The Class of 2022: Pro Tips from Bollywood’s Best Debut Directors

Team FC

Be Open-minded, But Hold Your Own

Anubhuti Kashyap didn’t begin with filmmaking ambitions of her own, but after assisting on films like Aamir (2008) and Dev D (2009) she realised her brother, director and producer Anurag Kashyap, had been right to push her towards the film industry. Kashyap’s first film was not one of her own ideas, but a project that she was commissioned to do.

Kashyap was keenly aware that Doctor G couldn’t risk being seen as either preachy or pompous. “There were already apprehensions about how the audience would receive a subject like this,” she pointed out. After all, with a male gynaecologist as its protagonist, Doctor G could easily have fallen prey to the problem of a male gaze combined with a saviour complex. Later, when the film released, Kashyap was constantly checking Twitter for audience reactions and felt relieved that most were positive.

“Your experience of 10 years goes out the window when you arrive, first day, on the set as the director. That’s when you realise that film-making is equally about people management,” said Anirudh Iyer, whose An Action Hero sees Ayushmann Khurrana and Jaideep Ahlawat go on a wild chase across England while also delivering a thriller that is a deeply meta hat-tip to commercial Hindi cinema.

Like Kashyap, Siddharth Sen was brought in to direct the streaming feature Good Luck Jerry. He’d worked with Aanand L. Rai, who had told Sen, “I won’t let you leave my production house till you’ve made a film for me”, and the project that he suggested Sen take up was the official adaptation of the Tamil film, Kolamaavu Kokila (2018).