The 2013 Indiewire Infuencers
June 16, 2013
A Note on This List...
By Dana Harris
Editor in Chief and General Manager

Indiewire has never done any kind of industry list because while there are stalwarts and success stories, independent film tends to show its strengths in many circuitous avenues. However, independent film is also in a state of full-on upheaval. It's never been easy, of course, but now that's true for everyone. As Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (of all people) recently noted, we're in a state of implosion. No movie star or genre can guarantee box-office and distribution, to put it politely, is in flux. We're living in a time where a movie's economic viability may live or die by where a title's placement falls in the alphabet.

So, here's the deal: Indiewire Influencers is not the same sort of power list you're used to seeing. Nothing but love for those -- and we've certainly borrowed some of their tropes -- but we're doing something different. Indiewire Influencers is dedicated to 40 of the people and companies who have captured our attention as we watch them try to figure out what the independent film industry is today and, more importantly, what it will become. While William Goldman's now-hoary adage that nobody knows anything still holds true, we're also living in a time where disruption has become as desirable as good manners. So we're celebrating the people who are trying to get it right -- and even daring to get it wrong.

In terms of methodology: We asked people across the industry for the names of the individuals and companies they thought were influencing business now. Not always the most successful entities, but the ones whose work they admired or made them pay attention to what they did next. Indiewire took them under consideration, then went out again.

We've broken down the list into five categories, all unranked -- The Brokers, The Curators, The Creators, The Shapeshifters and The Early Adopters. Like so much of the indie film world, this categorization is imperfect at best -- if you're making a mark in this business, odds are you're strong in more than one specialty -- and we'll say it up front: We are 100% sure that vital people are not included. (For starters, the list is comprised of North Americans. We wanted to limit our scope on the first iteration.) That's a good thing, since it means independent film has more heroes than we can include in one feature. It also means we'll hear from you as to where we got it wrong -- which is also great, since we intend to make this an annual event.

Also, in addition to thanking our inaugural Indiewire Influencer sponsors -- DirecTV and Loyola Marymount University -- Indiewire owes an enormous debt of gratitude to The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Austin Film Society and MPS Film, who were extraordinarily generous in the support of our shoots with photographer Daniel Bergeron. More thanks than we can say -- but I do think his photos go a long way toward speaking for us.

So please, click around. Enjoy yourself. We're really excited to share this project and hear what you think.

EDITOR'S NOTE: DIRECTV is proud to be the presenting sponsor for Indiewire Influencers as it celebrates the people and companies who are bending technology to their creative wills and providing filmmakers and film lovers with the tools that allow the best content to be created and discovered in the 21st century.

DIRECTV Cinema's premium pay-per-view movie service for DIRECTV customers offers access to exclusive new releases before they premiere in theaters, a library with thousands of movies to watch instantly with DIRECTV On Demand, and the most movies available in 1080p HD. For more information on the wide variety of films available on DIRECTV Cinema please visit

John Sloss
Cinetic Media
Kevin Iwashina
Managing Partner
Preferred Content
Nolan Gallagher
Founder and CEO
Gravitas Ventures
Nicolas Gonda
Co-founder and CEO
New York, New York
New York, NY
Vincent Laforet
Filmmaker and Photographer
LaForet Visuals
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Founder and director
Emily Best
Founder and CEO
Elisabeth Holm
Film Program Director
New York, NY
New York, NY
"Veronica Mars"
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Eddy Moretti
Chief Creative Officer
Joe Swanberg
Lance Weiler
Reboot Stories
Megan Ellison
Annapurna Pictures
Parts and Labor
New York. NY
The Duplass Bros.
Los Angeles, CA
"Indie Game: The Movie"
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Janet Pierson
Festival Producer
SXSW Film Conference and Festival
Tim League
Alamo Drafthouse
Hadrian Belove
Founder and executive director
Russ Collins
Conference Director
Art House Convergence
Court 13
New Orleans, LA
Columbia, Missouri
Los Angeles, CA
Rooftop Films
New York, NY
Michael Cuesta
Film and television director
Robert Rodriguez
Troublemaker Studios
Marc Schiller
BOND Strategy and Influence
Edward Burns
Marlboro Road Gang Prods.
Ava DuVernay
Director, DVA Media + Marketing; Founder, AFFRM
Forest Whitaker
JuntoBox FIlms, Significant Prods.
Ted Hope
Executive Director
San Francisco Film Society
Los Angeles, CA