40 UNDER 40 – CLASS OF 2020

“40 Under 40” celebrates emerging talent in the documentary world, including directors, producers, cinematographers, and editors. This program is co-presented by HBO Documentary Films and Topic Studios.

Now in its third year, the “40 Under 40” list shines a spotlight on emerging talent. Honorees from past years who brought forth acclaimed new works in 2020 include Garrett Bradley (Time), Cecilia Aldarondo (Landfall), Smriti Mundhra (Indian Matchmaking), and Sonia Kennebeck (Enemies of the State).

The 2020 class was honored during the November festival at a private online celebration, including a Keynote Conversation between filmmakers Garrett Bradley (Time) and Roger Ross Williams (The Apollo). Bradley was on the inaugural “40 Under 40” list in 2018. Williams is a repeat alum of DOC NYC, having appeared three times on the festival’s Short List for top award contenders.

The 40 Under 40 selection process begins with an open call for nominations for filmmakers based in the U.S. and Canada. The final list of honorees was chosen by the DOC NYC team of Director of Filmmaker Development Opal H. Bennett, Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos, and Artistic Director Thom Powers. In addition to directors, the list encompasses talent working in producing, editing, cinematography, sound, composing, and other creative roles.

“Some names will be familiar to documentary insiders, but many will be new,” said Bennett. “We hope funders will make themselves familiar with this talent that will help chart the future of documentary making in North America.”

The 2020 honorees are listed below.

About Topic Studios

Topic Studios, the award-winning entertainment studio from First Look Medi, develops, finances and produces content for all platforms including theatrical, streaming, television and podcasts.  Working with creators at the forefront of culture, the studio explores a wide range of provocative and entertaining subject matter. From Academy Award® winning films (Spotlight); to documentaries (The Fight slated for release July 31 with Magnolia); to television and streaming (the docu-series Love Fraud premiering on Showtime August 30 and Mucho Mucho Amor premiering on Netflix soon); and podcasts (Missing Richard SimmonsAnthem and Somebody). Additional films from Topic Studios include Pablo Larrain’s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, co-acquired with NEON; Angelo Covino’s The Climb, with Sony Pictures Classics and Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse, starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, with Bleecker Street. Other upcoming projects include the political drama Prisoner 760 directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley; and a film in development exploring the connection between Chinatown restaurants and the rise of punk music produced by and starring Golden Globe winner Awkwafina.