10 Great Movies Made by Directors Under 30

Among the buzziest indie films of the year, Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture opens today in New York. The 24-year-old filmmaker’s second feature (the first, Creative Nonfiction, didn’t get theatrical distribution) has been earning some impressive and thought-provoking reviews, with the likes of New York Times critic Manohla Dargis remarking that Dunham “has created a work that addresses a constellation of ideas that speak to how we live now, on screen and off, in an age of multiplying types of technological reproductions. By playing a version of herself (and asking her family to go along for the ride), and by closing the distance between art and life, she has gotten at something real.”

In an industry that tends to reward years of tireless dues-paying, and in one of art’s most expensive mediums, it can seem impossible for young people to summon the money and support needed to make a great film. And yet, over the years, a number of smart 20-somethings have leveraged their sparse resources to do just that. After the jump, in hopes of lighting a fire under the aspiring Truffauts and Coens out there, we list 10 great movies made by directors under 30.

“Un Chien Andalou” (1929)

It may not have been a feature, but this early Luis Buñuel-Salvador Dalí collaboration heralded a massively successful future for both artists. The dreamy, plot-free Surrealist film is famous for its squirm-inducing eyeball-cutting scene, as well as the Pixies song “Debaser,” which was inspired by it. If you haven’t seen it and are into weird shit, you can watch the whole thing below.