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  • Writer's pictureRua Fay

Underrated Players in the Film World

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Ever since its inception over a century ago, the film industry has been absolutely bursting with talent. But talent does not always result in the proper recognition, so I have gathered together a list of insanely creative people in the film world who don't always get love they deserve, whether that's in terms of fans, awards, publicity, etc.

Paapa Essiedu - Actor

The Ghanaian-English, Paapa Essiedu is arguably one of the greatest living Shakespearian actors, proven by his performances as Hamlet, Romeo, and Edmund in King Lear. In recent years he has been making a transition to screen roles, garnering a Primetime Emmy nomination for his work in Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You as well as starring in Alex Garland's Men in 2022. Essiedu is an actor that simply does not get enough recognition for being the supreme talent that he is, and I hope to see him in more screen roles soon.

Gurinder Chadha - Director

Known for her 2002 film, Bend It Like Beckham, Gurinder Chadha is easily one of the most successful and underrated living directors. Through her filmmaking, she has been able to lovingly capture the experience of being Indian in the Western world, most notably in Bend It Like Beckham and Blinded By The Light. Despite her success as a woman of color in the film world, Chadha is not a name I hear get brought up nearly enough in conversation.

Rob Simonsen - Composer

Despite working on film scores since 2003, Rob Simonsen has frightening little accolades to show for it. Most recently he created the soundtrack for Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, which was absolutely a snub at this year's Oscars. In addition, he has also created music for Stranger Things, Life of Pi, (500) Days of Summer, and Love, Simon. In my opinion, Simonsen deserves just as much praise as Zimmer and Giacchino for the mark he has left on the film world.

Bojan Bazelli - Cinematographer

Gore Verbinksi's A Cure for Wellness might not have been a great movie, but its one saving grace was the cinematography, completed by Montenegrin cinematographer, Bojan Bazelli. It's clear from his work that Bazelli treats the camera less like a tool and more like a musical instrument. He is not a name you see in credit rolls very often, but he certainly is one of the best cinematographers currently working on the scene.

Charlotte Wells - Director

Scottish filmmaker, Charlotte Wells had an incredible year when her directorial debut, Aftersun, garnered unanimous praise from critics and audiences alike, while also scoring an Academy Award nomination for Paul Mescal's lead performance. Wells is one of the new faces of independent film with her stripped back, honest approach to directing, and it's clear that she's definitely a filmmaker to look out for.

Jill Bilcock - Editor

Despite the huge impact they have on the projects they work on, editors are some of the most under-celebrated figures in the film world. You'd be hard pressed to find someone on the street that can give you the name of a single editor, but when it comes to editors, few are as talented as Jill Bilcock, the woman who helped create Baz Luhrmann's signature visual style. Known for her work in Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet, it's clear why this powerhouse is still finding work in her mid seventies.

Kate Fleetwood - Actor

In a just world, Kate Fleetwood would be a Hollywood leading lady, but instead is connected to nameless roles such as "Factory Woman 1" and "First Order Officer." Perhaps best known for her performance as Lady Macbeth both on stage and screen, it's clear to anyone who watches her that Fleetwood is a creative force to be reckoned with and deserves more recognition in Hollywood.

Sebastián Lelio - Director

Although the Chilean director has a number of notable films, none have had an impact quite like 2017's A Fantastic Woman, which won him the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. There are few people working in the industry today that are storytellers on the same level of Lelio, and it baffles me how he is not brought up more in conversation as he is probably one of the best filmmakers South America has to offer.

Hoyte van Hoytema - Cinematographer

Van Hoytema is without a doubt one of the best living cinematographers and it's an absolute shock that he remains with no Academy Award nearly three decades into his career. Over the course of his career, the Swiss cinematographer has worked on some amazing films such as Spike Jonze's Her, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Jordan Peele's Nope. One of these days he will get the recognition he deserves.

If you found any of the people listed particularly interesting, make sure to check out their work and show them some love. Thanks for checking in with and remember to never stop watching!

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