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Hollywood turns to India for film financing

Ghosts of recession-hit US economy are still tormenting the entertainment sector. Reportedly a Los Angeles-based financier has sought funds as high as Rs 500 crores from India!

entertainment Updated: Jan 11, 2010 17:56 IST

Left out in the cold after Wall Street banks cut down film financing, Hollywood has now turned to India to fund its movies through private equity.

American private equity firms, banks and hedge funds, once a substantial resource for Hollywood films, have seen their coffers dry up over the past two years, which has led a Los Angeles-based financier to seek funds from India.

Indian origin producer, A V T Shankardass, who has produced films like Harrison Ford-starrer K-19: The Widowmaker, Lisa Ray-starrer comedy Ball & Chain and an Indo-Pak war story A Fortune Teller Told Me has floated a Rs 500-crore (over USD 100 million) private equity fund in India.

The fund, Global Entertainment Partners (GEP) seeks participation from corporates and high net-worth individuals (HNIs) to produce American and international content.

The fund will raise Rs 500 crore from India to make over 200 products in the next five years, including films, syndicated TV shows and pre-contractual live entertainment for casinos in Las Vegas.

"If you were in the film business and your eyes were open, you could see the recession coming. The entertainment industry is the first indicator for financial problems. American companies are running out of money to make films," Shankardass told PTI.

The fund, comprising 33 Indian investors, provides a platform to individuals and companies that are keen on having entertainment as part of their portfolio, Shankardass said.