MUMBAI: Twentieth Century Fox and Star India have formally announced their movie joint venture called Fox Star Studios. The new entity will produce local-language films in Asia for worldwide distribution. The joint venture will make its first foray in India and soon expand into other markets including Greater China and South East Asia.
Fox Star Studios India will be headed by Star India president, strategy and corporate development Vijay Singh as its CEO. The studio will produce Bollywood (Hindi) and Indian regional language films. It will also build a national theatrical distribution footprint and enhanced capabilities in the home entertainment and digital media platforms in India while also leveraging Fox Theatrical Network’s global distribution strength across 44 countries worldwide.
Singh said, “We are very excited about building on our relationships in Bollywood and making films, which reflect the changing India. We are in discussion for producing not only traditional Bollywood films but also innovating and targeting emerging genres. Our vision is to become a one-stop shop that encompasses film acquisition, development, marketing, production and distribution in India.”
Additionally, as was first reported by Businessofcinema.com, Fox Star Studios has appointed Vivek Krishnani as the head of distribution, marketing and syndication.
Last month Star India broke its ties with Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms in India and is looking for buyers for its 25.99 per cent stake in the company. Balaji Telefilms’ subsidiary company Balaji Motion Pictures is actively involved in film production.
Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman Jim Gianopoulos added, “The Fox-Star joint venture is a great opportunity for us to create a strong presence in the Asian film industry and to extend the relationship across the region. The infrastructure provided by Twentieth Century Fox, along with Star’s unmatched broadcasting and marketing network, gives Fox Star Studios a distinctive edge in the business of film production and distribution. We at Fox are looking ahead to very exciting times with Star for our business in that region.”
Star CEO Paul Aiello added, “The formation of Fox Star Studios marks a new milestone for Star’s expansion into the business of filmed entertainment beyond television broadcasting and underscores our growing confidence in the marketplace, as well as our long-term commitment to the film industry in Asia. The combination of both of our companies’ resources and expertise will surely help bring greater entertainment options for movie lovers across the globe.”
Star India CEO Uday Shankar said, “This joint venture will complete the missing piece in Star India’s entertainment portfolio. With our track record of creating compelling family entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox’s legendary expertise in filmmaking and distribution, this initiative promises to redefine the film viewing experience for the people of India, as well as to create higher level skill sets in film production, marketing and distribution for the industry. With 18 channels in our bouquet, we can add unique value in marketing the movies made by Fox Star Studios India.”
Sydney–based Fox Theatrical VP Asia/Pacific Sunder Kimatrai added, “While the Indian JV will focus on local production it will also allow us to expand the reach in India of our Hollywood product. In India and beyond our venture with Star will leverage our outstanding relationships with exhibition and marketing partners and allow us to grow our distribution businesses.”