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SS Rajamouli, Tabu, Hardik Pandya: Forbes India’s Showstoppers list captures the best in film, OTT and sports

Forbes India unveils the first-ever Showstoppers edition in January, featuring 50 personalities from entertainment and sports whose achievements made them outperformers in their respective fields in 2022. The list of 50—20 from films, 15 from OTT and 15 from sports—is unranked and is curated by a jury of experts. The latest issue will be available on stands this week.

The Showstoppers list is part of a six-cover special edition. There’s actor Alia Bhatt, in one of her first conversations with the media after the birth of her daughter Raha. And actors Manoj Bajpayee and Shefali Shah, have finally got their due, thanks to OTT. The edition also tracks the rise of actor Deepika Padukone as a powerful fashion ambassador. It explores how Smriti Mandhana, the opening batter for the Indian women’s cricket team, is just getting started after notching up quite a few milestones early on in her career. There’s also a profile on how, after thirty years of multiple National Awards, two Oscars and Grammys, AR Rahman continues to push boundaries: As a musician, producer, writer and filmmaker.

While the Showstoppers list features high-profile superstars, it also includes talented individuals who might be lesser talked-about,but have proven their mettle in their respective fields in 2022. “This year we deviate from the familiar script. Sure, we have the celebrities, but along with them, there are up-and-comers from the OTT and non-Bollywood brigade, and sportspersons (not just cricketers), who blazed a trial on track, field, in the boxing ring and over 64 squares,” says Brian Carvalho, editor, Forbes India.

“The Celebrity issue is all about mapping milestones and achieving new landmarks of success. This year, we have curated a list of celebrities who are breaking barriers in their fields. Whether it be sports or entertainment, Forbes India has covered them” says Preeti Sahni — COO, Forbes India.

The film category, for instance, includes 15 actors and five filmmakers, who have had the most top-notch achievements with their theatrical releases. Films and performances from the top five mainstream film industries from India—Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada—were considered. Similarly, names of 10 actors and five filmmakers were shortlisted for OTT, plus 15 from sports.

The selection criteria for film and OTT is not just commercial/box office performance and popularity, but also the quality of their work, how different, sensitive, accomplished or unique it was, and where it stands in comparison with other actors or filmmakers. All categories considered performances and achievements from January 2022 till the first week of December 2022.

The film jury included Baradwaj Rangan, a National Award-winning film critic and editor-in-chief of Galatta Plus, Jai Arjun Singh, an independent writer, critic and teacher, and Ashameera Aiyappan, a film journalist who writes about cinema with a focus on gender and intersectionality. The OTT jury comprised critics Poulomi Das, Rahul Desai and Udita Jhunjhunwala, while the sports jury had Ayon Sengupta, editor, Sportstar; Sharda Ugra, senior sports writer and columnist, and Susan Ninan, sports writer.

The jury members catalysed the making of a rich and diverse list. The film category—in which 14 out of 20 names are actors and filmmakers who predominantly work in one or multiple industries in South India—is a mix of promising actors who have had an amazing run in 2022, featured alongside legends and popular stars. This includes Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sai Pallavi, Rishab Shetty and Suraj Venjaramoodu, alongside Tabu, Alia Bhatt, Rajkummar Rao, Mammootty, Karthi, and Ayushmann Khurrana.

Four out of five directors on the film list are from South India, and whose films found success both in the country and globally. This includes SS Rajamouli for RRR, Lokesh Kanakaraj for his film Vikram, Mani Ratnam for Ponniyin Selvan:1,  Goutham Ramachandran for Gargi, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Gangubai Kathiawadi.

Some of the personalities in the OTT list include actors Sakshi Tanwar, Madhuri Dixit, Joju George, Huma Qureshi, Nithya Menen and Geetanjali Kulkarni, and makers Abhay Pannu, Jasmeet K Reen, Pushkar-Gayathri, and Richie Mehta and Tanuj Chopra.

The list of sportspeople also casts a wide net beyond cricket to include achievers like track and field athlete Avinash Sable, India’s youngest grandmaster D Gukesh, teenage shuttler Manisha Ramadass, and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, apart from javelin champion and Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra.

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