Not long back, a bunch of established directors were ruling the Hindi film scene in India, and audience could count their names on fingers. Cut to present era, there's a long list of new directors who are making inroads into Bollywood, slowly but steadily.
While Aditya Chopra's SRK-Kajol starrer Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge was a defining movie of 1990s, Band Baaja Baraat is the movie today's youth connects to. No wonder, Chopra camp is enamoured with new talent, launching directors like Maneesh Sharma (Band Baaja Baraat), Parmeet Sethi (Badmaash Company) and Ali Abbas Zafar (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan).
It's not only YRF that is riding the current wave, director of movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Karan Johar no longer wants to direct back-to-back tearjerkers. He would rather ask a Karan Malhotra to make Agneepath for him or a Tarun Mansukhani to spin a money-making project like Dostana. What's it that makes these established directors launch newcomers who have not even proved themselves before?
"I think it's an instinct that I have. I have got it right some times and I have gone wrong with it at times but mostly, I have gone right with the directors I have worked with because they are solid human beings and that is what I look for," Karan Johar told IANS in a recent interview.
Today if Karan Johar has hits like Wake Up Sid (Ayan Mukherjee), Dostana (Tarun Mansukhani) and I Hate Luv Storys (Punit Malhotra) to his credit, he's not only promoting the new talent, he's also strengthning the brand KJo.
Besides Karan Johar, Aamir Khan too has an eye for talent. He might have taken over Amol Gupte's Taare Zameen Par as director, but he's more comfortable in his producer's chair. That's why he gave Delhi Belly to Abhinay Deo, a director whose Game (Abhishek Bachchan starrer) failed to impress viewers. While Delhi Belly clicked commercially, his wife Kiran's debut directorial venture Dhobi Ghat tanked. He's trusting another flop director, Reema Kagti (Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd) this time for Talaash. If trade pundits are to be believed, Aamir Khan's upcoming venture looks commercially viable.
Interestingly, even Anurag Kashyap who's just a decade old in Bollywood has moved on to launching fresh directors. With films like Black Friday, No Smoking, Dev.D, Anurag has established a brand of his own, and he's smart enough to make good use of it. But if we trust Anurag, he's a sucker for new talent.
"When I see good filmmakers, I respect them. I have picked up Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan), Rajkumar Gupta (Aamir) and Bejoy Nambiar (Shaitan). They are filmmakers who know their minds. I don't have to tell them what to do. I think, I'm the good judge of directors. I just pick up people. If I find any good talent, I just latch on to it," he told IANS in an interview.
"New talent is far better than us (pointing to himself). And that's what I believe in. The new directors are better than us, the new actors and new talent exactly know what they want to do. They are not the confused lot like we used to be," Anurag added.
Anurag Kashyap seems to have a point here. Abhishek Chaubey whom Vishal Bhardwaj launched in Ishqiya was totally convinced about the story he wanted to say in the film and was confident enough to narrate it beautifully on screen. The result was for all to see. From assisting Bhardwaj to becoming a full-fledged filmmaker, Abhishek Chaubey's clarity of mind certainly helped him achieve what he wanted to attain.
Ragini MMS director Pavan Kriplani was launched by Ekta Kapoor. He was appreciated for his unique storytelling style and out-of-the-box film making.
Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl did not plan to direct Chillar Party that has won three national awards, when they were penning the script. By their own admission, they decided to direct the film themselves, as they became "too possessive about the movie." In an industry where formula and masala are considered the safest bet, the first-time director Vikas Bahl picked up a piece of real life for his cinematic product.
"I was part of the anti-Mandal Commission forum when students brought the government down. We came up with the idea, lived with it and wrote it over two years," he had shared with HT Cafe.
Mahesh Bhatt who's launching yet another new director Vishal Mahadkar in his upcoming film Blood Money, admits he has a penchant for launching new people. "I have loved launching new people all my life. I have an appetite for promoting young talent," he had shared in an interview with HindustanTimes.com.
New directors carry forward the brand
*Tarun Mansukhani directs Dostana 2 for Karan Johar's production house
*Ayan Mukherjee directs Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani for KJo's Dharma Productions
*Sachin Kundalkar directing Rani Mukherjee starrer Aiyaa for Anurag Kashayp
*Kabir Khan directing Ek Tha Tiger for Yash Raj Films
*Rensil D'Silva doing a project with YRF
*Aamir Khan ropes in Reema Kagti for his next production Talaash
*Vishal Mahadkar directs for Mahesh Bhatt's production house