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Disney goes Bollywood

Co. to distribute 'Taare' via homevideo network

In what is thought to be the first deal of its kind, Walt Disney will distribute a major Bollywood title across its homevideo network.

Mouse House has acquired rights in North America, the U.K. and Australia to helmer Aamir Khan’s hit “Taare zameen par,” from UTV Motion Pictures.

Story concerns the relationship between a teacher, who breaks the rules to connect with his pupils, and an 8-year-old boy, who lives in an imaginary world of his own.

Local media sources report that Disney paid 70 million rupees ($1.68 million) for the rights.

UTV handled the rights in certain Indian territories and is looking to license them within India, too.

Khan is expected to provide special commentary, behind-the-scenes footage and storyboard illustrations for the homevid release.

Disney has a close relationship with the UTV group. It bought UTV’s kids channel Hungama and in February paid $200 million to lift its stake in parent company UTV Software Communications from 14% to 33% and a further $30 million to buy a 15% stake in UTV Global Broadcasting.

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