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HONG KONG — Indie distributor Palador and Indian studio group UTV will go head-to-head with the launch of rival world-cinema TV offerings.

The two were previously partners in Olive, a world cinema brand supposed to span DVD and TV.

But their relationship broke down in May. A court awarded Palador rights to 75 movies and allowed it to keep the Olive name but said that company had to reimburse UTV.

Palador began operating from Friday on the Tata Sky satellite platform as part of its Showcase pay-per-view service. Palador says it now has rights to more than 1,000 titles.

Pics to be screened in the first months include those by helmers Akira Kurosawa, Jim Jarmusch and Wong Kar Wai.

UTV aims to launch its World Movies channel at the end of the year, sourcing films from Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Germany, Finland and Africa.

“The non-Indian language movie segment is estimated to be worth 15 billion rupees ($380 million) by 2009, and the launch of World Movies is a huge initiative from UTV to tap this growing market,” said Shantonu Aditya, chief exec of UTV’s V&S Broadcasting subsid.