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It's summer time for Bollywood's new directors

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Not too many new Bollywood directors have come up this year, but summer will reverse the trend.

The first quarter pitched forward two of Ram Gopal Varma's promising protégés -- Sriram Raghavan and Shimit Amin who did make an impact in "Ek Hasina Thi" and "Ab tak Chhappan" respectively.

But both these films were basically perceived as Varma products and hence not conducive to creating an arresting aura around the actual creators.

The summer season offers more new directorial talent who could make as much of a difference as Farhan Akhtar, the last truly remarkable directorial talent in Bollywood.

This Friday, producer Ekta Kapoor introduces one of the directors from her soap factory, Santram Verma, in "Krishna Cottage". Earlier she had unleashed another TV director, Anurag Basu, in "Kucch To Hai". Basu is now making waves with "Murder".

Ashok Pandit is another product from Indian television that makes a claim to fame with a real-life drama on the plight of militancy-hit Kashmiri Brahmins in "Sheen", opening in May.

Also lined up are two choreographers-turned-directors, Ahmed Khan and Farha Khan, both making their debut within a week. While Ahmed's "Lakeer" opens April 23, Farha's "Main Hoon Na" opens a week later.

Will these choreographers succeed where their colleague V. Tharun Kumar failed with the comedy "Nayee Padosan" last year?

If not choreographers then how about southern Indian super-directors? For all their success on their home ground not too many of them have stuck gold in Bollywood lately.

Tejaa, who gets paid approximate Rs.70 million to direct films in Telugu, came a cropper last year with "Yeh Dil", as did S.J. Surya with "Khushi". Both the films were super hits in their original Tamil-Telugu versions.

Now we have another superstar-director, Puri Jagannath, a formidable name in Telugu cinema, making his debut in Hindi cinema with "Shart: The Challenge" April 23. Hopefully he'll see more success than his predecessors.

Jeeva, who did the cinematography of the Tamil film "Run" with Madhavan in the lead, takes his directorial bow with producer Boney Kapoor. The Hindi "Run" is already being spoken about as the promising actioner of the summer season.


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