chambermaid (Lila Avilés)
the chambermaid
We said: "There is a magnetic weirdness at work in The Chambermaid with its beguiling balance of the personal and the withdrawn, in its unique and cool authenticity. In its absolute fealty to anodyne, workaday detail, The Chambermaid mesmerises."

Firecrackers (Jasmin Mozaffari)
We said: "The chemistry between the actors, and the facilitation of this alchemy by Jasmin Mozaffari, is pure cinematic joy. In the moment it all feels so alive."

Gwen (William McGregor)
We said: "Where most British indie filmmakers struggle to mine the cinematic potential of Britain's over-exposed urban areas, William McGregor sets his folk-horror tinged gothic drama in the spectacularly moody Welsh valleys."

Holiday (Isabella Eklöf)
We said: "Holiday is essentially a workplace drama decked out in genre scrubs. It has much to say about the power dynamic between employers and employees, and the abuse so many workers are willing to accept simply because they aren't willing to walk away from the lifestyle their wages have accustomed them to."

Honey Boy (Alma Har'el)
honey boy
We said: "A more effective look at mental illness than the more crude approach of Joker, Honey Boy might be the best movie about PTSD since Hal Ashby's Coming Home."

My Friend the Polish Girl (Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek)
My Friend the Polish Girl
We said: "The levels of perception within My Friend the Polish Girl are thrillingly playful. It's one of the most thoughtful and stimulating films of the year."

The Party's Just Beginning (Karen Gillan)
The Party's Just Beginning
We said: "In The Party’s Just Beginning, as in these small towns we live in, life just meanders as we wait for something to happen. Let’s hope that this auspicious debut is the beginning of a fruitful directorial career for Karen Gillan."

Riot Girls (Jovanka Vuckovic)
riot girls
We said: "Jovanka Vuckovic keeps the action snappy and the tone poppy, with the West Side Story meets The Hunger Games dynamic allowing for much sub-genre shindiggery. Her debut is steeped in the sort of playful referencing and deep cut nods that only a true genre aficionado could administer."

The Third Wife (Ash Mayfair)
the third wife
We said: "The Third Wife is a visual masterpiece with strong acting, great direction and a score that is subtle but effective to the story. How this film was not nominated in the Best Foreign Language category of the Oscars is beyond me."

Why Don't You Just Die! (Kirill Sokolov)
Why Don't You Just Die!
We said: "Kirill Sokolov has the skill and artistry to back up his ambitions, and watching him weave his story with flashbacks and witty asides, you wonder why so many other filmmakers have failed at this sort of storytelling."