Anil Ambani meets Spielberg; to invest $825 million in films

    Anil Ambani meets Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Stacey Snider in LA
    Anil Ambani meets Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Stacey Snider in LA

    MUMBAI: Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group chairman Anil Ambani met with DreamWorks Studios partners Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in New York today.

    Upon the first closing expected shortly, there will be an initial corpus of $825 million available for film production. This initial phase of funding will include an equity investment of $325 million from Reliance ADAG, $350 million debt financing from a syndication of banks, as well as funding from Disney to the tune of $150 million.

    With this financing, DreamWorks will eventually make five – six films per year. Earlier this year, DreamWorks signed a distribution deal with Walt Disney, which will handle marketing and distribution of the studio’s films around the world, except for India where Reliance BIG Entertainment will retain distribution rights.

    DreamWorks is looking at starting its first film for the new studio later this year and has been actively acquiring properties and developing projects for release in 2010.

    In addition, DreamWorks acquired numerous projects from Paramount on the separation from that studio earlier this year. An announcement of the initial films to go before the cameras will be made at a later date.

    "This venture with Reliance opens a new door to our future. Their visionary step has given us a new set of dreams to work toward. Stacey and I thank them for their faith in us and their faith in the movie business," said Spielberg.

    "All of us at DreamWorks Studios join with our Reliance partners in anticipating the financial closing. We also welcome the opportunity and freedom they have given us to make the films we want to make. We always want to aim for appeal and quality whether it be for a highly commercial concept or an artistic achievement," added Snider.

    Ambani said, "We are delighted to partner with such uniquely talented individuals as Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider. Ever since we looked at their business plan, I never doubted that we would succeed in providing them with the financial muscle required to realize their dreams."

    DreamWorks’ films that are under development include 39 Clues; Cowboys and Aliens, which is co-financed along with Universal Studios; Dinner For Schmucks, which has been co-produced by Paramount, DreamWorks and Spyglass and will be directed by Jay Roach; Motorcade directed by Len Wiseman and Hereafter written by Oscar nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan.