Indian Filmmakers Who Hit The Jackpot With Their Debut Film

Posted on 24 June, 2016 by Team Wishberry


In recent times, we’ve seen a whole load of awesome filmmakers who are bringing brilliant cinematic style and stories to the table. We previously covered a whole list of totally awesome Indian Indie Filmmakers and a special list of Women Filmmakers whose mission in life is to bring out the better side of Indian cinema. Now, we cover filmmakers who hit gold with their debut projects.

Nagraj Manjule

Nagraj Manjule’s debut short film, ‘Pistulya’ went on to win the National award, just like his debut feature film, ‘Fandry’. Nagraj created waves with his second feature, ‘Sairat’ which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. Immensely inspired by the events he witnessed growing up, Manjule writes and directs strictly describing real life events. The National award winning filmmaker prefers capturing the purity of the characters instead of having the actors narrate a scene out

Chaitanya Tamhane

Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut project, was not only celebrated for its amazing storyline, cinematography and acting it; will represent India at the 88th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category as well. Tamhane’s film, ‘Court’ examines the Indian legal system through the trial of an aging folk singer in a lower court in Mumbai.

Gurvinder Singh

Gurvinder Singh began his filmmaking journey with ‘Pala’ a documentary film that covers the life of wandering folk musicians through Punjab. He later directed his first fiction feature, ‘Anhe Ghore Da Daan’, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and went on to receive numerous awards including 3 National Awards in India. The film is a haunting portrayal of the lives of people in a village as they battle with the reality of industrial development. His second feature film, ‘Chauthi Koot’ is based on 2 short stories that explore fear, mistrust and paranoia in the 1980s, Punjab. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, received the National Award for ‘Best Punjabi Film’ and is due to release in India in August 2016. Apart from films, Gurvinder has also directed music videos for singers Rabbi Shergill and Jasbir Jassi. 

Neeraj Ghaywan

After assisting Anurag Kashyap in the making of ‘Ugly’ and ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, Neeraj co-wrote the screenplay of ‘Fly Away Solo’, which was awarded the Sundance Institute and Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. Based on which, in 2015, he released ‘Masaan’ that went on to receive numerous awards and accolades. He also received the National Award for the Best Debut Film and won hearts again by his first commercial short film for British Airways. 

Bikas Mishra

Mishra debuted as a filmmaker with ‘Dance of Ganesha’, a short film on a tribal dancer whose existence feels schizophrenic, due to his daily struggle of survival in a city he can’t afford. Bikas’s debut feature film ‘Chauranga’ is the recipient of numerous awards including a Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Aditya Vikram Sengupta

Aditya’s debut project ‘Asha Jaoar Majhe’, just like the name of the film (Labour of Love) follows the hard life of an ordinary working couple and their love for each other. Premiered at the Venice International Film Festival the film went on to win the Best Debut Director in the Venice Days. It also received the National Awards for Best First Film of a Director and Best Audiography. 


Did we miss any filmmaker whose debut project won accolades? Help us make this list bigger and better. Drop in a comment.  


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