Why: The extremely talented Nimisha Sajayan made a mark with her first film—Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum—but has now grown into a force that can perform across a wide spectrum of roles. She communicated a range of emotions with very minimal dialogue in Nayattu. Her character arc in Malik accommodated the flirtatious advances of a teenager and the helpless angst of an ageing woman who has to witness her husband’s fall. But her standout performance has to be in Jeo Baby’s The Great Indian Kitchen. Hopeful and wide-eyed at the start, we see her navigate a series of patriarchal obstacles to emerge a champion of her rights without the need of an external saviour. The film blew up and so did her career.
Started a nation-wide debate by making an indie for an unknown OTT platform
Parlayed massive viral success into a steady career
Made her big national debut as Raji, a Sri Lankan Tamil freedom fighter in The Family Man 2
Created the insanely catchy and intricately produced ‘Enjoy Enjaami’