B4U forays into film distribution, plans production
MUMBAI: B4U Television Network, which owns and operates a movie and a music channel, is venturing into the film production and distribution business at a time when the industry is on a cost-correction course.
As a major chunk of the film producers have decided to withhold their new releases on multiplexes, B4U has decided to step in with its maiden distribution product. Ek Se Bure Do, a small budget film, will find way into the theatres tomorrow with Filmland Entertainments entering into a commercial arrangement with B4U.
Says B4U Television Network India CFO Vijay Thakkar, "Yes, this is just the stepping stone.To embark on a big journey, one has to start with a few small steps."
Was the network taking the release of Ek Se Bure Do as a chance to get into the distribution sector? "To a certain extent yes, but most importantly we take this as a perfect juncture to diversify our activities," says Thakkar.
B4U plans to distribute 8-10 Hindi films a year, but the scale up will be done very cautiously. "We are in plans to expand this business and, for a start, are currently talking to a couple of filmmakers. If all goes well, we will release these films in June-July," says Thakkar.
B4U will also get into Hindi film production during the course of the year. "We have lined up 2-3 movies. We are looking at producing small-budget films. The plan is to add one more activity into the company. In any case, we have to source content for our movie channel," says Thakkar.
B4U, which has been low on acquiring movie telecast rights for India, purchased 300 films last year. "Some of the titles included new movies like Victoria No. 203 and Anamika."
B4U has been struggling with its two channels in India and has made no major investments to beef up content or distribution in the marketplace. The network‘s overseas operations, however, have been on course.