All the three films, scheduled to go on the floors within the next
three months, are to be released 18 months from now. Project specifics
would be detailed only by January 2004, Screwvala said. UTV, which
currently has the under production Lakshya and Swades
in its kitty, has undertaken full production responsibility from
concept to execution and release. Star is expected to provide cross
marketing media muscle to the enterprise to promote the movies in
India and abroad.
In return, Star would get the satellite telecast rights, worldwide
in perpetuity, while UTV gets the theatrical and home video rights.
The films will be aired on television one year after the theatrical
release, Screwvala says.
The UTV CEO, meanwhile, maintains that the deal is a step towards
corporatisation of the fragmented movie industry in the country
and that it signifies that feature films are indeed the 'business
of the future'. The feature film division of UTV would not go beyond
constituting 20 per cent of UTV's total business that comprises
television software production and animation along with movie production.
UTV has been dabbling in feature film production for the last four
years and has had a better track record than other TV software production
houses, which have met with little success on the big screen.
Screwvala claims to have had 11 hits out of a total of 14 releases,
the latest being the Shah Rukh Khan - Rani Mukherjee starrer Chalte
Chalte. While Lagaan, Fiza, Mission Kashmir and Sarfarosh
have been some of the other success stories, the company is currently
keeping its fingers crossed for Lakshya and Swades
- both pegged at Rs 300 million each.
While Lakshya, a joint production with director Farhan Akhtar's
Excel entertainment, shot in Ladakh, is nearly 90 per cent complete
and awaiting a mid 2004 release, Swades, a co production
with Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowarikar will roll only in
November this year and is scheduled to be released by the tail end
of 2004. All these ventures of UTV have had varied co - production
The deal with Star however, is not exclusive, enabling UTV to go
in for similar arrangements with other media partners.