UTV Motion Pictures to produce films in south Indian languages

UMP is planning to produce around five films for south Indian audiences over the next three years

UTV Motion Pictures Plc is planning to produce films in south Indian languages and is looking for co-production proposals as well, said a top company official.

“We are definitely looking at the southern market as a key growth area. We are not looking at producing a whole host of films, but around five films in the next three years,” said Siddharth Roy Kapur, chief executive, UTV Motion Pictures (UMP).

However, he said that UMP’s focus would remain on Hindi films. “We expect a good potential from the south Indian market and are open to produce films and co-produce them as well,” he added.

Last year, the company co-produced ‘A Wednesday’ with actor Kamal Hassan, by remaking the Hindi film in Tamil and Telugu.

Over the next 12-15 months, UMP will be releasing about 15 films. ‘Rajneeti’, its much talked about film, directed by Prakash Jha, will be released in June 2010.

“We are planning to release 15 movies in the next 12-15 months, including ‘Delhi Belly’, a comedy co-produced with Aamir Khan Productions and also one with producer-director Vishal Bhardwaj,” said Mr Kapur.

Commenting on the impact of last year’s tussle between producers and multiplex operators, Mr Kapur said, “The strike between the two parties lead to bunching up of movies which got released together when the multiplexes opened. But now since there are fewer movies being released, each movie will get a better chance at the box office.”

In order to generate more revenues, UMP is using different release dates for various platforms such as theatres, direct-to-home (DTH) telecasts and home video. "We do a DTH release in four weeks after the theatrical release. Then we release the home video between six to eight weeks, followed by a satellite release in three months. We are working on shortening these timeframes as we move further," Mr Kapur added.

Last month, UMP tied up with Apple to release ‘Delhi 6’, one of its Hindi films, on Apple’s iTunes online library which allows users to download the movie for $9.99.

UMP, a unit of UTV Software Communications Ltd, is also working on cost rationalisation by keeping talent costs down, maintaining production efficiencies and by relying on home production.

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