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Sukanya Verma

They are the starmakers. Those with vision.

They are the ones with the power to make or break. Enter the directors. Presenting 2001's winners:


Ashutosh Gowariker (Lagaan)

Lagaan was the outcome of a lot of hard work, dedication and imagination for director Ashutosh Gowariker.

His earlier attempts at direction -- Pehla Nasha and Baazi left a lot to be desired. With Lagaan, he proved himself a good storyteller and technician.

His three-hour cricket match wooed the nation and the father of all awards, the Oscars.

Up next: Possibly a film with Aamir Khan.


Anil Sharma (Gadar - Ek Prem Katha)

After dreadful films like Tehelka and Maharaja, Anil Sharma had been completely written off.

He stormed back with a violent love story set against the backdrop of the Partition. Gadar was straight from the heart.

Sharma proved he could make a good film, challenging the supremacy of the biggest hit ever -- Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.

Up next: The Hero (Sunny Deol, Priyanka Chopra), an untitled venture with Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar.


Karan Johar (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)

In his debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Karan Johar stated love is friendship. In his second film K3G, he asserted it is all about loving one's parents.

K3G is doing well but is no patch on KKHH. The latter was a spontaneous effort; the former was a conscious and deliberate attempt on cashing people's emotions. It showed.

But Karan's expert understanding of the screenplay and characterisation did wonders for his latest bonanza too. Interestingly in a film that was crowded with so many stars, none of the actors were overshadowed or had a lesser role. Not many directors can manage a feat like that.

Up next: Karan is contemplating on trying his hands at a thriller.


Farhan Akhtar (Dil Chahta Hai)

Every frame of debutante Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai bursts with youthful ebullience.

That's one of the reasons why DCH worked. The other being Aamir Khan.

Primarily catering to an urban audience, Akhtar's trendy and stylised yet sensitive approach to filmmaking is a whiff of fresh air for the cliché-fed audience. A sequel to Dil Chahta Hai is highly awaited.

Up next: A project in the offing to be written by father Javed Akhtar.


Satish Kaushik (Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai)

Actor-turned-director Satish Kaushik got it right after duds like Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and Prem. Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai marks a hatrick for the roly-poly filmmaker after the success of Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai.

In this remake of hit Tholi Prema, Kaushik wisely chose new face Tusshar Kapoor who slipped perfectly into the part of a good-for-nothing, unsure, infatuated college guy and Kareena as the charming foreign-returned lass.

His good music sense only helped and MKKH, which lured mainly school and college-going youngsters was declared the surprise hit of 2001.

Up next: Badhai Ho Badhai (Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty)