Age: 31
Notable films: Sun Don't Shine (2013)

It's not as if Amy Seimetz even needs to make her own films. Already an accomplished actress, she's brought endearment and radiance to challenging, unpleasant indie movies like A Horrible Way to Die (2010) and this year's brain-scrambling Upstream Color. She also held her own against the towering one-two acting combo of Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman on AMC's The Killing this year. If she wanted to, Seimetz could focus her talents solely into acting and work her way into becoming the next indie-to-major darling, the next Jessica Chastain.

Anyone's who seen her directorial feature debut, Sun Don't Shine, though, knows that Seimetz's desire to tell her own stories is a cinephile's gain. Set in her native state of Florida, Sun Don't Shine blends drama, mystery, romance, and horror into an unsettling brew. A neurotic, uneasy woman (Kate Lyn Sheil) and her slightly less tense lover (Kentucker Audley) drive through central Florida in the immediate wake of a homicide—an inherently dark set-up that's made all the more unnerving by the dreamlike mood, hazy visuals, and haunting voiceover, all courtesy of Seimetz's imagination. —MB