Art & Entertainment

Year-Ender 2023: From Karan Boolani, Abhishek Sinha To Aasmaan Bhardwaj, 10 Most Promising Bollywood Directors

Atlee, Akshat Ajay Sharma, Sameer Vidwans, Shantanu Bagchi and more: The directors who stole the show in 2023. 

Karan Boolani And Aasmaan Bhardwaj

In the year 2023, Indian cinema saw several interesting projects, in the form of emerging directors, who made their Bollywood debuts. And to say the least, these newcomers made sure to offer fresh perspectives to the film industry, be it in the form of engaging narratives to inventive storytelling. Their work and beginnings also laid the foundation for their promising careers in filmmaking. 

So, as we bid goodbye to the year 2023, let’s take a look at these fresh talents who emerged into the directorial limelight for the first time, and left a huge mark on the Indian cinematic landscape:

Atlee - ‘Jawan’

Jawan Poster IMDb

Known for directing Tamil blockbusters such as ‘Bigil’ (2019) and ‘Theri’ (2016), Atlee ventured into Hindi cinema with his directorial debut, 'Jawan.' The film, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Vijay Sethupathi, and Nayanthara in key roles, not only matched up to the director's track record but also emerged as a massive success at the box office. It broke several records and even made its place among the most significant releases in Indian cinema. 

Abhishek Sinha - ‘Tumse Na Ho Payega’

After having a great career in marketing and advertising, Abhishek Sinha made his film debut with 'Tumse Na Ho Payega' on Disney+Hotstar. With a fresh vibe and a unique vision, he took a plunge into filmmaking. His directorial debut 'Tumse Na Ho Payega' made for a relatable cinematic experience. Before this, he had worked in ad films and music videos like 'Tera Zikr,' 'Hawa Banke,' and 'Main Kisi Aur Ka,' featuring Darshan Raval.

Akshat Ajay Sharma – ‘Haddi’

Akshat Ajay Sharma ended up casting Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a eunuch in his directorial debut, titled ‘Haddi,’ and showcased his ability to handle unconventional ideas. He rose in from being an Assistant Director on ‘Mukkabaaz’ to taking roles as a Creative Assistant and Associate Editor on projects like ‘Manmarziyan’ (2018) and ‘Lust Stories.’ Because of his long-term association with Anurag Kashyap, he had also served as the Second Unit Director on ‘Sacred Games Season 2’.

Shantanu Bagchi - ‘Mission Majnu’

Shantanu Bagchi made his directorial debut with ‘Mission Majnu’, featuring Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna. It featured the lead actor portraying the character of an R&AW agent, and the film was inspired by an incident from the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. Before ‘Mission Majnu,’ he had helmed a short film titled ‘Nycil Cool Shower’. His Bollywood directorial film received positive feedback from the audience.

Sarvesh Mewara - ‘Tejas’

Kangana Ranaut in Tejas IANS

Kangana Ranaut's much-anticipated film ‘Tejas’ also marked Sarvesh Mewara's directorial debut, and the film revolves around the story of a brave fighter pilot. With his film, he challenged traditional gender roles and showcased men in supporting roles. Before ‘Tejas’, Mewara was slated to direct Anurag Kashyap's ‘Gulab Jamun’ with Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Additionally, he has helmed a short film titled ‘The Girl and the Auto Rickshaw’.

Sameer Vidwans - ‘Satya Prem Ki Katha’

Known as an accomplished Marathi film director, he ventured into Hindi cinema with his debut film, 'Satya Prem Ki Katha,' starring Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani. The film was not only a commercial success but also received widespread critical acclaim due to the film's subject matter presented in the most compelling way.

Karan Boolani - ‘Thank You For Coming’ 

Karan Boolani made his foray into the realm of Hindi film direction with ‘Thank You for Coming.’ The ensemble cast, comprising Anil Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar, Shehnaaz Gill, Shibani Bedi, Natasha Rastogi, Kusha Kapila, Karan Kundrra, and Dolly Singh, spoke about a topic of female pleasure, which is otherwise considered to be a taboo. The film was a lighthearted and humorous take, thereby exploring themes of patriarchy, challenging societal norms, and relationships.

Yashowardhan Mishra - ‘Kathal’ 

Yashowardhan Mishra kicked off his directorial journey by delving into socio-cultural themes within the heartland of India with his Netflix film 'Kathal,' featuring Sanya Malhotra. The film, a social commentary, got critical acclaim for its performances.

Aasmaan Bhardwaj - ‘Kuttey’

Kuttey IANS

Aasmaan Bhardwaj, the son of filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, entered the world of directing and made his Bollywood debut with the film ‘Kuttey.’ It featured an ensemble cast including Tabu, Arjun Kapoor, and Radhika Madan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kumud Mishra, and Shardul Bhardwaj. While Aasmaan impressed everyone with his directorial skills, the film met with a lukewarm response. 

Victor Mukherjee - ‘Lakadbaggha’

Victor Mukherjee made his directorial debut with the film ‘Lakadbaggha,’ and it clashed with Bhardwaj's ‘Kuttey.’ Starring Anshuman Jha and Riddhi Dogra in lead roles, the film’s story was about Arjun Bakshi, an animal rescuer from Kolkata, who exposed cattle smuggling during his quest to find his missing dog. Before this venture, he had directed web series such as ‘Love Lust and Confusion.’