This year will see as many as 15 directors making their debut in Bollywood. Among those who’ll be seen donning the director’s hat for the first time are producer Sajid Nadiadwala, actor Shekhar Suman, art director Omung Kumar and ad film-maker Vinil Mathew, among others. Industry experts feel that this is a refreshing change. “We need a new crop of directors to bring in their creativity, zest and fresh ideas. And if big producers are trusting new directors, it means they are talented,” says trade analyst Vikas Mohan.
Dogra, who was an assistant director for R Balki’s Paa (2009), is making his directorial debut with Arbaaz Khan’s next production, Dolly Ki Doli, which stars Sonam Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao. While Sonam will reprise the role of a north Indian girl in the movie, Rajkummar will be playing a Jat boy. Shooting for the film will soon begin in Delhi.
Soumik, who has written several films, is marking his directorial debut with Gulaab Gang. The film brings together the two superstars of the '90s, Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla, for the first time on screen. “Madhuri is the hero of my film, while Juhi is pure evil,” Sen says.
While Vinil Mathew has made 250 commercials in the last 12 years, he is turning director with an upcoming rom-com called Hasee Toh Phasee, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra. “Making a film needs a lot more focus than making an ad film,” he says.
Samar Shaikh, who was an illustrator on films like Fanaa (2006), Chak De! India (2007) and Tashan (2008), will direct the detective caper, Bobby Jasoos. The film is ­produced by Dia Mirza and features Vidya Balan as a detective. Her look in the film has already created a buzz.
After producing films for more than two decades, Sajid Nadiadwala is making his directorial debut with the Salman Khan-starrer, Kick. The film is expected to release on Ramzan Eid. “This film is completely different from Salman’s films. I will add my style and touch to it,” Sajid was quoted as saying.
Popular anchor and actor Shekhar Suman is stepping into the director’s shoes with a romantic thriller, which will star his son, Adhyayan Suman. Titled Heartless, the film also has in its cast, debutant Ariana Ayam, veteran actors, Om Puri and Deepti Naval. Shekhar was quoted as saying, “Direction is the final destination of every actor."
Omung, who has been the art director for films like Black (2005), Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005), Pyar Ke Side Effects (2006) and Saawariya (2007), will wield the megaphone for the first time for a biopic on Olympic bronze medallist boxer, Mary Kom. Priyanka Chopra plays Kom in the film.