The Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment's film production and distribution business in India will partner boutique production house Phantom Films in a 50:50 joint venture.
Phantom was founded by Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena. Reliance will own 50 per cent of the combined business and the other half will be equally held among the four promoters of Phantom. Day-to-day operations of the JV will be managed by Phantom.
The combination of Reliance and Phantom plans to develop and produce about half a dozen films a year, apart from distribution of films in India and abroad, plus syndication of rights from its 175-film library.
RE has produced and distributed about 170 films in multiple Indian languages. These include quite a few highly successful commercial films, beside some which have won national awards.
Internationally, it has partnered for five years with iconic film producer and director Steven Spielberg, in a 50:50 JV named Dreamworks Studios.
Phantom has a slate of six films releasing over the next 12 months.
Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, group managing director, Reliance Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with such creative and talented individuals as Anurag, Madhu, Vikas and Vikramaditya, who have an enviable track record of creating great cinema. This partnership is in line with our evolving strategy in the media and entertainment business, of aligning with like-minded people who are trailblazers in their own field, and playing the role of supportive investors on our part.”
Mantena said “It’s great to be appreciated by India’s leading entertainment company, and being given such a huge responsibility."
Added Anurag Kashyap: "This deal opens our windows to international opportunities and talent. We hope to optimise on this opportunity, take Indian cinema international and also attract excellent talent into the country."