Television

Padmalaya to sign co-production deal with European studio

NEW DELHI: Padmalaya Telefilms Limited (PTL) is on the verge of signing a major co-production deal with an European studio, for production of four episodes and two movies to be made over the next five to seven years.

The deal is expected to finalise by this month-end, however, PTL has not yet announced the name of the studio.

On the development, PTL vice-president and head of Zee Institute of Creative Animation (ZICA) Rajiv Sangari says, "We are on the final stages of signing the memorandum of understanding with the associates. The deal is for 2-D animation projects and the overall revenue/ project projection is about US$15 million. By far, it may be the biggest deal in animation industry in India."

Sangari adds that the project would entail production and marketing through co-production format. The production will be done in PTL studios in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

"We also intend to open up an office in Germany to support the European company," Sangari explains.

In the past year, Indian animation studios have showed signs of moving from service-oriented projects to co-productions. Sangari expects this trend to continue.

"I predict a lot of co-production deals between US and India as well as Europe and India. People abroad have started seeing India as a favoured destination for doing not only service jobs but also developing properties with them by being their partners. Of course, 3-D animation is gaining grounds and will continue to do so in 2004, but the traditional style is also getting inroads in India," Sangari explains.

PTL had recently announced that they plan to produce 52-episode, 22-minute flash animation series for Zee TV, scheduled for early 2004. The serial, titled Bheema Keema, is being targeted at the urban and semi-urban Hinglish language speaking kids of the country. The series is being planned for Sundays during the primetime slot.

For its new projects, PTL is also upgrading its facilities. It has acquired a new 3-D animation studio which will soon launch in Mumbai. "We have also taken up a place in Andheri, Mumbai, for a special effects division which should be up and running by about January 2004," said Sangari.

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