UTV Software Communications - List of Holdings - Film Production and Distribution

Film Production and Distribution

UTV ventured into film distribution in 1996 with its subsidiary UTV Motion Pictures Plc. It then moved into film production, first in Bollywood and then in Hollywood in partnership with major studios like 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures and Sony Pictures. It is today one of the largest production houses in South Asia.

According to the UTV group, movies enjoy an almost ‘basic need of survival’ status in India. Therefore, UTV Motion Pictures has worked consciously to ride on that phenomenon, pioneering not just newer films and story ideas, but also the very manner in which films are made in India. From novel plots and stories that one would think can never work in mainstream cinema, to pioneering the studio model in movie production, UTV has always led positive change in the Indian motion picture industry. Today, UTV’s Motion Pictures business spans the integrated model of creative development, production, marketing, distribution, merchandising and syndication worldwide. UTV’s portfolio includes Hindi Movies, Regional Movies, Animation Films, International productions and co productions, besides an exclusive distribution arrangement for India with The Walt Disney Company.

It is no surprise then that their movies do just as well at the box office as they do at film festivals around the world. The ability to innovate at the script level has led to the development of an almost new genre in Indian cinema, breaking the mould in Indian film making. Films like “Dev.D” and “A Wednesday!” were among those that did not boast of a lavish budget or a power-packed star cast, and yet created history at the box office because of the inherent strength of their content. By the same token, “Fashion,” led by an all female star cast, bucked the trend of women oriented subjects not performing at the box office and grossed more than most big solo hero starrers in the same period.

UTV co-produced two Hollywood movies with Fox Searchlight in 2007, making it the first and only Indian company to have mainline Hollywood film releases – the box office hit and critically acclaimed masterpiece by Mira Nair, “The Namesake;” and “I Think I Love My Wife,” with Chris Rock in the lead role and as Director.

Pioneering the stint of producing movies abroad, UTV was the first Indian production house to announce its independent production venture globally in April 2009, with “The Exterminators.” It also has a co-production agreement with the Actor/Producer Will Smith, his production company Overbrook Entertainment and with Sony Pictures Entertainment, for two films to be produced and distributed worldwide.

In 2008-2009, UTV Motion Pictures emerged as one of the largest production houses in the country with 10 Hindi Film releases, 1 in Tamil and M. Night Shyamalan's “The Happening” – the first mainstream Hollywood movie co-produced by an Indian movie studio. Not only this, UTV also distributed Disney's productions – “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and “Bedtime Stories” in India. This coupled with innovative marketing initiatives and a concentrated campaign to leverage value across existing and new media platforms, further reinforced their stature as not only the leading motion picture producers in India, but also the most innovative.

An unparalleled slate that started in 2009 will see even more content driven movies in 2010 – the slate will boast of movies spanning across various genres from romance to action and from thriller to comedy such as Prakash Jha’s “Rajneeti,” Deven Khote’s “Phillum City,” Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Guzaarish” and Aamir Khan’s production “Delhi Belly” and “The Falling.”

Along with production, UTV successfully distributes its movies in more than 45 countries around the world on the same day as their theatrical release in India. UTV Motion Pictures accomplished the feat of being among the Top 20 Distributors in North America and is the first Indian film studio ever to have crossed the US $5 million revenue mark in the first half of a year, thus redefining the scope of overseas distribution of Indian films.

In the South, post their successful maiden venture – “Kanaamochi Yenada” in Tamil, UTV Motion Pictures forayed into another project with Priyadarshan as a co-producer for the remake of the commercial and critically acclaimed “Khosla Ka Ghosla” called “Poi Solla Porom.” This proved hugely successful, completing 100 days in theatre. UTV Motion Pictures went on to co-produce the remakes of the superhit “A Wednesday!” – “Unnaipol Oruvan” (Tamil) and “Eenadu” (Telugu) by joining hands with Actor Kamal Haasan. The remakes starred Kamal Haasan, Mohan Lal and Venkatesh.

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