afaqs!

Sahara-One Motion Pictures to invest Rs 300 crore across 40 films in '05

Company claims to be India's biggest motion pictures studio ahead of Yash Raj Films, Mukta Arts and others


Sahara-One Motion Pictures, the movie production and & #BANNER1 & # distribution arm of Subrata Roy-controlled Sahara group, is planning to launch its own music division. The company is also in the process of setting up its international distribution team and launch a home video label.

Sandeep Bhargava, COO, Sahara-One Motion Pictures, told agencyfaqs! that the company sees itself working on a 360-degree plane - from producing the content to getting involved with every aspect of film marketing.

"There has been a drastic change in the way a film earns its revenues these days. Hardly 20-25 per cent of a film's revenue comes from Indian theatrical releases. Therefore, exploiting the other rights - overseas, home video, satellite, music and even cellular - have become extremely important," he said.

Earlier, according to Bhargava, overseas distributors used to make a killing by procuring rights at cheap rates. "Times have changed now. More and more Indian production houses are getting into overseas distribution these days," he added.

Having an overseas presence is important because of the growing interest in Indian films. "Did you know 'Swades' has been dubbed in French and has seen a theatrical release in France? Shah Rukh Khan is quite a celeb even there!" Bhargava pointed out.

Sahara-One Motion Pictures is also producing films for the international viewer. One such project is 'Sacred Evil' based on the encounters of self-proclaimed witch Ipsita Roy Chakraverti. The film, directed by Abhiyan Jha, will have actor Sarika playing the protagonist and boasts of an international cast. The film is being simultaneously shot in French and English.

The company will be investing around Rs 300 crore across 40 films this fiscal. Out of the 40-odd films that Sahara-One Motion Pictures will be producing, around 20 are already on the floor.

"We are foraying into regional films. We will start with Bengali. Subsequently, we may get into Bhojpuri films," Bhargava disclosed. Plus, the company is also coming up with an animated film 'Hanuman'. The movie will be out in two languages - Hindi and English. The film may be dubbed in South Indian languages as well.

The company has placed high hopes around 'Pyar Mein Twist', which is a film on a "mature" love story between yesterday's heartthrobs Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. "We are hoping to recreate the magic of 'Sagar' and 'Bobby' with the movie 'Pyar Mein Twist'."

Alongside, the company is experimenting with movies meant for the age-group of 14-16 years. The film in question is 'Mumbai to Paris'; Sahara-One Pictures will be launching two new faces as the protagonists of the movie.

Apart from regular movies, Sahara-One Pictures is also dabbling in documentary films. One such example is 'Truck of Dreams', directed by Claire Louis. The documentary showcases the dying tradition of trucks plying in the hinterlands of the country with film projectors in tow.

"That's how films used to be exhibited in rural areas in early days. Apparently, out of the 40-odd trucks, only one survives," Bhargava adds. Parallely, the docu-feature tracks the story of a little village girl, who wants to be an actor. The documentary is going to be produced in two languages, Marathi and English.

Some of the well-respected banners of Indian cinema that are associated with Sahara-One Motion Pictures include Ram Gopal Varma's Varma Corp, K Sera Sera, BSK Films, Nitin Manmohan's Fourth Wall Productions and Percept Picture Company.

Some of the company's recent successes include the critically acclaimed 'Ab Tak Chappan', 'Phir Milenge', 'Bose - The Forgotten Hero', 'Bewafaa', national award winner 'Page 3' and the latest hit of the year, 'Sarkaar'.

Sahara-One Motion Pictures is a part of the Sahara group's umbrella entertainment brand, Sahara One, whose other businesses include popular general entertainment C&S channel, Sahara One Television. It is also poised to launch another channel, Filmy, in the near future.

2005 agencyfaqs!