The Best New Directors of 2010
It's been a year where several new directors have reached out for glory, and the results have been more impressive than usual.
So impressive, in fact, that we can genuinely single out five first-time filmmakers to celebrate and applaud.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the best of 2010's debutant directors:
Abhishek Chaubey -- Ishqiya
One of the year's first releases, this deliciously detailed story of crime, crudity and coochie-cooing of many sorts found many a fan.
Chaubey, Vishal Bhardwaj's co-writer on everything from The Blue Umbrella to Omkara and Kaminey, made a swashbuckling directorial debut using his actors -- Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah -- very wisely, as he did his marvellous soundtrack, coming from mentors Vishal and Gulzar.
A ribald rollercoaster of a film, it gets major props for conjuring up a bonafide, if unusual, femme fatale.
Image: Abhishek Chaubey on the sets of Ishqiya
Abhishek Sharma, Tere Bin Laden
It is one of the most audacious premises -- that of a frustrated America-loving Pakistani journalist who fakes an Osama Bin Laden tape to get himself some headline-room -- but Sharma treats it light enough to work.
Add to that refreshingly pleasant leading man Ali Zafar and a terrific Pradhuman Singh as the Osama-alike, and you have a film that almost makes up in laughs what it lacks in polish.
Image: A scene from Tere Bin Laden, inset Abhishek Sharma
Anusha Rizvi, Peepli Live
While I haven't been among the biggest fans of Peepli Live, I remain unimpressed by just how low it was on both insight and satire credit must be given to Rizvi for her filmmaking craft.
Peepli had a great soundtrack, some actors in top form, and nice rural detailing, something we don't see nearly enough of.
It's also quite a feat to be selected as the country's official Oscar entry with your debut film.
Image: A scene from Peepli Live, inset Anusha Rizvi
Habib Faisal, Do Dooni Chaar
One of the year's most pleasant surprises came in the form of former NDTV-staffer, Faisal reuniting Rishi and Neetu Kapoor on screen for this lovely slice of middle class life.
Both veterans showed sparkling touch, leading a very impressive ensemble class to modest greatness.
Funny, touching and immensely flavourful, this was without question the family film of the year.
Image: A scene from Do Dooni Chaar, inset Habib Faisal
Vikramaditya Motwane, Udaan
Talk about a dream debut.
Motwane -- best known as the writer of Anurag Kashyap's trailblazing Dev D -- was responsible for the first Indian film to compete at Cannes in 7 years with his small, tight Udaan.
Featuring neglected television actors Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor, the film gave us a new young face to applaud in Rajat Barmecha. A must-watch, this one.
Image: A scene from Udaan, inset Vikramaditya Motwane