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Newbie brigade

Newbie brigade

The year 2008 was one for newcomers,going by the number of first-time actors and directors that arrived at the Nokia 15th Annual Star Screen Awards on January 15.

New talents outshine at Star Screen Awards

The year 2008 was one for newcomers,going by the number of first-time actors and directors that arrived at the Nokia 15th Annual Star Screen Awards on January 15.

Nominees for debut roles,including the well-mannered and pretty Asin Thottumkal (Ghajini),Anushka Sharma (Rab Ne Bana di Jodi),Rajeev Khandelwal (Aamir) and Sikender Kher (Woodstock Villa),sat expectantly,looking forward to hold their first trophies in hand.

As winners were announced,Anushka Sharma,a nominee for the Promising Newcomer Awards (female) said,”I wasn’t really expecting the award this year,but I am a thorough believer that one should continue doing their good work and the accolades will follow naturally. My sights were not on the accolades itself,but on performing the role well.”


She added that it was a nice sign of recognition to be identified as one of the promising newcomers. “It always feels nice to be recognised,” she said,”It is encouraging.”

Asin,who bagged the award,said,”I’m thankful to the director of Ghajini to have created a Kalpana,twice over and to have trusted me with the role both the times – the second time on a national platform.This is my first recognition nationally and I was nominated in two categories – for Best Actor (Female) and a Promising Newcomer (Female).” Her father (and manager) gleamed with pride as Asin walked up to the stage and accepted her award.

For winner of the Promising Newcomer (Male),Farhan Akthar (Rock On!!),the award brought an overwhelming feeling of joy and bewilderment. “I am glad with the acknowledgement. It makes me very happy but also feels kind of weird,” he said. “After being in the industry for so long making films,to win a debut award — for acting — is sort of strange,” he explained.

Among the innovations the film industry saw last year was animation Roadside Romeo. While the film didn’t do well at the theaters,director Jugal Hansraj did manage to bag an award for his first-ever animation. “It’s a big honour as this is my first film as a writer-director,” he said. “I’m not upset that the film didn’t do well,I never expected it to be a blockbuster. The animation industry is in its infancy in India and I knew that I was opening the door.”

Meanwhile,A Wednesday seemed to have brought good fortune yet again for Neeraj Panday,its director. Collecting the best debut director’s award for his classic thriller,Panday,has just one thing to say: “It feels good.”

Debut actors

Farhan Akhtar – Rock On!!

Harman Baweja – Love Story 2050

Imran Khan – Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na

Prateik Babbar – Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na

Rajeev Khandelwal – Aamir

Sikander Kher – Woodstock Villa


Adah Sharma – 1920

Anushka Sharma – Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Asin Thottumkal – Ghajini

Prachi Desai – Rock On!!


AR Murugadoss – Ghajini

Abbas Tyrewala – Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na

Kunal Deshmukh – Jannat

Neeraj Pandey – A Wednesday

Nishikant Kamat – Mumbai Meri Jaan

Rajkumar Gupta – Aamir

Tarun Mansukhani – Dostana


Vishal-Shekhar – Dostana and Bachna Ae Haseeno


Rashid Ali (Kabhi Kabhi Aditi — Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na)

Dominique Cerejo (Yeh Tumhari Meri Baatein — Rock On!!)

Monali Thakur (Zaraa Zaraa Touch Me — Race)

Shruti Pathak (Mar Jaawa —



Jugal Hansraj – Roadside Romeo