Studio 18 gears up for first Bollywood release

MUMBAI: TV18 group's film division, Studio 18, is gearing up to make its first foray into Bollywood. It will be releasing Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar's romantic comedy Honeymoon Travels Private Limited on 23 February The movie directed by Reema Kagti is will be released worldwide with 50 prints.

In the pipeline are six other releases namely Raaj Kumar Santoshi's Halla Bol starring Ajay Devgan and Vidya Balan and Kya Love Story Hain from VR Entertainment starring Tusshar Kapoor and Ayesha Takia.

Studio 18 was set up last year by Raghav Bahl, along with Sandeep Bhargava, the former head of Sahara Motion Pictures. Since then it has roped in the likes of Ashoka Holla, Tanuj Garg and Gayatri Batra.

Talking about the appointments Bhargava says, "The three have had experience in releasing some of the biggest money-spinners overseas including experience in syndication, festivals, new market development and exploitation of emerging media."

The international division, with offices in the US and UK, will market and distribute in-house productions and external acquisitions in foreign markets.

Adds Holla, "The focus will also be on broadening the appetite of the overseas audience by being first-movers in presenting an alternate menu to them. This division of Studio 18 intends to assemble a diverse slate - that is mainstream Bollywood features of viable sizes, genres and set-ups and exploit them through a bouquet of available rights to the maximum."

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