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Sri Adhikari Bros aims to break into Bollywood with 7-8 films in 2016

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MUMBAI: Markand Adhikari and Gautam Adhikara – the promoters of Sri Adhikari Brothers – first tasted success as TV producers when they produced some of the most commercial shows on television around 15-20 years ago. Then they launched a television channel SAB, which Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment) bought over. Following that they unrolled several television channels, which have slowly been getting traction. Among these: Mastiii, MaiBoli, Dabang, Dillagi, and Dhamaal. A print magazine - Governance Now – is also under their umbrella. 

Now the company is aspiring to get a foothold in the competitive film production and distribution business and plans to unveil seven to eight films into theatres worldwide in the next year.

As match practice, it co-distributed the now-running Pyar Ka Punchnama 2 (released on 16 October) along with the Anand Pandit promoted Lotus Group, which it acquired from Viacom18 Pictures and Luv Films.

The final filming schedule of its first co-production Great Grand Mastiii  (the sequel to Grand Masti) along with Indra Kumar and Askhok Thakeria is in the process of being completed. 

Sri Adhikari Brothers vice-chairman and managing director Markand Adhikari says that the company would like to produce one or two films with big stars with the rest being medium budget ones. “Arre yaar, the masses want fun and entertainment, mazaa, and we want to give them that through our films. They already enjoy our content on television,” he says. “I understand the film business is competitive, but we are sure we can make a mark. The more the merrier.”

Adds the company’s group CEO Manav Dhanda, “The reason behind entering into film distribution is to expand our business across all media verticals and not limit access to television. A few other films, which are in the pipeline, will also be announced in due course of time.”

It is also looking at inking a few distribution deals just as it partnered with Lotus Group for Pyar Ka Punchnama 2. Each one will depend on the money involved as the film business is extremely dynamic, says Dhanda. “We are not looking at distributing any low-budget films, which will not make an impact on the viewers.”

“At SAB, it is our relentless drive to facilitate accessibility of world class entertainment to the Indian audience across media verticals. Having engaged in production already, the distribution vertical would only be a progressive component in order to complete the value chain of the cinema business,” points out Dhanda. “This umbrella corporation has housed the film exhibition division as its key drivers in 2016 and will be seeing aggressive expansion in the years to come.”

The Sri Adhikari Brothers share closed at around Rs 300 over the weekend and the company has a market capitalisation of around Rs 1,000 crore.

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