With the shuttering of cinema theaters due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2020 saw a major dip in the theatrical releases of movies across the world and thus the least number of debutantes making their first mark on the big screen.
The year saw the biggest shutdown of the entertainment industry with shoots being suspended for over 5 months and cinema halls being shut for a period of seven months.
A large number of movies, therefore, either couldn’t be shot due to the pandemic restrictions or couldn’t see the light of the day due to closed movie theaters.
Despite the pandemic, the Indian entertainment industry was able to launch a handful of promising debutants in Bollywood. Here are five of them: –
1. Sanjana Sanghi
The little ‘Mandy Kaul’ who started her career as a child artist in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’ – Sanjana Sanghi – made her debut with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film ‘Dil Bechara.’ Owing to the sentiments of the late actor’s fans and the spectacular chemistry between Sanghi and Rajput, the film broke all records. The film continues to hold an IMDb rating of 7.9. Sanghi has been recently roped in opposite actor Aditya Roy Kapur in the edge-of-the-seat thriller ‘Om: The Battle Within.’
2. Alaya Furniturewalla
The star kid born to actor Pooja Bedi, Alaya Furniturewalla made her Bollywood debut alongside superstar Saif Ali Khan in ‘Jawaani Jaaneman.’ Although the Nitin Kakkar directorial failed to perform well at the box-office, Alaya was loved and admired by both critics as well as fans. Alaya is also the grand-daughter of veteran actor Kabir Bedi and late dancer Protima Bedi.
3. Arushi Sharma
The ‘Leena Gupta’ of ‘Love Aaj Kal,’ Arushi Sharma shocked with her delicate portrayal of the small-town girl deeply in love with Kartik Aaryan’s character of Raghu. She had earlier appeared in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Tamasha,’ for a small sequence before finally making her debut with the director’s ‘Love Aaj Kal’ in 2020.
4. Aadil Khan
Aadil Khan stepped into the Indian film industry with Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Shikara’ which narrated the tale of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley. Khan played the central role in the film and was appreciated for delivering a strong performance in his very first movie. ‘Shikara’ received mixed reviews with some loving Chopra’s narration of the painful exodus while others condemning him for only showing one side of the story.
5. Sadia Khateeb
Sadia made her debut alongside Aadil Khan in Chopra’s ‘Shikara.’ Born and raised in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah, Khateeb went on to play the central role of the Kashmiri Hindu woman in the film. Though the film received mixed reviews, Khateeb has been praised by critics across the industry for her skillset.
Another promising debutant of this year was of casting director Mukesh Chhabra who made his debut in filmmaking with ‘Dil Bechara.’
2020 was the year that was supposed to be the debut year for many more but the pandemic put a spanner in it like most other events that were planned for this year.