Television

Balaji's 'Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi' on MTV to air in September

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MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilm's youth-based Hindi fiction serial, which will be aired on MTV India sometime towards the end of September in three half-hour episodes per week, has been titled Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi (KMHZ).

In this unique tie-up, MTV and Balaji Telefilms today launched the 'Screen Test' for the serial at MTV India's studio in Mumbai. The hunt, spread across 100 cities including Chandigarh, New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai, will kick off on 1 July through the Rai University campuses.

The 'Screen Test' and the serial are presented by Rai University in association with Cadburys' Perk, LG GSM, Santro Xing and Fa. The entire project will carry on for 30 weeks with 12 weeks dedicated to the hunt, including pre-promotion. Also notable is the fact that a whole lot of actors from the Balaji stable will be present during the auditions. For example - Ronit Roy in Chandigarh, Smriti Z Iraani in Delhi (where else?), Urvashi Dholakia in Bangalore and Rajeev Khandelwal - Aamna Shariff in Mumbai.

Speaking on the occasion, MTV Networks India managing director Alex Kuruvilla said, "When the 'King Of Cool' meets the 'Queen of Fiction', the baby is bound to be very exciting."

On being asked whether this marked the entry of MTV into the arena of serials, he replied, "We at MTV have always believed in delivering the unexpected in a great way. Many eyebrows were raised when we introduced humour (Bakra) and romance (Love Line ), but those things caught on within no time. We are optimistic that this will pave the way for MTV to think about more tele-serials."

He added that the present fiction series was being planned for 39 episodes at this stage but "it could be long."

It would be interesting to see if this Kapoor serial is pitched against her more popular sitcoms like Kyunki..., Kahaani... and Kaahin... Asked about the time slot, Kuruvilla was again non-committal, "We may be thinking of pre or post prime time."

Up to the selection of the cast, 'Screen Test' will be shown as a 'reality' show. Towards the end of July, 12 aspirants would be shortlisted and who would then go through a grooming session. The number would be further crunched to six.

Said Kapoor, "We will be hitting the smaller town as well. Even those towns where we have less number of Hindi speaking people. I have a role of a Shetty in my serial who doesn't really need to speak Hindi very well."

Kapoor informed that KMHZ is a story about a small town girl's (Ananya) belief evolving in the pursuit of her dreams. "The show will be youth centric, there will be drama but mellowed drama and no melodrama," she laughed, adding, "And no 20 year leaps too."

Six people who will be selected at the end of the auditions will go through a rigorous training process that would involve acting, dancing, action, voice projection and camera moves. They will be under a contract with Balaji for one year. The six who get filtered out are likely to be absorbed in other Balaji shows. "My advise to aspirants is: just be yourself. Even that tinge of nervousness is considered natural," concluded Kapoor.

Also notable is the fact that for the past few weeks, MTV has been airing promos in which Kapoor has been urging youngsters to participate in her company's first major

attempt at throwing up a show that would be something different from what she has been doing till now --- that is make sitcoms, thrillers and soaps with loads of mush.

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