METRO PLUS

Shine with Star

AFTER SHINNING TRPs, Star now wants those with starry ambitions to shine along. Come April and Star will launch a countrywide hunt for actors with "Indian Super STAR". "We will select a male and female superstar each plus four supporting superstars through a nation wide search," informs Sameer Nair, COO, STAR India. Sameer says it would be much bigger than the talent search for Pop bands on Channel V. "We are looking for all round talent - acting, dancing, fighting everything. We will also look for people who have qualities to become a comedian or villain. Here height and looks will not be the only factor." That's not all. It will be an annual affair and Sameer promises that Star has decided to make a film with the chosen ones. "After the jury comprising senior names from the film industry and people vote for the superstars, we will sign a contract with them. A reputed director will make a film that will be released across the country," apprises Sameer . And for the new masala to keep the ratings soaring, Sameer, the man behind "Kaun Banega Crorepati" formulates that the whole process will be shown as a reality show with a human angle.

Lending a historical touch to the process, Deepak Segal, Senior Vice President, Content and Communication, STAR India says that some decades back United Producers tried the same formula and the result of their efforts was Rajesh Khanna.

That's not all. With both the saas bahu sagas still going strong, the channel has turned to supernatural stuff with "Koie Jaane Naa". Produced by Anuradha Prasad of BAG films, the serial is about a supernatural evil force within a joint family. The protagonist, however, remains a bahu, Divya played by Shilpa Kadam of "Sanjeevani" fame. "I am confident about my performance and I think only I could have done justice with it," says Shilpa who detects the eerie happenings in the house. "The serial is about believable fears and coincidences, something like `Bhoot'," maintains Anuradha. Interestingly, the serial is slotted for Sundays, which Deepak believes has an untapped audience.

Shine with Star

Besides chiller, there is dramedy, a combo of drama and comedy in the form of "Shanno Ki Shadi" with Divya Dutta in the lead. Then there is "Karvachauth" dealing with the trial and tribulations of a simple Punjabi girl in New York.

For those who glue to their sets for films' sake, Star has "Bhoot", "Kaante", "Teen Deewarein", "Dum" and "Chameli" lined up.

However, Star's film vehicle, Gold, which started off with the punch line `old is gold' is now showcasing contemporary films. "We thought the old generation is longing for cinema of their times. But our experiment failed, so we switched to tagline `Neembu maar ke' and interestingly Hollywood films dubbed into English are doing well. On Valentine's Day, `Titanic' in Hindi became the highest rated film on any movie channel ever and people are showing interest in martial arts films as well," counters Sameer promising to show "E.T." in Hindi soon. Keep gazing.

ANUJ KUMAR