Breakout Film: "Electrick Children"
Why We Profiled Her: With her tight blonde curls and the stark contrast between her skin tone and her bold lipstick, it's impossible to ignore Julia Garner's presence in a room. The high school senior had a small role in last year's Sundance breakout "Martha Marcy May Marlene," but her first starring role, in Rebecca Thomas's "Electrick Children," had even more heads turning at the Berlin and SXSW film festivals this year.
What She's Up To: Garner appeared in Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own novel, the Generation X classic "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and will soon pop up in Leah Meyerhoff's "Unicorns" (in which she will star alongside Joshua Leonard and Amy Seimetz). In the pipeline, she's also snagged a role in the "Last Exorcism" sequel -- all before graduating high school.
Breakout Film: "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"
Why We Profiled Him: "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," a visually stunning portrait of Jiro Ono, the chef of what is often called the greatest sushi restaurant on the planet, marks the feature film debut of director David Gelb. He worked alone for several weeks in Jiro's kitchen with just a camera and a translator, capturing Jiro's dedicated routine and artistry. The resulting film is an eloquent look at one of Japan's living national treasures; a treat for food and film lovers alike. The film's gone on to become one of the indie box office success stories of 2012, having made over $2 million domestically since opening in May.
What He's Up To: "I'm working on a script right now with Matt Spicer, who is a great writer, and it's a murder mystery set in contemporary New York," Gelb told Indiewire. "I don't think I'll make another food documentary until I find somewhere I really want to hang out for a whole month."
Profession: Writer, director, actor
Why We Profiled Him: Adam Goldman has managed to do what few people before him have done: he has made a narrative web series that people are actually talking about. "The Outs" is a look at gay life in contemporary Brooklyn that sees the local dating scene through the eyes of Mitchell (Goldman) and his best friend Oona (Sasha Winters, who came up with the concept with Goldman). Men meet each other through Grindr, sure, but they also attempt to ask out the delivery guy from the Mexican restaurant. They take care of their exes when they get drunk and depressed. A cruel sexting trick ends a date.
What He's Up To: "I'd love to write for television," he told Indiewire. "Part of the success for the show is that I write and direct it. If you read the script and then watch the episode, it's fairly one-to-one. I'd love to continue doing that and get paid for it."
Profession: Writer, director
Breakout Film: "Bachelorette"
Why We Profiled Her: Leslye Headland, 30, came to Sundance with some serious buzz around her debut feature "Bachelorette," based on her hit Off-Broadway play. She delivered on it by garnering a distribution deal with The Weinstein Company's Radius Label and some pretty great notices. The film broke VOD records when it premiered on digital platforms before opening in select theaters.
Wh She's Up To: She opened her third play, "Assistance," in February at Playwrights Horizon in New York, while on the film side she says she's "still very much in 'Bachelorette' mode, which is a great place to be."
Breakout Film: "Starlet"
Why We Profiled Her: As the daughter of Woody Allen muse Mariel Hemingway and great-granddaughter of legendary author Ernest Hemingway, 24-year-old model/actress Dree Hemingway had a lot riding on her back at SXSW earlier this year when she premiered "Starlet" -- a film that features her in her first lead role. She hit it out of the park, impressing audiences and critics with a vulnerable and star-making turn (apt given the title of Sean Baker's drama) as Jane, a 21-year-old LA transplant who develops a deep bond with an elderly woman (Besedka Johnson) after a chance encounter.
What She's Up To: "Right now, the biggest thing that’s in the works for me is that I’m going home to England to visit my boyfriend’s family," Hemingway told Indiewire, laughing. "I’m reading scripts, I really just want to find that next thing that touches me -- and I don’t know if it’s necessarily shocking, but I wouldn’t mind doing a period piece. I want to challenge myself."