It's Swades over Moulin Rouge for Aditya Shastri

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 28, 2004
Shastri ends nine-year stint at 20th Century Fox to join UTV Motion Pictures

UTV has roped in Aditya Shastri, managing director, 20th Century Fox, (India) for its motion pictures unit.

Shastri will take charge as COO, UTV Motion Pictures-Production from the first week of January. He is at the moment serving a three-month transition period with Fox.

At UTV Motion Pictures, Shastri has his role well-defined. He will be handling new business interests and productions for the company, overseeing the generation of ideas for new productions and forging alliances for co-production of films as well as internal co-productions.

Speaking to agencyfaqs! from Malaysia, Shastri promised a number of "exciting roll-outs in the coming few weeks.” To begin with, he'll be involved with three films that UTV has already commissioned, Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh, D (in association with Ram Gopal Varma) and Blue Umbrella, an adaptation of a Ruskin Bond film.

UTV Motion Pictures, which has in the past co-produced movies such as Fiza, Chalte Chalte, Lakshya and more recently Swades, is hoping to leverage Shastri's extensive experience. According to Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV Software Communications, "His cross learnings at Fox globally, as well as his interactions with the movie trade for the last nine years gives him a very good domestic as well as an international perspective which is equally important to our defined growth path in movies.”

Shastri credits his nine-year stint with Fox for his knowledge of the film business. "It has been a dream job and a great learning experience,” he adds. Shastri, during his tenure with the Hollywood major, was involved with blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge, Die Another Day, The Day After Tomorrow, I, Robot and Garfield. He also played a key role in the acquisition and release of Bollywood films such as Bollywood Calling, Jhankaar Beats, Pinjar, Mumbai Matinee and Tehzeeb.

Passionate about films, Shastri is a firm believer in individual talent and in his new role at UTV, hopes "to create an environment where talented people make memorable films”.

"Every movie is a lesson to be learnt. Our objective at UTV is to make films that involve the general public in a discussion or debate,” he explains. "Films shouldn't be one-sided. Like Swades, they should raise critical issues for interaction.”

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