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ZEE5 & Applause strengthen bond with ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ launch

ZEE5 has entered into a strategic partnership with India’s leading content and IP studio Applause Entertainment, a venture of Aditya Birla Group for a multi-show association. Strengthening its premium offerings with compelling and diverse content, the two leading content companies will collaborate to create a robust original content slate of new ZEE5 originals in Hindi across genres to entertain billions of ZEE5 viewers across the globe.

The move is in line with ZEE5’s content-first approach of partnering with the best in the creative ecosystem and bringing to the fore bespoke and premium content for a diverse audience. ZEE5 unveiled its first offering as part of the partnership, titled ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Emmay Entertainment and directed by Gauravv Chawla and Ananya Banerjee. The original will premiere exclusively on ZEE5 in January 2022. ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’, is a dramedy series with a unique take on a dysfunctional royal family.

In line with its content strategy keeping the viewer at the centre, ZEE5 has been engaging with the top talent in the creative ecosystem to build a compelling slate of originals and movies. Through its partnerships with TVF (The Viral Fever), Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari, and Red Chillies Entertainment amongst others, the platform has consistently delivered the most remarkable and highly loved shows across the digital entertainment ecosystem. Through its partnership with Applause Entertainment, who are renowned for bringing unique and compelling narratives to audiences in India and world over, both brands are pushing the envelope further in ‘Kaun Banegi Shikarwati’ that promises to be an entertainment delight.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Punit Misra, President – Content & International Markets, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, said, “ZEE5’s content design principles centre around intimately knowing our viewers and building a bouquet of engaging and entertaining offerings for our multiple consumer cohorts. While Consumer Intimacy is at the heart of our content creation philosophy, our Content Creator Partners are the other crucial pillar in our approach. We are excited about our partnership with one of the leading content creators of our country – Sameer Nair & Applause Entertainment. With our shared belief in consumer obsession, coupled with their unique content creation capabilities, I am confident that we will win the hearts of millions.”

Adding to this, Mr. Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India, said, “Being a consumer-first brand, our intent has always been to deliver real, relevant and resonant content to our audiences. This year, ZEE5 has made a concerted effort to associate with premium content creators across languages and genres, a move that has enabled us to inch closer to our overall vision of ‘Entertainment inclusion’. We are glad to bring a like-minded partner on board to create compelling content together and launch quality originals, exclusively available on ZEE5. Applause Entertainment has had a strong record of creating some of the most popular shows of recent times and with this association, ZEE5 is confident of enriching our content slate even further.”

Commenting on the association, Mr. Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment said, “Over the past 4 years, Applause has created a diverse slate of content and explored stories across genres, languages and geographies. We are thrilled that our first outing with ZEE5 is with Kaun Banegi Shikarwati, a light-hearted, heart-warming dramedy that is both quirky and delightful, and boasts a stellar cast of actors. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with ZEE5 and help contribute in a small way to their global ambition.”

Mr. Nikkhil Advani, Emmay Entertainment added, “In a fine blend of humour and drama, Kaun Banegi Shikarwati offers a quintessential story of Indian families that’s replete with oddities and conflicts. But at the core of it, lies unfiltered emotions that’s sure to resonate strongly with the masses. We are delighted to partner with Applause in creating this wonderful show and are excited to release it to global audiences on a leading platform like ZEE5.”

Ms. Nimisha Pandey, Chief Creative Officer – Hindi Originals, ZEE5, stated, “We are excited to bring premium bespoke originals to our existing gamut of diverse content in partnership with Applause Entertainment. With their expertise in creating captivating content across a multitude of genres, we are sure to create some exciting and engaging shows together. We are glad to present ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ as the first from this creative collaboration, with more enthralling content in the offing. There is an increasing need for family-viewing content in a post pandemic era and a multi-dimensional drama like ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ works beautifully in that aspect. We hope that the audience is geared up for a roller coaster of emotions and this series, with its ample moments of familial bond and camaraderie, will be the perfect watch for our viewers.”

A clutter-breaking comedy drama, ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ features a spectacular cast of renowned Bollywood faces, including Naseeruddin Shah essaying the role of a King while Lara Dutta Bhupathi, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Kamra, Anya Singh play his daughters, and Raghubir Yadav, Cyrus Sahukar, Varun Thakur and Anurag Sinha play key roles.