MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media (MSM), Sony Pictures Television‘s India subsidiary, has identified film production and distribution business as the company‘s new growth area.
The plan is to first co-produce films before getting into projects independently. As part of this strategy, MSM has entered into a strategic tie-up with Eros International Media, India‘s biggest movie production company.
MSM will co-produce and co-invest Shashant Shah’s Bhajathe Raho with Eros. The film currently under production is looking at a mid-year release. It will feature Tusshar Kapoor, Ranveer Shorey, Vinay Pathak, Ravi Kissen, Dolly Alhuwalia and others.
MSM CEO Man Jit Singh said that the film production business will be a separate line of business but housed under MSM. The film production business will be overseen by him and NP Singh initially, he added.
"We have been looking to enter the film production business in India for some time. We will produce a combination of big as well as medium budget films which are commercially successful at the box office," Singh told Indiantelevision.com.
Without divulging details about the investment plan for the film production business, Singh said that the satellite rights of movies produced by MSM will be open for sale to any broadcaster and will not necessarily be aired on the company‘s Hindi movie channel, Max.
MSM COO NP Singh added, "As a major Indian television network, we are very happy to enter into this agreement with a leading Indian studio like Eros to develop and release high quality original Indian content to fans of Indian cinema across the world."
It needs to be noted here that Sony Pictures Entertainment had in 2007 entered into a film production and distribution deal with Eros.
Globally, MSM‘s parent company Sony Pictures is a big player in movie production and distribution. Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group (CTMPG), the motion picture arm of Sony, boasts of a library of with more than 3,500 titles.
Eros International Media MD Sunil Lulla said, "We are looking forward to the potential benefits that both entities will bring to the film with their combined strengths. By extending together our established networks to distribute Bhajathe Raho in India and international markets, we hope to give the film the best release platform."
Eros has off late been entering into various strategic tie-ups. It had recently entered into an agreement with HBO Asia to launch two ad free bi-lingual movie channels, HBO Defined and HBO Hits, in India.
On Tuesday, Eros announced that it had entered into an alliance with Endemol to co-produce three feature films as well as get into original programming for television.