Television

Zee forays into Marathi feature film production

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MUMBAI: Zee Network's chairman Subhash Chandra has announced its foray into Marathi feature films, by which the network will provide the financial backing to produce, market and distribute the movies in India and Internationally.

"After the making of the film, the responsibility of its marketing, distribution, telecast etc (for Indian and overseas territories) shall be the responsibility of the Zee Group," added Chandra.

Zee executive vice president regional channels Nitin Vaidya told Indiantelevision.com that the network will attempt to raise the bar for financial investments in Marathi movies, by about 50 per cent depending upon the content requirements and production elements. The normal monies pumped in towards Marathi films varies between Rs 50,000,000 - 60,000,000.

As a start up, the network has commissioned five production houses, namely Mahesh Manjrekar's Ashvami Films, Gautam Joglekar's SOC, Shrirang Godbole's Indian Magic Eye, Smita Talwalkar's Asmita Chitra and Rakesh Sarang's Cams Club. In the next two years, these producers are to present the network with 15 Marathi films, three films each. Zee is also looking to tie-up with other production houses for the same.

"With almost 60 -70 Marathi films produced this fiscal, we saw the strength of this market and decided to develop a business process to boost Marathi cinema," added Vaidya.

Chandra announced the latest Marathi film venture at the 8th Annual Parachute Jasmine Zee Gaurav Awards, where he also announced the launch of Zee 24 Hours, the first dedicated Marathi news channel.

The Zee Gaurav Awards recognizes excellence in the Marathi film and theatre industry across 18 categories in films, 12 categories in commercial plays and five categories in experimental plays.

This year in the films category Mission Champion bagged six awards for the best film, direction, story, screenplay, dialogue and child artist. In drama, Makdachya Hati Shampaign won five awards for music, script, actor, director and best drama, informs an official release.

Zee Marathi also felicitated legendary actor Dr Shreeram Lagu and veteran music director Datta Davjekar for the lifetime achievement award - Zee Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar. While the Mee Marathi Award was given to Lage Raho Munnabhai lyrist Swanand Kirkire by Bollywood's director Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

The Zee Gaurav Awards will be telecast on Zee Marathi on 10 February at 7.30 pm.

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