LONDON — Billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment has signed a 50:50 joint venture with Phantom Films, a production house backed by filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena.
The joint venture will develop and produce five to six films every year, distribute them in India and internationally and also syndicate rights from their combined 175-film library. The venture will be managed by Phantom.
Reliance Entertainment has not had an easy time of it at the Bollywood box office with Hindi releases “Hawaizaada” and “Besharam” failing. In February, CEO Sanjeev Lamba revealed that the company was going on a hiatus in order to regroup and come up with a new strategy.
Phantom had box office successes in 2014 with “Queen” and “Hasee Toh Phasee.” Upcoming releases include “NH10,” “Bombay Velvet,” “Shaandaar” and “Ghoomketu.”
Reliance group managing director Amitabh Jhunjhunwala said in a statement: “We are delighted to partner with such creative and talented individuals as Anurag, Madhu, Vikas and Vikramaditya, who have an enviable track record of creating great cinema. This partnership is in line with our evolving strategy in the media and entertainment business of aligning with like-minded people who are trailblazers in their own field, and playing the role of supportive investors on our part.”
“This deal opens our windows to international opportunities and talent. We hope to optimize on this opportunity, take Indian cinema international and also attract excellent talent into the country,” Kashyap added.
The deal will give Phantom access to the Reliance MediaWorks-Prime Focus studio and post-production facilities and Reliance Entertainment and Stuart Ford’s IM Global, an entertainment company with footprints in North America, the U.K., Europe, Asia Pacific, China and Latin America.