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Kangana Ranaut new face of 2006

New Delhi, December 24
If 2005 launched Vidya Balan, then this year is definitely for Kangana Ranaut, who has emerged as one of the most promising newcomers in filmdom.

In the past few years, Bollywood has opened its doors wide for newcomers, and the older crop of actors has also happily made way for the young brigade. As a result, new faces have flooded the silver screen. Their numbers were the highest in 2005, with Shiney Ahuja and Vidya leading the young pack.

This year, however, there are fewer new faces and out of them Kangana Ranaut is shining and on strong firmament.

Here are some of the new faces who debuted in 2006:

Kangana Ranaut: She made her debut with Mahesh Bhatt's controversial flick "Gangster - A Love Story", based on mobster Abu Salem's affair with Bollywood actress Monica Bedi. Kangana played Monica's part and critics raved about her performance. She bagged the best actress award at the Asian Festival of 1st Films in Singapore and also walked away with the best debutant female trophy at the Global Indian Film Awards (GIFA) in Kuala Lumpur for 
the film.

She was later seen in "Woh Lamhe", a film about Mahesh Bhatt and late actress Parveen Babi. The film worked because of Kangana's brilliant performance. The film's success proved she is not a one-film wonder. The actress is now looking forward to her role in "Shakalaka Boom Boom", which is expected to be released next year.

Upen Patel: British born model-turned-actor debuted with Subhash Ghai's thriller "36 China Town" alongside Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor.

Performance wise, he didn't have much to do in the film. However, he hogged the limelight for his metrosexual looks. He walked away with the best male debut of the year at the GIFA.

His minus point is his heavy English accent. In spite of that, the directors showed interest in him. In 2007, he is to feature in Suneel Darshan's "Shakalaka Boom Boom" and Vipul Shah's "Namastey London".

Allice Patten: This British actress made an impressive debut in "Rang De Basanti", one of the most successful and talked about films of 2006 that is also India's official entry to the Oscars. She gave a brilliant performance despite the language barrier.

Onjolee Nair: A Pooja Bhatt's discovery, she made her debut with "Holiday" a box office dud. The film sank without a trace and Onjolee also faded from the audiences' memory.

Shaad Randhawa: Yesteryear's dancing queen Mumtaz's relative, Shaad made his debut in a negative role in "Woh Lamhe". He played Kangana Ranaut's fire spitting, possessive and money minded boyfriend. He carried himself quite well in the film.

Next year will see some more new faces, the most eagerly awaited being of Anil Kapoor's daughter Sonam and Rishi Kapoor's son Ranbir. Both are making their debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Saawariya".

There is also a lot of curiosity about Jiah Khan and her Lolita act in Ram Gopal Varma's "Nishabd" with Amitabh Bachchan. There is also Harry Baweja's son Harman making his debut in his home production with Priyanka Chopra in "Love Story 2050". IANS

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