Films, TV shows await Sahara Mr & Ms Bollywood winners

MUMBAI: The 36 finalists of the Sahara Manoranjan initiative Mr & Ms Bollywood from across the country will make it to the Indian celluloid and tele-screen, even before being crowned. These finalists will be cast in 10 short films, which will be then telecasted on Sahara Manoranjan.

The 36 contestants were shortlisted from 74 competitors after a video test by a panel of judges. After receiving around one lakh entries, 550 aspirants where first shortlisted and then brought down to 74 through auditions conducted by a panel in different cities.

The ten short films include Rahul Mevawalla's Kaash!!!, Shawn Arranha's His World, Sheen Nimbalkar's Cricket match, Ramneesh Puri's Ek Nazar, Suraj Rao's Oh Sathi Re, Santram Verma's Everyone Like Me Only, Bijesh Jayaraajan's Amisha, Bijesh Jayaraajan's Man, Women & Past, Madhura Samarth's 24 hours among others.

The final candidates were evaluated on the bases of audience poll and by a panel drawn from Bollywood who viewed these ten short films, six finalists will be cast in feature films as heroes or heroines.

Percept D'Mark CEO, Sanjay Lal says, "We are extremely proud to unearth this talent. This is the first time that the finalists of any talent hunt will be judged on the basis of their performances on screen through the ten short films. It is the first time that thirty people will be gifted to the industry whether films or television. I also take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Sahara Manoranjan and each and every panel member who made this long journey successful."

The creative director of Mr & Miss Bollywood, Rauf Ahmed adds, "It is a meticulously and transparently conducted contest. We went through various stages of selection meticulously, auditioned participants in different cities to arrive at the best. The entire process was treated very seriously and we met with great success."

The Sahara Manoranjan team is now set to make 10 short films with the 36 participants.

The best from the 36 will be crowned Mr& Mrs Bollywood on 19 November. The winners and the runners up will be showcased in a feature films. On the other hand, the rest 30 contestants will be offered teleserials.

Asha Parekh, who, incidentally, entered the Hindi film industry through a talent hunt by a leading film studio in the 50s, found Mr and Miss Bollywood quite novel. "It is a very nice concept. And the results are for all of us to see. The best part was that Sahara Manoranjan gave us judges the space and freedom, never interfered on the creative front. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to say that it looks the most original talent and the best search so far."

Acclaimed fashion designer Neeta Lulla, another judge, too looked pleased with the way things had been handled thus far. Stressing on the need for more such talent hunts, Lulla said, "Talent has to be spotted and nurtured and it is always good to know that there are channels like Sahara Manoranjan, which go out of the way to encourage and promote new talent."

The director of Fida and another judge Ken Ghosh too appreciated Sahara Manoranjan's initiative. "Judging the talented participants was an amazing experience. New talent is always welcome. The best part was that this hunt has a completely new format."

Mr & Miss Bollywood Advisory Panel has well-known Bollywood names like Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Shravan Shroff, Smita Thackeray, Pankuj Parashar, Priyadarshan, Vishal Bharadwaj, E Niwas and Ken Ghosh among others.

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