While the marquee categories at awards ceremonies like IIFA are generally the ones you'd expect — best actress, actor, film, director, and the like — the one that is perhaps the most detrimental is the one that has the potential to make the most difference. The award, ladies, and gentlemen, for the most important award, goes to the 'best debutants' category.
The nature of Bollywood has generally been such that by the time a star has made it to the nominations list for a marquee award, they're already landing the kind of roles that they want. For sure, Shahid Kapoor winning 'Best Actor' for Udta Punjab wouldn't make a world of difference to the kind of roles he gets in the future! However, the best debutante category is a stepping stone — a launchpad — for future opportunities.
At IIFA 2017, the awards for best debutants went to Disha Patani for her performance in M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and Diljit Dosanjh for Udta Punjab — worthy choices. But what should Patani and Dosanjh expect now?
In 2016, Vicky Kaushal (Masaan) and Bhumi Pednekar (Dum Laga Ke Haisha) were the winners. Kaushal has since landed roles in two films — The Vanishing Act and Raazi — starring the likes of Nawazuddin Siddique, Yami Gautam, Alia Bhatt and Tabu, as per IMDB. Pednekar, on the other hand, is starring opposite Akshay Kumar in next month's Toilet - Ek Prem Katha.
In 2015, Kriti Sanon and Tiger Shroff completed a double for Heropanti. Since then, Sanon's biggest role has been in Raabta opposite Sushant Singh Rajput and she's also involved in two upcoming projects — Bareilly Ki Barfi alongside Rajkummar Rao and Ayushmann Khurrana and Golmaal Again with Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Parineeti Chopra. Tiger Shroff, meanwhile, has done rather well, starring in Baaghi and A Flying Jatt and has landed a number of roles, including the titular one in Rambo, which makes him a successor of Sylvester Stallone!
And in 2014, Dhanush had won for Ranjhanaa and Vaani Kapoor for Shuddh Desi Romance. Dhanush, however, is yet to make much of a mark in Bollywood and is mainly concentrating on Tamil cinema, while Vaani Kapoor's main role since then was in Aditya Chopra's Befikre opposite Ranveer Singh.
2013 - Ayushmann Khurrana - Vicky Donor
Yami Gautam - Vicky Donor
2012 - Vidyut Jamwal - Force
Parineeti Chopra - Ladies vs Ricky Bahl
So does winning the IIFA Best Debutant award provide a launchpad? As evidenced here, Disha Patani and Diljith Dosanjh should expect at least a few offers coming their way.
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