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India's newest studio Cinestaan Film Company on Thursday announced a joint-venture (JV) with Anil Thadani for distribution of Indian firms in overseas markets, whose first release will be the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra-directed flick Mirzya.
Thadani, whose AA Pictures is India's leading independent film distributor, will become the managing director and CEO of the JV company, Cinestaan AA Distributors.
Rohit Khattar, founder chairman of Cinestaan Film Company, will be the chairman of the JV company, Cinestaan said in a statement.
The first film to be released by the JV will be Cinestaan Film Company's Mirzya, starring Anil Kapoor's son Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher. This will be followed by other films of Cinestaan Film Company as well as those of other production houses.
The JV assumes significance as not all Indian films are able to find overseas distribution.
According to industry data, overseas theatricals are expected to grow at par with Indian media and entertainment industry. Most of the leading studios usually distribute only their own films, leaving a substantial void in the market.
Cinestaan AA Distributors is eyeing to fill this gap. The overseas theatrical market is expected to grow at 10.5 per cent annually till 2020, with the Indian diaspora in the US, the Middle East and the UK being major contributors to growth.
Cinestaan's Khattar said, "We are delighted to join hands with Anil, who is undoubtedly India's most prolific and credible distributor. Together we wish to create the most reliable and transparent overseas distribution network to further the reach of Indian Cinema."
Thadani said, "Extending from the domestic market to the international is a natural progression, more so to have a partner in Rohit who shares similar aspirations and passion like me, it has worked out perfectly for us."
"To kickstart with a prestigious film like Mirzya, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, seems like a dream. We look forward to a successful partnership," he added.
Thadani's AA Films is India's largest single-owner film distribution company and has been associated with reputed producers like Karan Johar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Mukesh Bhatt and Bhushan Kumar. Films lined up for release include Shah Rukh Khan's Raees and the much-awaited Bahubali 2.
It was set up in 1995 and has distributed over 150 films since its inception, including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Earlier this year, Cinestaan created an international division, which also acts as a sales agency for films it does not produce. Currently, four films are being sold at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Director (international sales) Marina Fuentes and Director Deborah Sathe (international operations) of Cinestaan International will further strengthen Thadani's expertise in distribution by targeting non-diaspora territories.
Cinestaan said it is particularly important for it to champion small independent films from India which usually do not find overseas distribution.
Khattar is also the chairman of Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, which supports screenplay writers through the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Initiative.
First Published: Thu, September 15 2016. 11:48 IST