Palador settles dispute with UTV; gets funds

MUMBAI: The dispute between UTV Software Communications and Palador Pictures over the World Cinema venture has been amicably settled. With this development, UTV and Palador will venture out separately for World Cinema.


UTV will give up 75 films acquired by UTV-Palador, provided Palador pays the sum it owes UTV – Rs 40.3 million (Rs 4.03 crores), within 90 days from date of the consent decree, failing which these titles will belong to UTV.


Pertinent to note here is that home video major Shemaroo Entertainment is also planning to launch its World Cinema label soon. With this there will be three players in the World Cinema label operating in the country.


Under the joint venture UTV and Palador Pictures were planning a World Cinema DVD label and television channel under the brand name – The Olive Collection.


However, now the brand name Olive has been retained by Palador Pictures. The company has also acquired funding of $ 6 million from private investors, after a 15 per cent dilution of equity, raising the company’s valuation to $ 40 million. Palador is planning to launch its DVD label in two months’ time.


Palador Pictures managing director Gautam Shiknis says, “The fund will be used towards the development of quality content, and advancing the content that has been acquired.”


On the other hand, UTV will also be moving ahead with the launch of the World Cinema DVD label and television channel.


Speaking to, UTV Motion Pictures COO Siddharth Roy Kapur says, “The plans are on-track for the launch of the World Cinema DVD label and television channel. Plans are also afoot for theatrical exhibition of these films. We have been acquiring various movies at international film festivals for the last three-four months. Additionally, we also have the Miramax films in our kitty. We will be making an announcement in due course of time.”< Page Break >


According to an official statement from Palador Pictures regarding the dispute settlement with UTV, the following terms were consented to by both parties:


  1. The allegations made against Palador – including “material breach” and “non-performance” – that were claimed as reasons for terminating the venture by UTV, have been unconditionally withdrawn.
  2. Palador unconditionally gets back its catalogue of nearly 100 films that was being claimed by UTV with immediate effect. The films returned to Palador’s custody include some of Kurasawa’s best films: Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood and other classics by directors such as Lars Von Trier, Truffaut, Godard, Haneke, Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf etc.
  3. Palador has also committed to return all expenses incurred by UTV on the venture UTV-Palador, to secure the release of the balance films – that are being held as collateral by UTV till the time of the payment.
  4. Palador is to shortly get back the brand it had created and the brand under, which UTV-Palador was operating – “The Olive Collection.”
  5. The demand that UTV had made for Palador to stop working in the very same World Cinema movement that it heralded in India, has been unconditionally withdrawn – which means that Palador can now freely bring its new line-up which includes films from Wong Kar Wai, Kieslowski, Werner Herzog and over 30 films of Ingmar Bergman and Antonioni, who passed away last week.

Palador Pictures joint managing director and co-founder Mohan Polamar says, “It is ideally in the interest of the category that there are at least two strong players. Our fallout with UTV was on philosophical grounds and I am excited for there would be more than one house for these great directors and their films.”


Palador has in its kitty close to a 1000 World Cinema films, thus making it the largest content owner in the genre in the country. According to the official statement, the World Cinema market is estimated to reach a valuation of Rs 15 billion (Rs 1500 crores) by 2009 and compose 20 per cent of the non-Indian language movie segment in India.


The company has raised the equity of $6 million through a group of private individuals that include Mahesh Mathai, Srila Chaterjee and Simran Mulchandani (based in Mumbai) and Arun Banerjee and Vishal Aggarwal (New York based NRIs).


Palador recently acquired the rights of the Cannes Film Festival’s “60th Anniversary Prize” winner film Paranoid Park by director Gus Van Sant. The film will see a simultaneous French and Indian release in September this year, while the US release is expected during February next year. This is the first time, that a film made in the US, will see a theatrical release in India, much before its US release.


Related stories:

Shemaroo to launch world cinema label


Palador acquires Paranoid Park at Cannes


UTV severs ties with Palador for World Cinema label


UTV launches new business vertical UTV Palador