Zee steps up on movie business; buys OSO rights


    MUMBAI: The company tasted unprecedented success with the Sunny Deol starrer Gadar in 2001. The movie went on to become the highest grossers of all time in the Indian film industry. However, Zee Telefilms, which produced the movie, did not pursue its filmy aspirations beyond that. A one off came in the form of Bhagmati, which fared miserably at the box office.

    Cut to the present. With all the corporate moolah flowing in into the filmed entertainment space, Subhash Chandra’s Zee Telefilms is now planning to revive its film production plans in a big way.
    Sources close to the development inform Businessofcinema.com that Zee is planning to step up on movie production with the intent of producing approximately 12 films annually.

    “Zee Telefilms has already signed Satish Kaushik and three other debutant directors,” says the source.

    Sources also inform that besides Hindi films, the company is also looking at producing films in variuos regional languages.

    Apart from the plans on the production front, the company’s movie channel Zee Cinema is also getting aggressive.

    At a time when Sony Entertainment Television’s movie channel MAX has the latest Yash Raj Films’ satellite rights in its kitty apart from others hits of the year, Zee Cinema has managed a coup of sorts by inking a deal with Eros International for satellite rights’ acquisitions. Amongst others, this also includes the biggest blockbuster of the year Om Shanti Om starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.

    Confirming the same to Businessofcinema.com, Zee’s Jayantilal Gada says, “Yes we have acquired a few films from Eros, but I cannot share the movie titles with you currently,” Gada said.

    Apart from the deal with Eros, Zee has also acquired the rights of recent releases like Dhamaal, Dhol, Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar, Manorama – Six Feet Under, Raqeeb and Yatra. The satellite broadcasting rights of these films have been acquired for the worldwide region for a period of five years. It includes Free TV, Pay TV, Pay per View and DTH Rights.