#21. Alison Klayman
Profession: Director
Breakout Film: "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"
Why We Profiled Her: Rookie filmmaker Alison Klayman lucked out on her first project by managing to pin down China's most famous international artist and outspoken domestic critic, Ai Weiwei, for a documentary profile. Since premiering "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" at Sundance, where it went on to win a Special Jury Prize, Klayman has seen her profile rise as controversy around the film and its subject have continued to grow.
What She's Up To: "I still want to do more projects that have to do with China," Klayman told Indiewire. "The China story also doesn't only take place in China. I'm not saying that's the only project I want to make, but in building my list of ideas, I keep getting drawn back."

#22. Fran Kranz
Profession: Actor
Breakout Film: "Cabin in the Woods"
Why We Profiled Him: The Joss Whedon fanclub is already no doubt familiar with California-bred actor Fran Kranz, thanks to his winning turn as geeky programmer Topher Brink in Whedon's now-defunct, high-concept Fox TV series "Dollhouse." Now, two years after that show wrapped, Whedon is responsible for Kranz's big-screen breakthrough as Marty, a stoner with smarts, in the post-modern horror blast "The Cabin in the Woods," penned by Whedon and Drew Goddard (who also directed).
What He's Up To: During Whedon's off-time from shooting his upcoming blockbuster "The Avengers," Whedon had Kranz play Claudio in his black-and-white modern take on "Much Ado About Nothing." The film recently premiered to rave notices in Toronto and will hit select theaters next year.

#23. Adam Leon
Profession: Writer, director
Breakout Film: "Gimme the Loot"
Why We Profiled Him: New York-based writer-director Adam Leon is going to have a tough time topping his 2012. At this year's SXSW Film Festival in Austin, the first-time feature filmmaker won the Narrative Grand Jury Prize for his debut, "Gimme the Loot." Shortly after the win, Sundance Selects announced they had acquired U.S. rights to the film. Less that two weeks after SXSW, Leon was back in New York screening his film at the New Directors/New Films festival to packed, enthusiastic audiences. And just a few weeks later, Leon screened his debut in the Un Certain Regard section of the recently wrapped Cannes Film Festival. It opens early next year.
What He's Up To: Leon told Indiewire that he's working on "something that's a little different. I'm so passionate about it that I'm paranoid to talk about it."

#24. Jonathan Lisecki
Profession: Writer, director
Breakout Film: "Gayby"
Why We Profiled Him: Jonathan Lisecki penned, directed and starred in "Gayby," the hilarious longform version of the award-winning short of the same name about two thirty-something friends from college, Matt (Matthew Wilkas) and Jenn (the hilarious Jenn Harris,) who decide they want to bring a baby into the world the old-fashioned way. Lisecki recently netted a Spirit Award nomination for his debut.
What He's Up To: He's back to acting again in the upcoming comedy "Big Gay Love," directed by Ringo Le.

#25. Nicholas McCarthy
Profession: Writer, director
Breakout Film: "The Pact"
Why We Profiled Him: After debuting his creepy short "The Pact" at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Nicholas McCarthy returned a year later to Park City with a feature that expanded on the short. McCarthy's stellar debut played well with horror fans and critics, culminating in a coveted distribution deal with IFC Films. It opened this past summer.
What He's Up To: He's in the midst of shooting another genre film.