UTV eyes Telegu films; signs Mahesh Babu


    MUMBAI: After its foray into the Tamil film industry, UTV Motion Pictures has now announced its entry into the Telugu film industry and has entered into production and distribution deals in the same.

    It may be recalled that Businessofcinema.com was the first to report that UTV was mulling a foray into the Telugu film industry and was also planning a milti-film deal with Telegu actor Mahesh Babu’s production house Indira Productions.

    Now the company has signed Babu for two films, the first of which will go on the floors within the next six months. Babu’s last film Pokiri, in which he played the lead, is the highest grosser in the history of the Telugu film industry. In addition to this, UTV has also signed a deal with Indira Productions, to co-produce two films, one of which will star Mahesh Babu in the lead role.

    As has already been reported by Businessofcinema.com, the company has also acquired the Andhra Pradesh distribution rights of Telegu movie Atithi, starring Mahesh Babu and Amrita Rao for Rs 185 million (Rs 18.5 crores). The film releases in October 2007. “This is the first time a corporate from the Hindi film industry is entering the Telugu film space in such a big way,” says Krishna Productions Private Limited’s G Ramesh Babu, who is the producer of Atithi.

    “With the great work UTV has done in Hindi films we are happy to get into an agreement with them. UTV has managed to bring about a structured corporate approach to filmmaking in the past 3-4 years. Initiatives like these have helped the Hindi film industry get ‘industry’ status and the Telugu film industry is sure to gain from UTV Motion Pictures’ expertise in this area,” says Indira Productions’ Manjula and Sanjay Cota.

    UTV Motion Pictures Plc COO Siddharth Roy Kapur adds, “After our foray into the Tamil film industry with our first Tamil production due for release in September, we are happy to be making inroads into the Telegu film industry with these production, distribution and artiste deals. Mahesh Babu is one of India’s foremost superstars and our association with him, as well as our co-production venture with Indira Productions coupled with our distribution acquisition of Atithi, gives us a great launch pad in this very exciting market.”

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