This year, Bollywood will see a host of newcomers behind the camera. Here are some of the most promising names that will wield the megaphone:
Soumik’s forthcoming directorial debut, Gulaab Gang, has already had more than its share of attention and controversy. The film, starring Madhuri Dixit Nene and Juhi Chawla, is based on a real-life group of women who fight social injustice in Uttar Pradesh. Soumik has earlier written films like Anthony Kaun Hai? (2006), Ru-Ba-Ru (2008), Meerabai Not Out (2008) and Hum Tum Aur Ghost (2010), before being roped in by filmmaker Anubhav Sinha for his first production.
After Sooraj Barjatya, Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar took over their father’s banners, Mahesh Bhatt’s son is set to take over Vishesh Films, which is named after him. Being groomed for about six years now, Vishesh has produced films like Gangster (2006), The Killer (2006), Who Lamhe (2006) and Jannat (2008). Now, he’s making his directorial debut with the third instalment of Murder, starring Randeep Hooda and Aditi Rao Hydari. The film will go on the floors early this year.
Imtiaz Ali’s brother Sajid Ali is making his directorial debut with a film called Banana. Recently, he’d written the story and screenplay of Homi Adajania’s Cocktail (2012). Sajid had earlier written a script for Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision, but that didn’t film didn’t take off. This time, Imtiaz himself is producing the film for his brother.
Omung Kumar Bhandula
Omung has been the art director for films like Jhankaar Beats (2003), Black (2005), Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005), Pyar Ke Side Effects (2006) and Saawariya (2007). He will wield the megaphone for the first time now, for a biopic on Olympic bronze medallist, Mary Kom. Produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film will see Priyanka Chopra play the role of the celebrated boxer, and depict her journey to the Olympics.
Other new talents
A National Award-winning ad filmmaker, Aman is making his directorial debut with a comedy, Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi. The film is jointly produced by Bejoy Nambiar and Balaji Motion Pictures.
It will star newcomers Sidharth Gupta and former Miss India Simran Kaur Mundi. Ashima Chibber Yash Raj Films is introducing this young director, who has just completed filming a comedy called Mere Dad Ki Maruti. The movie stars Bhojpuri icon Ravi Kishen and Saqib Saleem. It will release early this year.
Way back in 1997, Kannan Iyer ventured into Bollywood as Shekhar Kapoor’s assistant director on Bandit Queen (1997). He also wrote some forgettable films like Daud: Fun On The Run (1997) and Victory (2009). He’s now resurfacing as a director with Ek Thi Daayan, a film based on the supernatural. Jointly produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and Balaji Motion Pictures, it stars Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Huma Qureshi.
An acclaimed author and historian, Vishwas is now directing his first film, Rajjo, which stars Kangna Ranaut in the lead role. Touted to be a musical, it will showcase social and politcal changes in Mumbai. The movie will also feature south superstar Prakash Raj in a pivotal role.
While a host of new directors are making their Bollywood debuts this year, there are also some from the south who are making their first Hindi film.
K S Ravikumar
The maker of highly acclaimed films down south like Varalaru (2006) and Dasavathaaram (2008), Ravikumar is entering Bollywood for the first time with the remake of 2003 Tamil hit, Saamy. The film will star Sanjay Dutt and Prachi Desai. The director is also in talks to remake a few of his Tamil hits in Hindi.
The Tamil director is cashing in on the trend of south films having hit Hindi remakes. He is foraying into Bollywood this year with a remake of Ramana (2002), which was directed by AR Murugadoss. The film will star Akshay Kumar. Down south, he has his share of fame. His 2010 blockbuster, Thillalangadi, was a remake of Telugu film Kick (2009), which is now being made into a Hindi film of the same name, starring Salman Khan.