Television

HBO premieres its 'Original Movies'

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What is surprising really is that the Turner Broadcasting-promoted premium movie channel took so long to leverage its own movies. After more than two years in the subcontinent, HBO announced a new initiative premiering next Monday and running through till September - HBO Original Movies. 

The next five months will see an original HBO film being showcased on the first Monday of every month at 9:30 pm. It may be recalled that last year HBO telecast its 10-part epic series Band of Brothers but the difference here was these were not movies. 

HBO has been producing highly acclaimed films since May 1983. Over the years, HBO Pictures emerged as a dominant force in the made-for-television movie category at the annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Popular amongst HBO Original Productions are Sex And The City and Six Feet Under both of which have won numerous awards. 

HBO's initiative comes at a time when rival Star Movies has reasserted itself among Indian viewers - first with the live telecast of the Oscars in March and subsequently with the double premiere of Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park 1 and 2 that garnered monster ratings. 

Kicking off the HBO Original Movies series in May is John Irvin's World War II film When Trumpets Fade. The film stars Ron Eldard (of Black Hawk Dawn fame). 

HBO original productions include movies, series, documentaries, comedy, music, family shows, sports specials. Under HBO films, the network is producing a broad slate of original movies, from smaller-budget independents to major motion pictures, touching on a wide range of provocative and entertaining subjects - characteristics that have become the hallmark of HBO's original movies, to appeal to new and different audiences, an official release states. 

Currently HBO produces an average of six original films and eight original series per year. 

Chris Albrecht, President, HBO Original Programming said: "The HBO Original Movies are of exceptionally high standard, award winning productions, boasting of star-studded casts that are exclusive to the channel. Our shows must have a compelling point of view that deal with some depth about the human condition" 

James P. Marturano, managing director, HBO South Asia, said: "HBO Original productions are a strong differentiator for the channel to create extra value for our viewers since these are programs that are not released theatrically and premiere exclusively on HBO channel. 

The other films included in this package are: 

In June comes Shot Through The Heart, a true story on the Bosnian conflict. 

In July is Gia, starring Angelina Jolie. Gia is the biopic of Gia Carangi, who became a supermodel at the age of 18 and died of AIDS in 1986 following heroine and cocaine abuse. 

In August there is Truman about US President Harry S. Truman. 

In September, the HBO Original Movies will culminate in a block, which will be the HBO Original Movie-Emmys stunt.

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