2010: Year of the debuts

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This year has seen new talent emerge to forefront and the various newcomers who have a bright future waiting ahead of them.

In a country where only star-kid debuts make the prime-time news, 2010 has managed to break some barriers. It has challenged Bollywood’s nepotistic agendas and thus been declared as year of successful debuts from people not directly linked to Bollywood.

Many talents donned the directorial chair for the first time this year. Mainstream cinema saw Vijay Lalwani with Karthik Calling Karthik, Parmeet Sethi with Badmaash Company, Muddassar Aziz with Dulha Mil Gaya and Abhishek Chaubey’s delightful Ishqiya. Among the recent releases directors like Maneesh Sharma of Band Baaja Baaraat, Punit Malhotra of I Hate Luv Storys, Habib Faisal of Do Dooni Char and Abhinav Kashyap of Dabangg have emerged to the forefront.

Parallel cinema had its own share of debuts. Anusha Rizvi and Mahmood Farooqui with Peepli Live, Abhishek Sharma with Tere Bin Laden, Vikramaditya Motwane with Udaan, Sushil Rajpal with Antardwand and Faruk Kabir with Bollywood’s take on City of God — Allah Kay Bandey. It’s not like these films have fared too badly at the box-office either; Peepli Live raked in a decent amount of money.

While director Dibakar Banerjee has been around for a while, the entire cast and crew of his film Love, Sex aur Dhokha was brand new. Among the brand new talent, Neha Chauhan, Arya Banerjee, Raj Kumar, Herry Tangri, Amit Sial, Anshuman Jha already seem to have made a name for themselves. Casting them together was the genius of another newcomer Atul Mongia. He not only acted him self but also trained them thoroughly for the film.

Kanu Behl marked his writing debut with this film. His wife Namrata Rao (who previously edited Dibakar’s Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye) edited LSD apart from making her acting debut with it. Another newcomer, Greek cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis, did a fabulous job with the look of the film. The good news is Ekta Kapoor’s next, Ragini MMS, will see many of them sharing screen credits together once again.

Peepli Live saw a motley ensemble of theatre veterans making their Bollywood debut in the film. Omkar Das Manikpuri and Shalini Vatsa managed to create magic as hey shared screen space for the first time. Of course, Peepli Live marked Kiran Rao debut as a producer.

Pakistani singer Ali Zafar won many hearts with his acting debut in the comic satire Tere Bin Laden. Even Pradhuman Singh’s performance was rather commendable.

Perhaps, the most surprising thing to have happened this year is the fact that two old banners of Bollywood laid their bets on debutantes. Yash Raj Films gave the directorial chair to Maneesh Sharma in Band Baaja Baaraat, while fresh face Ranvir Singh was introduced through it. Rajshree productions meanwhile pegged their bets on Vidhi Kasliwal when it came to Isi Life Mein, which in turn brought a number of newcomers like Akash Bhatija, Samaira Rao, Suyesha Sawant, Rahul Karla and Tasha Kapoor to the forefront.

2010 has proved that there is no dearth of talent in Bollywood. That so many of them got their much deserved due in 2010 bodes well for Indian cinema. With 2011 comes the shining hope that a lot of new talent will emerge. At the same time, the influential ones who’ve been around will nurture them and provide them with the right opportunities to grow.

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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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