India Unlimited (IU), a company floated by Ushak Kaal Advertising agency on August 15 last year, has rolled up its sleeves to plunge headlong into the entertainment industry. The company will release two audio albums and one low budget movie this year. Says Savita Hiremath, CEO, India Unlimited (also executive director, Ushak Kaal Advertising), "I always wanted to go beyond advertising and the production of the first India Unlimited album is the entry point."
The maiden venture, an audio album titled "India Unlimited", is due for release on the August 15 this year. Savita points out, "Though we have been selling this album to institutions and other organisations for some time now, we haven't launched it officially. India's Independence Day seems to be an appropriate occasion for the launch since the album underscores the significance of this day. The album is a tribute to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He personified the essence of the theme 'Vaishnava Jana To' which is the title track of the album. This album is a collaborative effort of more than 30 artists."
The launch will be preceded by an ad blitz across music channels and popular websites such as rediff.com, indiatimes.com etc. The investment on production and advertising has been to the tune of Rs 50 lakh. For distribution and duplicating purposes, IU has tied-up with BMG. Under this arrangement BMG will distribute the cassettes in India as well as abroad.
Savita is equally excited about IU's tinsel world project. A low budget feature film, the name of which she refused to disclose, is set for release by the year-end. "The pre-production work is over, the shooting begins next month. We will try to do all the shooting in Delhi but the post-production work will be done at a London-based studio." Incidentally, it is the same studio which has done the post production work for Shekhar Kapoor's Elizabeth.
Debakar Banerjee, who comes from an ad-film-making background, is directing the Rs 2-crore movie in Hindi. His portfolio comprises the NIIT films, the Euphoria video albums etc. The scriptwriter of the movie Jaideep Sahni happens to be the screen writer of Ram Gopal Verma's Jungle. About the plot of the movie, Savita says, "This movie is a complete departure from the staple Bollywood fare. The plot is about how various forms of communication is bringing together people across the globe, while at the same time, creating a rift among family members. This whole plot has been given a comic treatment. It is a movie for the urban middle class, like Hyderabad Blues."
The film will be dubbed in English and four south Indian languages - Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayam. IU has allocated a budget of Rs 70 to Rs 1 crore for promoting the movie. "We are also looking at barter deals with various TV channels." Savita is talking to Shringaar, Yash Raj and Columbia for the distribution of this film.
Well this is not quite it. IU is also shooting the pilots of three TV programmes, for which her company is negotiating with Sony, Star, Zee, CNN and BBC. Talking about the content of the programmes, Savita says, "These are primarily going to be research-based programmes. For example, one episode will document the evolution of Goan music." Last but not the least, she is working on another project which she describes as "the biggest audio project in the non-film category". While she wants to keep the details of this project under wraps, she did say that a very 'big' Bollywood actor would be a part of this project and that it would be released this year.
Among its many future projects, IU will launch four movies next year and will also try its hand at interactive games.
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