Yesterday SBS launched its new entertainment series Bollywood Star at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.
Managing Director Michael Ebeid, buoyed by the $158m funding boost from the government, said the series would give viewers a great insight into Indian culture in an SBS-style talent series.
“It’s fun, it’s fast, there’s lots of tears, lots of joy,” he said.
“This is a great way to break out of our serious content, have a bit of fun and showcase another culture in all its beauty.”
The series features singer / dancer / actors and was filmed in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and India.
6 finalists will travel to Mumbai where one will be chosen to appear in a Bollywood film.
Head Judge Anupam Sharma told TV Tonight, “One of the reasons I signed on the dotted line was because SBS was involved. It’s a Reality show but it’s more than that. It’s Factual yet it is more than that. It is Observational yet it is more than that. It has the typical SBS fingerprint, which is a cerebral look at things.
“It’s all about human stories and goes to the foundation of human dreams, which is aspirations.”
Ben Ulm, Head of Factual Entertainment from production company WTFN, picked up the format from a series produced in the UK 8 years ago and pitched it to SBS.
“They saw this as an opportunity for culturally immersive, uplifting, but intelligent entertainment,” he said.
“But we were very conscious of it not just being a talent show and that was part of the very first conversation of SBS. Yes there are the mechanics of a talent show but what we brought to the table that maybe Shine and Fremantle might not have on face value is that we drill down straight away on backstory and character and spend less screen time on stage.
“Who are these people who aspire to be Bollywood stars and what are the different jeopardies that they have?
“In some cultures performance art is regarded as renegade and we wanted to try and tap into those stories in an Australian context of course.”
SBS will premiere the 4 part series at 7:30pm Saturday June 2nd, pairing each episode with Bollywood films on Saturday nights.
Disclaimer: David Knox blogs Eurovision at sbs.com.au