Top-notch actors paved the way for young and new talent, with or without film connections, while producers gave worthy platforms and good marketing to fresh directors.
The year began on a positive note with Agneepath. It was a mammoth task to direct the movie, a remake of the 1990 film of the same name, but the debutant Karan Malhotra sailed through it well, with good results at the box office.
The success of Agneepath was followed up by yet another fresh director, Shakun Batra and his movie Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Both Agneepath and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu were produced by the popular filmmaker Karan Johar.
"It's the age of young talent - directorial, acting and even production houses are going on that path now. We can't keep making movies with the same eight to 10 people that we have been working with. We need that eight to become 80 for us to be empowered," Johar said recently.
He turned his words into action with another film this year, Student of the Year, which launched four newcomers - Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Kayoze Irani. Young viewers welcomed the movie with open arms.
The response to other newcomers - the Vicky Donor star Ayushmann Khurrana and the Ishaqzaade hero Arjun Kapoor - was positive as well. Then there were also Pulkit Samrat (Bittoo Boss), Diana Penty (Cocktail), Ileana D'Cruz (Barfi!), Prithivraj (Aiyyaa) and Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur), who impressed with their talent and made sure Bollywood eventually goes beyond just the ruling Khans and Kapoors.
Dhawan, the 24-year-old son of the filmmaker David Dhawan, earned critical and commercial success with Student of the Year and says things changed for him after his work in the movie was appreciated. "I never thought critics would like my work. Things have changed for me after the movie release. There were people who never used to greet me previously, but now they take the initiative of saying 'hello'," he said.
Freshness kept surfacing throughout the year, with Ekk Deewana Tha, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, London Paris New York and Ferrari Ki Sawaari. And who would have thought, for instance, that the struggle of a middle-class Indian housewife to speak English could be a commercial movie? But English Vinglish was both a commercial and critical success.
Sameer Sharma, who made the entertaining Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, capturing the Punjabi milieu, says a producer's support is of great help for a new director.
"New directors don't get the best of cast always and work against all odds. This, sometimes brings out the best in us. All producers from Bollywood are friendly and supportive," said Sharma, whose film was produced by Anurag Kashyap.
"Producers like R Balki [English Vinglish], Rajkumar Hirani [Ferrari Ki Sawaari] have been collaborators, who even mentored their film. In future, I would also like to produce young directors with my experience," he added.
New ideas and scripts - a welcome change away from the usual girl-meets-boy and fall-in-love stories - made inroads into the Hindi film industry.
Among the novel concepts that struck the right chord: Ferrari Ki Sawaari, about a father who goes out of his way to fulfil his son's wish; Kahaani, about a woman on a journey of revenge; Ishaqzaade, about two individuals who are born to hate, but destined to love; the two-part Gangs of Wasseypur, a gangster drama set in Dhanbad; and Barfi!, a heartwarming love story of a deaf and mute boy and an autistic girl.
New talent brings growth to the industry, said the trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
"It is important that new talent comes in, otherwise we don't grow as an industry. New people have brought new ideas and all around development," Adarsh said.
"So much talent has come in. We require story ideas and new directors infuse fresh ideas," he added.