Shree Ashtavinayak to pump Rs 9 bn in films; goes regional

MUMBAI: Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. will be investing a corpus of approximately Rs 9 billion (Rs 900 crores) in the production of 20 films over the next three years.

The company has tied up with Sanjay Dutt Productions to co-produce a movie. Additionally, it will also co-produce Himesh Reshammiya starrer Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekh. What’s more… the company has charted out its regional foray plans by venturing into production of Tamil and Telugu films.

Speaking to Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision managing director Dhilin Mehta says, "Production of movies has become a key segment for Shree Ashtavinayak. Earlier we produced one or two movies in a year, but going forward we will deliver more films as this will bring returns to our investors and shareholders. Our strategy still remains to deliver more and better quality entertainment to the audience, which has become a necessity nowadays. The company has multiple releases lined up of over Rs 900 crores, which can be universally accepted by the people of all genres."

The first film to release will be Shivam Nair’s suspense thriller Maharathi based on Paresh Rawal’s Gujarati play. The film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Boman Iraani, Paresh Rawal, Tara Sharma and Neha Dhupia.

This will be followed by Kidnap by Sanjay Gadhvi, an action thriller which will feature Sanjay Dutt, Minnisha Lamba, Vidya Malvade, Rahul Dev and Imran Khan. The sequel to Golmaal, Golmaal Returns will see a Diwali release. The film stars Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Kareena Kapoor, Celina Jaitley, Amrita Arora and Anjana Sukhani and is directed by Rohit Shetty. The worldwide rights of both these films have been acquired by The Indian Film Company- Studio 18.

Neeraj Vora has signed two films with Shree Astavinayak – a comic film Run Bhola Run stars Govinda, Tusshar Kapoor, Tanushree Dutta and Amisha Patel and One Way Ticket starring Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and two actresses.

The action film, Blue, which has underwater stunts and never seen before action sequences, stars Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Katrina Kaif and Zayed Khan. The film is being shot in Bangkok and the Bahamas by debutant director Anthony D’Souza. D’souza is also directing a film titled Bond starring Sanjay Dutt and two other heroes, which Shree Ashtavinayak is co-producing with Sanjay Dutt Productions.

Next on the anvil is Luck, an action flick from Soham Shah that will see the debut of Shruti Hassan (daughter of Kamal Hassan) who will star alongside Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan, Danny Denzongpa, and Ravi Kisshen with Mithun Chakraborthy.

Other ongoing exciting projects include a co-production with Shri Jagganaath Entertainment, Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekh, a musical love story, which stars Himesh Reshammiya, Niharika Singh and Jennifer Kotwal, and is directed by Seema and Sudhir.

Shree Ashtavinayak has also signed director Rummi Jaffery to direct a film starring John Abraham and Kareena Kapoor and director Vivek Sharma for a film with Govinda and another hero with two more heroines, which are yet to be finalized.

Rohit Shetty will cast Ajay Devgan once again and another hero and two heroines in an action comedy. Imtiaz Ali will also be rolling out his next film with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. starring Akshay Kumar in the lead.

The company is also planning four releases in Tamil and Telugu categories. The scripts are yet to be finalized.

The distribution rights of all the above mentioned films will either be pre-sold or retained depending upon the way the movie shapes up. Even as production has taken center stage in the company, the company will continue to acquire potentially good movies for distribution, especially for Bombay territory, says Mehta.

In addition to this, the company has also signed additional films with directors like Priyadarshan, Aneez Bazmee, David Dhawan, Abbas Mustan, Vikram Singh, Rohit Shetty, Neeraj Vora and Rohit Jugraj.