‘Filmmaker Magazine’ Names Alumni Sudarshan Suresh '19 and Barbara Cigarroa '18 '25 New Faces of Independent Film'

BY Felix van Kann, September 17, 2019

Sudarshan Suresh '19 and Barbara Cigarroa '18 were selected for Filmmaker Magazine's '25 New Faces of Independent Film' 2019 list.


Suresh convinced the jury with his latest short film, Mizaru, which also won him the Best Film Award at this year’s Columbia University Film Festival. Talking about the film, Filmmaker Magazine declared “the impressively choreographed one-take shot moves around the park, surveying an exercise group before returning to the couple and their antagonists, deftly juggling the choreography of its large cast and arriving at each position with impeccable timing. It’s an undeniably virtuosic shot that’s more than a gimmick, creating an unblinking unity of time and space that lends increasing dread and gravity to the events.“


Regarding Cigarroa’s selection, Filmmaker Magazine explained: “With two lauded shorts and a feature script under her belt, Mexican-American filmmaker Barbara Cigarroa seeks to flip the right-wing narrative, using her work to emphasize the very personal struggles immigrants face on a daily basis.”


Now in its 21st edition, Filmmaker Magazine’s '25 New Faces of Independent Film' list seeks to discover not just the obvious names in independent filmmaking, but up-and-comers whose early work impressed and excited the editors. Former editions of the list covered people like directors Jessica Yu and Lucy Walker, Girls creator Lena Dunham, actors Ryan Gosling and Peter Sarsgaard, d.p. Amy Vincent among many others. 


Headshot of Barbara CigarroaBarbara Cigarroa is a Mexican-American filmmaker from South Texas and holds an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University and a BA in English from Yale University. Cigarroa was supported at the 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, where she was the recipient of the Sundance Latinx Fellowship with her project El Otro Lado (The Other Side), which was also featured at IFP's 2018 No Borders Co-Production Market. Her short film Dios Nunca Muere (God Never Dies) had its world premiere at the 2018 NewYork Film Festival, and concurrently she was invited to be a member of the 2018 NYFF Artist Academy. Previous work, Marta Rosa, was an official selection at dozens of international film festivals, including Austin, New Orleans, and Palm Springs, where it won Panavision’s “Best North American” short and IndieWire named it “Best of the Fest.”


Headshot of Sudarshan SureshSudarshan Suresh is an Indian screenwriter and director from Kolkata. His previous films, Absent, Memories of the Sea, and The Rabbit, have screened and won awards at numerous international film festivals, including Aspen, Palm Springs, Atlanta, and New Orleans. He was the recipient of the Directors Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award. His thesis film Mizaru received the Katharina Otto-Bernstein Production Grant and won him the Best Film Award at Columbia University Film Festival in 2019.