Zee hunts for actors with ‘Cinestars ki Khoj’

MUMBAI: Add a dash of glamour to reality and you have a crowd puller! That’s what happened back in 2004 when Zee TV launched its massive talent hunt, India’s Best Cinestars Ki Khoj. A decade later, the channel is all set to revive the popular format, albeit with slight alterations in approach and presentation.

Post IPL, the Essel Vision produced show will replace Zee TV’s current favourite, Dance India Dance (DID) Li’l Masters, which airs every Saturday and Sunday at 9pm.

Auditions are already on while for participants from outside India, the makers are deploying another casting process. It is learnt that 20 versatile contestants (Indians) from across the globe will compete for the crown of ‘cinestar’.

The first auditions started on 15 April in Amritsar to scout out the most impressive candidates. It will be followed by other countries like UK, North America, South East Asia and many more. 18-40 years of age can participate and showcase their talent which can open up a million new doors to a career in Bollywood.

They will be groomed by Bollywood’s most popular casting directors, filmmakers, actors and choreographers, and will in turn showcase their acting and dancing talents to an international audience over a span of 15 weeks. Celebrity judges, exhilarating dance numbers and performances will mark the show.

“We are inviting Indians from all over the world to come and participate. We are not doing massive public auditions but have another casting process which is being used. We have not formulated the exact flow but have already started working with the communities and offices there,” says Zee TV programming head Namit Sharma, who is hoping to attract talent from everywhere.

“Zee TV has always stood for celebrating the talent of India’s common man. In 1995, the channel created the Mecca of singing talent in the country with Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and introduced the entertainment fraternity to some of its leading singers. Year 2009 saw a landmark day in the history of Indian television when we launched Dance India Dance, giving hope to a million dance enthusiasts across the country. The show not only emerged as one of reality television’s biggest successes but opened up several new career avenues in dance for its participants,” says Sharma.

After revolutionizing the worlds of singing and dancing, Zee TV is all set to make a similar impact in the world of acting with its reality series India’s Best Cinestars Ki Khoj. “We have a knack of identifying the right talent; we look forward to an interesting season of this show!” he adds.

About the format of the show, Essel Vision producer Nitin Keni reveals: “We are working on a different design, but nothing is finalized as yet. We are still ideating, but the series will be about finding out the best actor/actress through various levels and then from the EVPL side, we will also be giving them a chance to act in our projects.”

Repeating the property was a conscious decision, following the response to the last season. “There is a lot of aspiration among people in the country to become actors/actresses. And now that we have a production house, we require actors all the time and we are also into films,” says Keni.

As the producer of DID which is being replaced by the newbie, Keni says it will be a good break. “With back-to-back launches, there is too much of DID happening. Whether it’s Cinestars ki Khoj or otherwise, DID needs to be given rest,” he says.

With the show’s earlier outing having produced stars the likes of Ankita Lokhande (Pavitra Rishta), Sarwar Ahuja (Punar Vivaah), Aditi Sharma (Ladies vs Ricky Bahl), Sharad Malhotra & Divyanka Tripathi (Banoo Main Teri Dulhann), Yuvika Chaudhary (Om Shanti Om) and Himanshu Malhotra (Bhagonwali), all eyes are peeled on the return of the star maker.

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