There was a time in Bollywood when the search for a new face always as a rule ended with the launch of a star son or daughter. But more and more filmmakers are now looking outside the stable for new talent in unheard of places, including Twitter.
Some of the best known filmmakers in the industry including Ashutosh Gowariker, Madhur Bhandarkar, Mahesh Bhatt and Kunal Kohli are on a talent-hunting spree across the country.
Gowariker is looking for someone to play Buddha on the website 'buddha-movie.com' while Bhatt is looking for a leading lady and two leading men for his "brave new film" through Twitter.
"The search for the actor to play the iconic role continues. I am going through the hundreds of auditions that have come in and I must say, we are getting closer to our Buddha," said Gowariker who has received an overwhelming response with as many as 3,700 registrations and over 6,000 photos and videos.
Bhatt has already signed on former Delhi University student Imran Zaidi to play slain JNU leader Chandrashekhar in his upcoming film which will go on floor in October this year.
The National Award winning filmmaker who had launched the career of Sushmita Sen with Dastak says that he prefers to work with newcomers because they don't come attached with a "larger than life image."
And these new-age debutantes are not struggle weary but instead become a part of the A-list with their very first film where they are launched by the country's leading filmmakers.
From Zarine Khan who debuted opposite Salman Khan to Vir Das who began his filmi career with a big budget multi-starrer, a new crop of outsiders have arrived despite not having a god-father in the industry which is known to favour those of its own.
"Adi and Parmeet could have chosen anyone for the role of Chandu in Badmaash Company but I guess I was picked because they wanted a fresh perspective on comedy. The film has put me on the radar and I have signed two films since its release," said Das who starred with Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Meiyang Chang in Badmaash Company.
But making a high-profile debut is no child's play, says Aanaahad Sharma, who learnt martial arts for three years before he began shooting for 'Lahore'.
"It's a good time for newcomers in Bollywood because there is cinema of all types happening and the audience is also receptive of new faces and stories," said Aanahad.
The young actor who quit college in Delhi to chase his dreams in Bollywood, has already signed on an international martial arts project for which he is being mentored by Chinese superstar Jet Li.
And the stream of new faces is set to continue with filmmakers looking for fresh faces.
Kunal Kohli has tweeted about his search for a new leading lady to star opposite Saif Ali Khan in his next project, a rom-com while Karan Johar wants to launch a new face under his banner 'Dharma Productions' this year.
Meanwhile Yashraj Films will launch newcomer Ranveer Singh, a Delhiite opposite Anushka Sharma in a film which will release later this year.