InHouse promoters launch film company Metalight

MUMBAI: At a time when the Hindi movie industry is going through probably its worst ever slump, a new vertically integrated company announced today that it was making the plunge into the film business. Metalight Productions is being positioned as a "strategic motion picture venture" cutting across genres that will churn out 12 films a year once it is fully onstream.

Making the announcement at a media briefing today, executive director Ajay Shanghavi said Rs 200 million has already been spent on the venture and over the next three years a total of Rs 820 million would be pumped in to get the business going fully.

Sanghavi said Metalight at present has three films ready for release - Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar, 3 Deewanein and Satta. The total "landed cost" (includes production, marketing distribution) for Dil Vil was Rs 90 million, Sanghavi said, adding that Rs 40 million was the money dished out for each of the other two movies.

By the end of this fiscal six movies would be released, with two more under production by that time, Sanghavi said.

Queried as to what kind of returns the company was expecting, Sanghavi said between 35 and 45 per cent net profit was what he was looking at.

Voicing the corporate mantra, Sanghavi said Metalight has three operational divisions with separate heads handling production, distribution and exhibition. He stressed that what Metalight was looking to do was to have a regular output of films that would be made on time, within specified budgets and produced, distributed and exhibited by the company itself. The exhibition division will enable Metalight to directly reach the viewer by controlling and managing theatres under the brand name 'Prime'.

Heading the production division is Wg. Cdr. Ramesh, the man who set up Ramoji Rao's Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The distribution team is led by Ravi Nallapa and the exhibition division by Richard R Miranda.

Metalight is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore-based Production Facilities Pvt. Ltd, which also owns TV software company InHouse Productions. Production Facilities' investors are the Indian stakeholders of Sony Entertainment Television India Pvt Ltd.

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