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RBE to fund 100 Indian movies

By the end of this year, Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE), the movie production arm of Reliance ADAG, will have a kitty of 100 Indian movies to be released within two years.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2008 03:02 PM IST

Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE), the movie production arm of Reliance ADAG, is spreading its wings further.

Although its recently-inked Hollywood deals are still at the gestation stage and nothing concrete has been announced about its offer to invest around $500-$600 million in Hollywood icon Stephen Spielberg's production firm Dreamsworks SKG, RBE has currently bankrolled 70 Indian movies, totalling an investment of about Rs 2 billion.

By the end of this year, the company will have a kitty of 100 Indian movies to be released within two years.

No other Indian entertainment company offers financial support to as many movies, not counting Hollywood films.

"Our objective is not only to produce entertaining movies, but also to create converged services and platforms for masses to access innovative, cutting-edge content," RBE chairman Amit Khanna told IANS.

Key content initiatives will include production and strategic collaboration in areas such as gaming, movies, animation, music, sports and user-generated content, among others, he added.

Some RBE-funded Indian movies, such as producer Vipul Shah's Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer Singh Is Kinng are ready for release, while others have either gone into production or are at the development stage.

Bollywood production houses collaborating with RBE include producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Vinod Chopra Films, Excel Entertainment of Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, producer Vashu Bhagnani's Puja Films, Maruti International of Ashok Thakeria and Indra Kumar, and producer-director Sudhir Mishra's Orion Pictures.

Besides these collaborations, RBE is also directly producing 29 movies - 15 in Hindi, two each in Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam, seven in Bengali, and one each in Telugu, Punjabi, Gujarati and Marathi.

The company has signed leading directors like Shyam Benegal, Madhur Bhandarkar, Vivek Agnihotri, Sangeeth Sivan, Priyadarshan, Rituparno Ghosh, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Sandip Ray, Shaji Karun, Girish Kasaravalli, M.S. Sathyu and Amol Palekar for these projects.

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