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The Biggest Indie Breakthroughs of 2013, So Far (The Complete List)

By Indiewire | Indiewire July 10, 2013 at 11:00AM

It's been just over six months since we said goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013, and already we've seen a slew of promising indie talent breakthrough in big ways thanks to the Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca film festivals (among many others), and theatrical releases that caught on with the movie-going public. Over the past two days we've been publishing our picks for this year's biggest indie breakthroughs so far (we still have half a year to go), with our reasons for why they made the cut and info on what they're up to next. Below find the full list, including two new inclusions who made a huge dent at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Kiss Of The Damned

Josephine de la Baume
Profession: Actress
Breakout Film: "Kiss of the Damned"
Why They're On Here: French beauty Josephine de La Baume makes for one hell of a fiery blood sucker in the indie vampire tale "Kiss of the Damned," written and directed by Xan Cassevetes, daughter to John and Gena Rowlands (it opened this summer). The role of Djuna marks La Baume's most high profile one yet following supporting parts in "The Princess of Montpensier" and "One Day" -- and she kills it.
What's Up Next: Her popularity will surely only continue to rise once audiences catch her in Ron Howard's anticipated Formula One drama "Rush," out in theaters during the heat of awards season on September 20.

Randy Moore
Profession: Director
Breakout Film: "Escape From Tomorrow"
Why They're On Here: Moore shot his debut film "Escape from Tomorrow" on location at Disney World without obtaining any kind of permission. He simply bought his cast and crew season passes and returned over and over again to complete the project. The daring guerrilla production was one of the most talked about films at Sundance this year and was chosen by Roger Ebert to screen at this year's EbertFest just before the famed critic's death. But Moore doesn't have any grandiose commentary on Disney itself. "I don't want to be like a personality like someone who's out there trying to make a spectacle of trying to bring down corporations," he told Indiewire back in January. "I just wanted to tell a story."
What's Up Next: So far, Disney hasn't taken any legal action against "Escape from Tomorrow," but the film sill doesn't have official distribution. During the month long binge wherein Moore wrote "Escape from Tomorrow," he also penned two other scripts: one a horror film set on a boat, and another about an actress who gets involved with a cult. Might we suggest guerrilla style on a big name cruise ship or within the inner workings of Scientology?

Danai Gurira
Profession: Actress
Breakout Film: "Mother of George"
Why They're On Here: Most people know Danai Gurira as the Samurai sword-wielding Michonne on "The Walking Dead." But Gurira is also an award winning stage actor, an Obie Award winning writer, and co-founder of a Zimbabwean arts education non-profit. This year at Sundance, Gurira wowed critics with her stunning performance in Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George" as a Nigerian newlywed struggling to conceive.
What's Up Next: In April, Gurira told South African news site The Independent that she's been approached to write her own TV series.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Profession: Director
Breakout Film:
"The Kings of Summer"
Why They're On Here:
Jordan Vogt-Roberts caused a stir at Sundance this year with his coming of age comedy "The Kings of Summer," but the Detroit-born director and writer has been making waves in the comedy world for the past couple years. He got his start setting up the website, an outlet for his stand-up comedian friends. Vogt-Roberts went on to direct various web series and shorts, including the short film "Successful Alcoholics" starring T.J. Miller and Lizzy Caplan, which premiered at Sundance in 2010 and has since been played at over thirty festivals. Vogt-Roberts' ascension continued as he went on to direct some episodes of the HBO series "Funny or Die Presents" and create the Comedy Central stand-up series "Mash Up" in 2012. That year his feature directorial debut went into production. Originally titled "Toy's House," "The Kings of Summer" stars relative unknowns Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias, as well as star players Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, and Megan Mullaly. The film follows three teens who eschew their parents' rigid lifestyles and run away to live in the woods-- sort of Thoreau meets "Superbad." The film met positive reviews upon its premiere and its May 31st release date, cementing Vogt-Roberts' name as a fresh figure in comedy to look out for.
What's Up Next: While he has so solidified plans as of yet, Vogt-Roberts has intimated that he has some ideas he is trying to get off of the ground and has some scripts that have been sent his way. He is also figuring out plans for a second season of his show "Mash Up."

Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenrich in "Beautiful Creatures"
Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenrich in "Beautiful Creatures"

Alice Englert
Profession: Actress
Breakout Film:
"Ginger & Rosa"
Why They're On Here:
Alice Englert grew up in cinema. As the daughter of Oscar-winning director Jane Campion ("The Piano") and filmmaker Colin Englert, she spent her childhood on airplanes and in editing rooms. Lately, the teen actress has proven more than capable at commanding attention in front of the camera. This became evident in her breakout performance this year in Sally Potter's period drama "Ginger & Rosa." The film follows the relationship of two teenage girls, Englert and Elle Fanning, in London in 1962. As political and social tumult takes the world by storm, it has an equally threatening effect on the girls' friendship. 2013 also saw Englert starring in the mystical and gothic fantasy film "Beautiful Creatures."
What's Up Next:
Englert has some other projects set for release this year. The time-travel adventure film "Singularity" starring Josh Hartnett is currently in post-production. Also coming soon is "In Fear," a dark thriller that premiered at Sundance. It hits theaters in the U.K. in November, with no word on a  U.S. release date.

[Nigel M. Smith, Ben Travers, Casey Cipriani, Julia Selinger, Madeline Raynor and Clint Holloway contributed to this article.]

This article is related to: Futures, Interviews, Lists, Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, SXSW, Festivals, News

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