PVR to have own infrastructure to distribute Indian films abroad

Calcutta Tube) PVR Pictures has no immediate plans to co-produce movies in Hollywood but will soon have its own infrastructure for distribution of Indian films abroad, says its new president, Kamal Gianchandani.

‘We are not looking at any co-production opportunities (in Hollywood), not at least for the next two years,’ Gianchandani told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

‘For Hollywood films, you need a different ecosystem and infrastructure and then you have to talk to a different set of exhibitors. So we are not going in that direction.’

At this point of time, he said, PVR is focusing largely on the domestic market. ‘For Hollywood, we are interested only in the domestic market (for distribution of their movies).’

PVR has distributed over 60 Hollywood movies in India, including first two parts of the Robert Pattinson-starrer ‘Twilight’ series and ‘Remember Me’, and Mel Gibson’s comeback movie ‘Edge of Darkness’.

The flagship film production and distribution company of the PVR Group, Gianchandani said, is planning to set up infrastructure to distribute Indian movies abroad in the next six months.

‘We will have our presence in the US and the UK for sure. And in other countries, we’ll look for partnerships and alliances,’ he said.

As of now, PVR has ‘tied up with an independent company for overseas distribution and sale of Indian films overseas’.

The Indian diaspora has over the years become a ready global market, especially in Britain and North America. According to one estimate, sales of Bollywood movies will cross $3 billion by 2012 in the US alone.

Bollywood has also discovered that moolah can be made in franchising its films through video games, clothing lines, music ring tones, and mobile movie clips.

Gianchandani, who was COO at Reliance Big Pictures and BigFlix till recently, declined to share any details of the investment in this venture. ‘At this point of time, we are not talking numbers.’

PVR Pictures entered the production business with Aamir Khan’s directorial debut ‘Taare Zameen Par’ in 2007 and followed it up with ‘Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na’, another film with the Bollywood star.

Its current co-production portfolio includes names like Anil Kapoor’s home production ‘Aisha’, Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se’ and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Mad Madder Maddest’.

Asked about the categorisation of films according to their budgets, Gianchandani said: ‘We place no restrictions in terms of budget for a film. Usually it is always the story and the star cast that matter.’

He also said the company would independently produce films. ‘We have one or two projects which we are discussing with renowned directors.’

PVR Pictures is going to have a separate label too for distribution of special projects. ‘We would have a separate label, Springboard, mainly for distribution of special projects that are fresh and need a different treatment,’ Gianchandani told IANS.

As part of distribution deals, PVR recently released Rahul Dholakia’s ‘Lamhaa’ worldwide and Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Khatta Meetha’ in select Indian territories.

‘Our distribution model is that in a typical year we would release 8 to 10 Hollywood or other language films in India and about 6 to 8 Hindi films irrespective of whether it is a co-production or a 100 percent production or an acquisition or a pure distribution deal. In terms of regional films, we would be looking for 7 to 8 Tamil films.’

PVR’s forthcoming Hollywood releases include ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’, ‘The Expendables’, ‘Agora’, ‘Piranha 3D’, ‘Step Up 3D’, ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’, ‘Fair Game’, ‘The Hole’, ‘The Rum Diary’, ‘London Boulevard’ and ‘Biutiful’.

(Robin Bansal can be contacted at robin.b@ians.in)

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