The 10 best independent filmmakers have produced and directed films that have stunned, educated and entertained audiences. Despite, or because of, not being affiliated with any major studio, these film makers have created some the most interesting and outspoken movies.

  1. Wes Anderson. The little-known film of "Rushmore" was a huge hit, and it was all thanks to Anderson. By showing the craziness that can develop in everyday life, Anderson proved himself as one of the best independent filmmakers.

  2. Sofia Coppola. This brilliant filmmaker produced "Lost in Translation" and "Marie Antoinette". It might be her unusual choice of music in the last film that made her skill so apparent. For her unique take on interesting subjects, Coppola is one of the best independent filmmakers.

  3. Woody Allen. The man’s films consistently garner praise, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less independent. Allen’s movies, such as "Annie Hall" and "Match Point" are witty and ironic, two beloved aspects of the best independent films. That alone makes the producer, director and actor one of the greatest independent filmmakers.

  4. Christopher Nolan. This filmmaker is responsible for "Memento" and "Inception", oh and a little movie called "Dark Knight". Nolan’s grimy portrayal of humanity in "Memento" is poignant, but still a crowd-pleaser. The fact, too, that the action never seems to stop in most of his films, makes him one of the best independent filmmakers of all time.

  5. Quentin Tarantino. While many might want to claim that there’s something wrong with the way Tarantino thinks, the fact is that it’s just that thinking that has produced some of the best independent movies in history; "Pulp Fiction" for starters. Audiences love that they never know what they’re going to get from one of Tarantino’s movies, resulting in his films being instant hits. For his uniqueness, Tarantino is one of the best independent movie makers.

  6. Spike Lee. Lee’s movies tend to have a more serious tone, and also tend to show the truth about an often-overlooked period of history. In "4 Little Girls" Lee proved himself a great documentarian, while in "Summer of Sam" he demonstrated his ability to make audiences fearful.

  7. Martin Scorsese. Scorsese continuously produces imaginative, moving and thrilling movies. In "The Aviator", the filmmaker showed how an independent movie could rival the best studio movies. Scorsese is often credited as one of the best filmmakers in history, and as he operates mainly independently, it’s also safe to say that he is one of the best independent filmmakers of all time.

  8. Doug Liman. Many critics discredited "Swingers" as a movie where nothing happens. Viewers, however, saw more. Ever since releasing this fantastic film, Liman has been considered one of the best independent movie producers.

  9. David Lynch. Lynch sure does know how to freak audiences out. Case in point: "Mulholland Drive". This eerie movie established Lynch as one of the best independent filmmakers.

  10. The Coen brothers. "Fargo"; "The Big Lebowski"; "Burn After Reading". These two independent filmmakers have made some of the funniest movies in recent history. Who can’t laugh and see the intellect behind putting an accomplice in a wood chipper? The Coen brothers are two of the best independent filmmakers.