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Indian Cinema

The Indian Film Industry

The last few years have seen considerable changes in the Indian film industry and the Indian ‘filmed entertainment’ market.

The biggest innovation has been the emergence of a group of Indian media corporations, each of which has adopted a policy of developing a ‘pan-Indian’ and international presence across a range of film-related activities. Previously, companies tended to concentrate on one major market (usually Bollywood) and one or two sectors such as production or distribution, film or DVD. Now, each of the following corporations has at least announced an intention to become involved in production and distribution of films from more than one Indian language cinema. Each corporation also has interests in either film exhibition or DVD distribution as well as links to new media and television and/or music. In addition each corporation is looking to consolidate its presence overseas in both traditional and new markets for Indian filmed entertainment. Inevitably this means a number of co-production and distribution deals with Hollywood majors. In a bullish market, despite world-wide economic recession, each of these corporations promotes itself as the biggest this or that in India. One of our aims on the blog will be to try to follow what these corporations get up to and how they are influencing the changes in India’s film environment.

UMP (UTV Motion Pictures) – part of UTV Media

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This group has been one of the most prominent in developing partnerships with Hollywood companies as well as seeing opportunities in relationships with independent companies. It helped produce and distribute Mira Nair’s The Namesake in India and supports Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment. UMP was the first Indian company to announce that it had set up  a ‘Western-style’ studio production system  in 2007 and an Indian-wide distribution system. The company has long-term deals with both Disney and Fox Searchlight and has started a second production brand, UTV Spotboy for projects outside Bollywood. It has also recently introduced a ‘World Cinema’ channel on Indian television.

Yash Raj Films

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The company headed by veteran Hindi Cinema producer Yash Chopra (a leading figure in Hindi film since the 1960s) has developed from a production company formed in 1973 into a fully-fledged studio operation with distribution in India and worldwide in both film and DVD and also in music. Yash Raj and Eros have competed for top spot in NRI markets in the UK and the US since the 1990s.

Eros Entertainment – part of Eros International

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Alongside Yash Raj, Eros is another company with a long history in distribution and has been especially important in distributing Hindi Cinema outside India in Europe and North America since the 1970s. In 2008, Ayngaran, the principal distributor of Tamil films outside India, became part of Eros International, increasing the spread of Eros’ operations significantly.

Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd. (RBEL)

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Part of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and also trading as Adlabs, this company derives from the empire built up by Dhirubhai Ambani, starting from textiles and growing to encompass many of India’s major industrial sectors

Moser Baer Entertainment

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Part of Moser Baer India Ltd, a global technology company that only moved into filmed entertainment in 2006. As the ‘second biggest manufacturer of optical media in the world, the company has attempted to establish itself as the No 1 provider of DVD and VCD filmed entertainment in India with low-cost disks in every Indian language – with up to 10,000 titles planned for release. The company is now also involved in film production.

Pyramid Saimira Group

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This Chennai-based group is involved in every aspect of filmed entertainment, including cinema exhibition, catering, music etc. It is involved in production and has a presence in five overseas markets as well as India (China, US, UK, Malaysia and Singapore).

If we’ve missed out an important company, let us know.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “The Indian Film Industry

  1. An upcoming Indian film titled ‘Blue’ and featuring an ensemble cast including Akshay Kumar is being touted as the most expensive Indian of all time. It has been produced by a new corporation ‘Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shree_Ashtavinayak_Cine_Vision_Ltd) which is involved in both production and distribution. They have had a string of recent successes with formulaic high concept Bollywood films and though it is not as significant as the key ones you have listed above, it is still a so called player in the market now. It seems as though from their filmography that they tend to deal with the comedy genre. It will be interesting to see how long they last. I think UTV stands head and shoulders above the rest of the corporations – it has been quick to understand the need for appealing to niche audiences by establishing separate divisions – something akin to Miramax and its attempts to diversify into other genres with ‘Dimension’.

    Posted by omar ahmed | August 25, 2009, 13:16
    • Thanks Omar, that’s very helpful. I’ve heard of some of the company’s titles, but I hadn’t registered it as a major player. I’ve checked the website and it’s very interesting. The company was founded as recently as 2001 and it certainly ‘talks the talk’, especially on the downloadable PPT ‘company profile’. It seems like a modern corporation in filmed entertainment, but as yet it seems to be confined to Hindi Cinema and to only be engaged in film production/distribution/exhibition in India. It suggests that its revenues come from ‘rights sales’, so its status is similar to that of independent production companies in the US.

      I think the other companies in the blog post are active in several entertainment industries and they all seem to be committed to production across several languages and to overseas operations, rather than simply sales. But ‘SACV’ is clearly a name to watch.

      Posted by venicelion | August 25, 2009, 14:24
  2. This the first time I visit this blog. But this blog looks nice, with technical information.
    Keep writing and success always.
    Regards

    Posted by industry | September 3, 2009, 21:13
  3. Dear Sir , the web site is very useful to movie lovers. Incidentally I am seeking a donor for publishing my feelings on saving of River Water, Rain Water as an author of Inter Linkage of Indian Rivers. a Bhagiratha effort. Cement Producers associations are requested in this regard. However Indian Film Producers association may also extend a helping hand to bring about my efforts to the notice of the Nation the jaint project shall be at least some day the Indian Govt shall pay attention. a kind reply may be sent to my E.Mail. I shall knock the doors of Ambanies, Tata also. to brig about the Report to Light. But I shall-not knock the doors of Press media.

    Posted by Y.Prabhakar Rao | December 12, 2010, 19:36

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