Malayalam superstar Mammootty, who promised to launch fresh faces through his recently launched production company Play House, has started a talent hunt show in search of new faces.
The reality show titled Mammootty, The Best Actor Award 2009, went on air on Asianet TV on Saturday.
"Sixteen contestants have been selected and each of them will have to perform on the reality show. This is just to give talented youngsters an opportunity to come out," said the three-time national award winning actor.
Among the 16 selected, 10 are men and most of the participants are in their early 20s. They were shortlisted from among more than 1,000 aspirants.
There will 13 episodes that would be telecast every Saturday. The grand finale will take place in October in Dubai where Mammootty will announce the winners.
Yesteryears actress Sheela, ace comedian Jagathy Sreekumar along with Urvasi, Sreenivasan, Nedumudi Venu and popular director Siddique are judging the show.
Mammootty is the chairman of the Communist Party of India-Marxist backed Kairali TV, but he launched his reality show on a competitor's channel. Asked why he did so, the superstar laughed and said: "The proposal came from Asianet and I felt it was a good idea and agreed.
"My job in the reality show is limited. Since it was the first episode that was aired last night (Saturday), I decided to be present. I have committed that the films produced by my production house will feature many contestants," said the actor who is known for his powerful performances in movies like Aalkootathil Thaniye, Adiyozhukkukal, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha and Mathilukal.
After being active in the Malayalam film industry for 26 years and featuring in more than 300 films and picking up three national awards for his performances, Mammootty launched Play House in June this year.
So far the company has three films for distribution and one for production, in which Mammootty will play the lead.