Filmy to launch Hollywood dubbed movie block; revamps programming

MUMBAI: Sahara One Media & Entertainment Ltd's Hindi movie channel Filmy is entering the second half of its first year with a slew of new initiatives. One key move on the programming front would be the launch of a Hollywood dubbed movie segment.

"We want to explore the Hollywood action movie genre for Filmy. For this, we are planning to have a dubbed movie block. Filmy will be unveiling the segment very soon and we are working on the slots. At present we are in talks with a couple of foreign players for movie acquisition," says Filmy business head Ashutosh, while not divulging further details.

According to market sources, Sahara is in talks with at least three international studios for acquiring the international titles. The list includes Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, the motion picture and television feature distribution company owned by The Walt Disney Company.

This move will see Filmy joining rival channels Max and Star Gold, which are already into telecasting dubbed versions of popular Hollywood movies. However, Zee Cinema has been distancing itself from the strategy of telecasting Hollywood movies dubbed in Hindi.

As part of the programming revamp, Filmy is also increasing the footage of its wrap-around content, which includes film-based shows and spoofs. The channel's anchors Rokki, Lal Gulab, Lallan and Ruchi Reporter will now do more shows on the channel during the breaks.

The decision to up the wrap-around programming was taken on the basis of an audience study Filmy conducted after completing three months, according to Filmy marketing and content head Shailesh Kapoor.

"We have received feedback from our viewers, asking us to increase the participation of our anchors in our programming. They want to watch more of the film-based content. Accordingly, We have a new segment 'Filmy Hot Break', which will be of the duration of 60 to 90 seconds. Our anchors will be presenting various forms of content, based on the particular movie on air at that time, during these breaks. This segment comes in 21 movies a week, in each time slot of 10 am, 3 pm and 8 pm," says Kapoor.

The learnings have inspired Filmy to take a re-look at its film news programming as well. Accepting the demand for the latest film news updates, the channel has now started airing 60 second capsules of film news throughout the day, Monday to Friday. In the weekends, the channel continues telecasting its 30 minutes film news programme Aaj Ka Filmy Khabar. "The effort is to break stories and offer our viewers live updates on the happenings in the entertainment industry," reasons Kapoor.

The Filmy Short Film Festival contest, which is positioned as one of its big ideas of 2006, will start rolling from the third week of August. Filmy will be telecasting the shortlisted entries Monday to Friday and during the weekends, it will air some of the best entries handpicked by the jury head Madhur Bhandarkar. The channel will be announcing the final winner in September.

On the marketing front, Filmy is following the strategy of taking its lead anchors off air and positioning amidst the public. The channel recently associated with Rakesh Roshan for his latest release Krrish and had Lallan performing in the respective theatres. Similarly, Lallan will be doing a Shahrukh act in theatres where Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna would be releasing.

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