Majors want a piece of Bollywood

'Jhankar' helps Fox find Hindi auds

CALCUTTA — Hollywood majors have become increasingly interested in grabbing a piece of the Bollywood boom. Fox is following Columbia TriStar’s lead and has picked up its first all-Hindi film, “Jhankar Beats.”

“Jhankar Beats” is produced by Bombay-headquartered movie production company Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC).

“We had earlier distributed Indian English-language films like ‘Split Wide Open’ and ‘English August,'” says Aditya Shastri, Fox’s managing director in India. “The studio had also released ‘Bollywood Calling’ which was an English film with parts of the script in Hindi. ‘Jhankar Beats’ is our first full-scale foray into the Hindi movie market.”

Shastri says Fox has been looking at the Hindi market for a long time and thinks this is the best time to enter the scene. Audiences have become more discriminating, he says, accepting only higher quality product, with even some big star vehicles tanking recently.

Siddharth Das, PNC’s chief exec, says the shingle, which plans to produce five or six films a year, is in talks to release its next two films, “Mumbai Matinee” and “Hazaro Khwaishein Aisi,” via the Fox setup. ” ‘Bollywood Calling’ was also our production, and releasing it through Fox was a mutually beneficial experience,” Das says.

Fox’s Hindi outing took off in June with about 40-45 prints of “Jhankar” to start.

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