Magazine article Variety

Bollywood Goes SOUTH

Magazine article Variety

Bollywood Goes SOUTH

Article excerpt

Indian majors help Hollywood mine lucrative markets beyond Hindi-language pics

The Mumbai-based Indian majors are heading south along with their Hollywood partners, looking to cash in on the lucrative South Indian film market and expanding their reach beyond Hindi-language Bollywood.

In 2012, the Indian film industry was worth $1.8 billion, according to a 2013 report by accounting firm KPMG. A Deloitte report pegged the South Indian industry, comprising films in the Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam languages, at $428 million. That report forecast the South Indian film industry's 2013-14 growth rate at 12%.

Besides Hindi, Hollywood blockbusters released in the South are routinely dubbed into Tamil and Telugu.

UTV Motion Pictures, the film production arm of Disney UTV, was one of the first majors to produce a Tamil-language film - 2007's "Kannamoochi yenada," co-produced with Radaan Mediaworks, a Tamil powerhouse run by multihyphenate Raadhika Sarathkumar.

"The depth and richness of non-Bollywood cinema remains unquestioned," says G. Dhananjayan, studios chief of south business for Disney UTV Motion Pictures. "Our commitment to making movies in the regional space is a testament of the confidence (we have) in the potential of great movies in languages other than Hindi."

Dhananjayan notes Disney UTV is excited about the ability of the region to produce films quickly - from script to screen, between six and 12 months - as well as to deliver manageable marketing and distribution costs and remake opportunities in other languages.

Another Indian giant, Reliance Entertainment, partner in DreamWorks, has produced four Tamil pics, six in Telugu and one each in Kannada and Malayalam. Viacom's Viacom 18 is entering the southern space with Tamil and Telugu remakes of 2012 Hindi hit "Kahaani," and indie giant Yash Raj Films is readying Tamil and Telugu remakes of Hindi hit "Band baaja baaraat. …

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