Sahara, Percept unveil Mr & Miss Bollywood trophy

MUMBAI: Talk of competition and TV channels are the best examples. While Star Plus is gearing up to launch a talent hunt programme titled Indian Superstar; Sahara Manoranjan has joined hands with celebrity and event management company Percept D'Mark to present a talent hunt titled. The hunt will be presented by Chek Beauty.

At a media meet in Mumbai, Bipasha Basu unveiled the Mr and Miss Bollywood trophy. Basu said, "I know how difficult it is to enter the film industry. I wish there were talent hunts in my time." Also present from the film industry were directors Mahesh Bhatt and Ken Ghosh.

In his usual inimitable style, Bhatt remarked, "Bollywood is like a fortress. You need a Trojan horse to get in and start attacking. This talent hunt is that Trojan horse."

While speaking to about the how the idea was conceptualised Percept D'Mark COO Devraj Sanyal said, "We (the Percept Group) are into the feature-film business and Sahara has been our client for the past twelve years. During one of our business meetings, we bounced off this idea to them. And they quite liked it. Despite the fact that India makes a high amount of films every year, the same cannot be said of talented actors required to fit into these projects."

" The basic idea is to bridge the demand and supply for fresh talent. Plus induction of fresh talent will help the producers to get the right person to fit into their character without having to panic that he has to run and plead with a big star. This would reduce the budget of the films, which in turn, would facilitate a relatively safer and higher percentage of returns. Corporate participation both in finance and infrastructure development in this regard is the need of the hour."

An advisory board comprising Asha Parekh, Ashok Salian, Ken Ghosh, Sarika, Smita Thackeray, Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Raveena Tandon, Ashutosh Gowariker and Manish Malhotra - was constituted to devise the format of Mr and Miss Bollywood.

Six cities have been selected for holding the regional finals to be held between 22 May and 1 June- Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chandigarh. Prior to this, auditions will conducted between 29 April and 15 May in every city.

30 finalists -15 boys and 15 girls- chosen from the regional finals will be flown in to Sahara Amby Valley for a 15-day grooming programme to be held in June, where Kishor Namit Kapoor would take charge to teach and polish their acting abilities.

Percept D'Mark creative director events Rauf Ahmed said, "All those who enter the contest will be legible for selection. Physical attributes normally score over acting prowess during a talent hunt. But this one is different on this count, plus unlike other talent hunts, we won't be charging any entry fee from the contestants."

Soon after the Amby Valley exercise is over, the event will culminate in a grand finale which would see the crowning of the Best Male Actor and Best Female Actor as Mr and Miss Bollywood respectively. There will be two male and two female runners up as well. The finale will be held in Mumbai, the date of which has not yet been announced.

The finale will be televised on Sahara Manoranjan (not live) as a full fledged three-hour programme, which would also have clippings of the selection and training process.

The six winners will be given a break in movies made by Rajkumar Santoshi, Mahesh Bhatt, Apoorva Lakhiya, Ken Ghosh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Priyadarsan, E Niwas, Anil Bohra, Ashwini Choudhary and Revathy. The balance 24 will be given work either in serials on Sahara Manoranjan or in TV commercials.

When asked about whether the six winners would be bound by a contract which would debar them from signing any outside projects for a stipulated period of time, Ahmed did not rule it out. "Possible. But we still haven't worked on the nitty-gritties."

Application forms for the contest are available at all outlets of Barista, Planet M, and Airtel and the contest is open to all women aged 18-25 years and men aged 20-30 years. The last date for entries is 23 April.

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