UTV's three film projects go on floor

MUMBAI: Integrated media major UTV has kicked off the production of three of its films. Projects titled Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh, Blue Umbrella and D are currently on the floor.



The first of its productions Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh, is being directed by Chandan Arora. To be co-produced by UTV with Star, the movie, currently being shot in Lucknow, introduces model Neetu Chandra with Rajpal Yadav and Kay Kay Menon, informs an official release.

Second in line - Blue Umbrella is an adaptation of a Ruskin Bond novel, to be directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Featuring Pankaj Kapoor in the title role, the movie is being shot in Dalhousie.

The third production, which is being shot in Mumbai, is in association with Ram Gopal Varma. A prequel to his previous hit, Company, D is being directed by newcomer Vishram Sawant, and stars the Monsoon Wedding fame Randeep Hooda. Varma is quoted in the official release as saying, "My reason for teaming up with UTV is because of my immense belief in their marketing sensibilities and aggressiveness in promoting innovative cinema."

UMP, the Motion Picture Division of UTV is in the scripting and casting stage for three projects to be directed by David Dhawan, Prakash Jha, Aatish Kapadia/JD. Active discussions are also on with directors like Milan Luthria, Somnath Sen, Priyadarsan, Samir Karnik and Ken Ghosh, among others, adds the release.

The budgets of all these projects vary from Rs 50 million - Rs 250 million. They will be committed to production in early 2005, mostly simultaneously, giving an added boost to the studio model, the release states.

UMP's distribution model also kicks in with UTV's own co-production of Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades, Mahesh Dattani's Morning Raga and Mahesh Manjrekar's Virudh among others.

Says UTV's Motion Picture Division general manager Ram Mirchandani, "Our focus and time is disproportionately spent on script whetting, feedback and even research with focused groups."

"Our Indian and international distribution model is completely in place and our planned agenda of distributing at least a movie a month worldwide from March/April next year is very much on track," chips in film distribution division vice chairman Sanjeev Mehta.

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