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More funds, exposure for Bollywood

Fox star Studios, the tie-up between 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles and Star TV, Rupert Murdoch’s Asian satellite network headquartered in Hong Kong, is set to co-produce or acquire about eight Bollywood films per year and distribute and market them across India and the world.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2009 01:27 IST
Naomi Canton

Fox star Studios, the tie-up between 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles and Star TV, Rupert Murdoch’s Asian satellite network headquartered in Hong Kong, is set to co-produce or acquire about eight Bollywood films per year and distribute and market them across India and the world.

This means more finance in the market and more Hollywood exposure for Bollywood movies.

Vijay Singh, CEO of the new venture, said the films would tap into Los Angeles’ expertise.

So, a Bollywood script might be written here, then refined by a leading Los Angeles scriptwriter, or they might have the visual effects done there.

“Our focus will be on scripts,” Singh said. “We are not going to cut a cheque and walk away. We want to be involved and work as partners on the script, casting, everything.”

They have already signed up producer Vipul Shah of the Singh is Kinng, fame. “We will do big and small projects and build relationships with a few select producers, and are currently working on five co-productions that are at various stages of development,” Singh said.

The Indian venture was part of a 20th Century Fox strategy to make local productions in different countries, he said. China and Indonesia were next on the list.

The studio was formed in September by News Corporation and has released six films, including Slumdog Millionaire. It employs 15 staff.

This is not the first Hollywood-Bollywood link up. Last year, Reliance Big Entertainment entered into a joint venture with filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks.