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India’s up to ‘Monkey’ business

NDTV to bow Turkish family drama

Indian distributor NDTV Lumiere will bow Turkish family drama “Three Monkeys” Friday in selected big city cinemas.

Outing will be the first commercial release for the pic, which preemed in competition in Cannes and earned Nuri Bilge Ceylan the kudo for direction. Pic has also unspooled at Karlovy Vary and Toronto fests, but is not skedded for a commercial release in its native Turkey until Oct. 24.

The theatrical release of an imported arthouse pic like “Monkeys” underlines the growing competition within India to show world cinema movies. It also underlines how companies from the previously inward-looking country are becoming increasingly involved as licensees on the international festival and market circuit.

NDTV Lumiere, headed by Manmohan Shetty, previously founder of Adlabs, and Sunil Doshi, film activist and producer, is backed by broadcast news group New Delhi Television and its year-old entertainment arm NDTV Imagine. Unit operates a movie channel and is expanding into theatrical releasing, homevideo and pay-per-view. Rivals with a similar world movies axis include UTV’s Bindaas Movies and Palador.

Between them, the Indian groups are believed to have acquired more than 1,000 foreign movies in the run up to the launch of the new channels — mostly library titles. Now they are supplementing those with acquisitions of current pics.

“Monkeys” will be screened with English subtitles, will release in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore following a deal with multiplex owner PVR Cinemas.

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