Ultra Video invests Rs 200 million in distribution & production

MUMBAI: Home video major Ultra Pvt. Ltd, which recently branched out into film production and distribution, is investing Rs 200 million this year.

The company is producing six low-budget Hindi movies. As part of the investment, Ultra has also acquired a host of kids movies from the Canada-based International Keystone Entertainment Inc for distribution in India.

Two movie projects are nearing competition. Chor Mandli, directed by Sanjay Khanna, is slated for release in August. The film is currently in the post-production stage. Chandar Behal-directed Ek Hi Rasta has a tentative release schedule in September.

Ultra will distribute its Hindi film projects in some territories. "We will distribute both the movies in some areas. The distribution deals in other territories are yet to be finalised," says Ultra managing director Sushilkumar Agrawal.

Ultra is targeting the niche kids segment in India by acquiring almost 10 kids movies for distribution. Among the movies acquired for distribution from International Keystone Entertainment are Airbud, Most Valuable Primate (MVP), Most Extreme Primate (MXP), The Duke, Chestnut and Spymate. "We will be distributing Spymate, distributed by Miramax worldwide, in India and SAARC countries. Spymate and Chestnut are targeting a Christmas release," says Agrawal.

Ultra was presently in talks with more international banners for simlar deals, he adds.

Ultra has plans of expanding its television content production business, but it is some time away. "We have plans to get into TV production. Before approaching any channel, we want to make sure that we have enough bank of episodes. But this will take some time," says Agrawal. The only television serial venture Ultra has to its name is Inspector, a 108-episode show telecast in DD Sahyadri during 2003-1004.

On the animation front, Ultra has produced 300 hours of programming. It is also targeting the regional networks by dubbing this content to almost 10 Indian languages. "We have already roped in broadcasters including Star and ETV," he says.

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