Sahara to pump Rs 1 bn into movie production, enter international distribution

MUMBAI: Sahara India Entertainment Management plans to invest Rs 1 billion towards movie production over the next 18 months.

The company is also stepping into international distribution of movies, for which a team is being put in place. Sahara has already handled domestic distribution with movies like Page 3 and Mumbai Express.

"We are putting up over 35 movies on the floors. We will be investing around Rs 1 billion," says Sahara India Entertainment Management's Motion Pictures division chief operating officer Sandeep Bhargava.

In movie production, Sahara follows different models to de-risk its business. The company has tied up with production companies like K Sera Sera for 10 movies. Sahara also has rights to 15 movies from Boney Kapoor's production house. Sahara will provide part investment for these movies and enjoy the television telecast rights while the theatrical revenues will flow into the production houses. There will be a revenue share on the box office revenues only after a specified amount has reached.

As a second business model, Sahara has tied up with certain directors like Madhur Bhandharkar and Priyadarshan. "We will be doing two movies each with them. We are also in the process of signing up with other directors," says Bhargava.

Sahara also produces its own movies, separating itself from the other two models. "We are following the studio model. And we want to get into all aspects of movie production, marketing and distribution," says Bhargava.

Sahara aims to distribute 18-20 movies over the next 18 months. Some of the movies lined up are Hanuman, Home Delivery and Mumbai to Paris.


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