Miss India pageant gets Bollywood boost | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Miss India pageant gets Bollywood boost

The Miss India contest and the film industry have always had an unofficial connection, with many a beauty queen using the pageant as a springboard to Bollywood stardom. On Tuesday, that association became official.

mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2010 21:11 IST

The Miss India contest and the film industry have always had an unofficial connection, with many a beauty queen using the pageant as a springboard to Bollywood stardom.

On Tuesday, that association became official.

This year, Bollywood directors Vipul Shah and Madhur Bhandarkar will conduct auditions and launch a selected contestant in their upcoming films, pageant organisers said at a press conference.

Organisers said the association with Bollywood would help bring in more entries for the annual Miss India contest, which now only holds the franchise to the Miss World pageant preliminaries, having lost out on the Miss Universe franchise to actress Sushmita Sen's company.

Over the past two decades, a number of Miss India contestants, including Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta made their mark in Bollywood.

But director Vipul Shah said there was still one major hurdle in the path of the beauties.

"The only concern I had was that these girls will be too tall for our heroes so I have requested the organisers to reduce the height requirement and they have agreed," he said.

The Miss India pageant has lost some of its sheen in recent years, with no winner succeeding at international pageants.

But pageant director Sameer Soni said the crown need not always be the goal.

"It is the journey of becoming a beauty queen, the training, the grooming, that is what changes your life," he said.

"The crown need not be the be-all."