Making a mark in cinema: Best Debuts of 2015
Thousands of people walk into the film industry every year with dreams of making it big. Some packed with formal degrees, some by reference and some by a pure stroke of luck, arrive to unravel their talent on the celluloid, either behind or in front of the camera. Let’s look at some of the new noticeable names who enthralled us with their craft in 2015.
Shashank Arora for Titli
This 26-year-old from Delhi was seen in the YRF backed Titli directed by Kanu Behl. For him, preparing for the role was quite a gruelling journey as he had to stay in the slums of Delhi which hardly had supply of water and electricity. His subtle performance as the lead has got him many projects in the pipeline. He is set to star in movies like Rock On 2, Prakash Jha produced Lipstick Waale Sapne and Q’s Naman which is already making some noise in the festival circuit.
Bhumi Pednekar for Dum Laga ke Haisha
We saw her putting some ‘Dum’ in the YRF production Dum Laga Ke Haisha where she played an overweight small town girl whose husband doesn’t think she’s desirable. Bhumi effused natural performance on the screen and like a real character actor, was least bothered about her large size. Look at her now and she is unrecognizable after shedding all the extra kilos. We can’t wait to see more of this Assistant Director-turned-actress in future projects.
Vicky Kaushal for Masaan
Action Director Sham Kaushal’s son, Vicky made a lot of French girls’ hearts flutter, when his debut movie Masaan was premiered at Cannes. Even Amitabh Bachchan couldn’t stop himself from praising the young actor in his powerful performance in the much appreciated movie. This unconventional looking actor will next be seen in Zubaan which is directed by Mozez Singh.
Kapil Sharma for Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon
Not many people do the transition from TV to Bollywood successfully. Specially when you are known as a comic actor. Kapil Sharma who is one of the most popular faces on television because of his show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, made his debut this year with Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon and did it quite successfully. The producers Abbas-Mastan laughed all the way to the bank as the families queued up to see Kapil on the big screen. The movie went on to gross more than 50 crores. With his natural comic timing, Kapil is surely a hit with the audience.
Harshaali Malhotra for Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Harshaali’s acceptance as a mute girl in Bajrangi Bhaijaan was unanimous. Her innocent performance in the movie alongside Salman Khan was a treat to watch. She was selected for the role after 5000 girls went through the grill of auditioning. Barely seven years of age, this little star beams on the screen. Her act in the last scene from the movie left many people in tears.
Harshavardhan Kulkarni for Hunterrr
Hunterrr was one of the unappreciated gems this year. This movie about a sex addict was directed by the FTII graduate Harshavardan Kulkarni. Harshavardan has done his share of struggle in assisting B.P. Singh on serials like CID and Aahat and making corporate videos to earn a living. He also wrote Hasee Toh Phasee, Vinil Mathew’s debut film and is currently penning his next for the Director. Plans to make a sequel to Hunterrr are also on the anvil.
Chaitanya Tamhane for Court
He used to work as a writer in Balaji Telefilms for a daily saas-bahu soap. A given on the list of best debuts this year, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court impressed the critics worldwide and went on to win awards in several international festivals. It was feted in India too when it received the National Award for Best Feature Film and was India’s official entry to the prestigious Oscars. Though his movie is out of the Oscar race, we are waiting in anticipation to see what’s coming next from Chaitanya’ stable.
Avinash Arun for Killa
Another name with a National Award win and an FTII degree, Avinash Arun made his debut with the Marathi film Killa. A cinematographer turned director, Avinash showed his dash of brilliance in this movie about a young kid who is distressed when his family moves to a small town after his father’s untimely death. He proved his directorial skills with the highly appreciated movie while his exquisiteness behind the camera can also be seen in his work on Masaan and Drishyam.
Neeraj Ghaywan for Masaan
The guy who made it possible for India to win two awards in the Uncertain Regard section at Cannes, Neeraj Ghaywan holds degrees that most of the urban middle class youth have in India – BE + MBA. Leaving his corporate job, Neeraj made Masaan which is an intersecting story of four individuals around the ghats of Varanasi. He draws inspiration from filmmakers like Michael Haneke, Walter Salles, the Dardenne brothers.
Anupam Roy for Piku
He is a well-known name in music in the Bengali film industry. Anupam Roy made his Bollywood debut with much acclaimed film Piku starring Amitabh, Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone. When Pandolin interviewed him, he said Bezubaan was the first song that he played for Director Shoojit Sircar and the team liked it so much that he was brought on board for the entire album. Anupam is a gold medallist in engineering and also a multi-tasker as he sings and writes his songs. (We need a separate list for engineer turned Bollywood personalities now, it seems)
Tanishk-Vayu for Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Tanishk-Vayu is the duo that created one of the most popular chartbusters of this year, ‘Banno Tera Swagger’ from Tanu Weds Manu Returns. They came on board the film when they were approached by director Anand L. Rai after he heard their song ‘Oopar Oopar Renn De’. Their brief was to do a song around the north Indian wedding setting and as we can see, the results were super. Vayu has also penned the lyrics of the song.
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