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Hungama Mobile, GSM Association, Roamware unveil a mobile Bollywood film initiative

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MUMBAI: Bollywood is all set to go mobile! Global roaming solutions provider Roamware, Hungama Mobile and the GSM Association have joined hands to launch a Mobile Bollywood initiative. The aim is tio create short films for the mobile. This is one way in which film lovers from across the world can sample what the Indian film industry has to offer.

The three parties have partnered with director Sanjay Gupta to premiere Bollywood short films for the mobile. The films titled Dus Kahaniyah will premiere at GSMA's 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona from 12-15 February 2007. Th event is expected to attract 60,000 executives from the mobile world. This initiative follows an initiative by Roamware in the US where it sponsors the Sundance Film Festival Short film Project. This is a JV between Roamware and the Sundance Institute.

GSM Association chairman Craig Ehrlich says,"The Sundance and Bollywood communities represent some of the most creative, vibrant and diverse talent in the movie world. In showcasing the films at Barcelona we hope to create a compelling mobile experience for mobile users across the globe. The aim of the GSM Association is to make the mobile experience go beyond text and picture messaging. India is the fourth largest mobile subscriber nase. The GSM Association represents every GSM operator in the world. "

Hungama Mobile MD and CEO Neeraj roy says, "Hungama mobile has exclusive rights to over 70 per cent of Bollywood content on the mobile and digital platforms and trhis content from India. We believe that Bollywood offers tremendous potential as a content category for carriers in over 125 countries. The revenue sharing arrangement will see around 50 per cent go to the content creator.

At the first stage we wanted established filmmakers to come on board. Later on when the mobile becomes viral we will look at offering our platform as a springboard for emerging filmmakers. Firstly we want to test the model to see if it works and makes money for everybody in the value chain."

Each story in the film runs for 10 minutes and stars established stars like Madhuri Dixit, Jimmy Shergill and Dia Mirza. Mirza notes that this represents a huge opportunity for the Indian film industry to move into the international market. This she notes comes at a time when the international market is becoming more interested in what Bollywood has to offer. Gupta thanked the three parties for providing established filmmakers with the chance to make short films.

That is something that they do not often get a chance to do. The fact that the short films have known faces will make them reach the masses that much quicker he notes. "It is exciting to be part of a move that has the potential to create a new distribution model for Bollywood. The market for short films has been given an impetus by the fact that the quality of the video experience on the mobile has improved a lot."

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