Mahesh Narayanan

Where: C U Soon, Malik, Nayattu, Aarkkariyam

Why: The prolific editor-turned-director was behind some of Malayalam cinema’s best exports of the last two years. His edgy C U Soon, made exclusively for the OTT world using phones and laptops, came with more vision than films with ten times its budget. He preempted a major change in the way the industry worked before anyone else could and he backed this instinct with Malik, a gamble that seemed to have worked as well. Given that he was also the editor of Nayattu and the equally-fascinating Aarkkariyam, you notice how he’s been a part of small changes just as he is of the bigger, revolutionary ones.



Guneet Monga

Amplified the voices of female directors by backing Soorarai Pottru and Bittu

The Viral Fever

The Viral Fever (TVF)

Consistently created relatable, endearing youth-centric content across languages


Pa. Ranjith

Directed and co-wrote an emotionally intimate take on the underdog boxing film

Chaitanya Tamhane

Chaitanya Tamhane

His second feature was one of the year's best films and won big at the Venice Film Festival