MUMBAI: Network 18, the holding company of the TV 18 Group, has launched its motion picture division – Studio 18.
The business spectrum of the company will involve acquisition, production, syndication and distribution of full-length feature films. Based in Mumbai, Studio 18 will have distribution offices in London and New York.
According to an official release, Studio 18 will be a new age motion picture company that believes in the growth potential of the Indian motion picture business. One of the key strengths of the company is its highly experienced team led by Sandeep Bhargava, who joined from Sahara One Motion Pictures.
The marketing function will be headed by Priti Shahani. Additionally, she will also be heading the syndication and Distribution business for the company.
UTV vice-president international distribution and syndication Ashoka Holla has been roped in to head the international distribution and acquisitions for the company. He will also be responsible for launching and driving the Home Video label for Studio 18. Businessofcinema.com was the first to report that Holla has quit UTV and was likely to join TV18’s film division.
Chitra Subramanian, who has been instrumental in developing and producing several movies like Hanuman, Malamaal Weekly and Corporate, will head the production division of Studio 18. She has in the past worked closely with filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Priyadarshan, Nagesh Kukunoor and Madhur Bhandarkar.
Deepti Chawla will head the creative function. She comes with a background in advertising and film-making and can be credited for effective packaging of films like Hanuman, Malamaal Weekly and Corporate.
Sibashish Sarkar has been appointed as CFO. He has spent 13 years across various FMCG and other industries, working with organizations like Godrej Sara Lee, Shaw Wallace and Hindustan Cables. The last three years have seen Sarkar in entertainment companies like UTV and Percept Picture Company where he played a role in financial restructuring and has been instrumental in setting systems and processes for the business.
Vandana Malik and Sanjay Ray Chadhuri, both founding shareholder-directors of The TV18 Group, will act as creative advisors for Studio 18.
TV 18 Group managing director Raghav Bahl said, “We are excited about our entry into IndiaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s dynamic entertainment industry. Studio 18 is a key component in our strategy to transform Network 18 into a full-play media conglomerate, with a leadership position in motion pictures, news broadcasting and Internet portals.”
UTV’s intl. division head Ashoka Holla quits