Indian Film Co. goes on pact spree

Company signs deal to produce 'Partner'

HONG KONG — The Indian Film Co., which last year floated on London’s Alternative Investment Market, has struck a series of production, talent and rights acquisition deals.

It has entered into a co-production deal with Abbas Mastan’s shingle Burmawala Bros. to produce “Life Partner,” which will be directed by Rumi Jaffery and star Govinda, Fardeen Khan and Tusshar Kapoor. Pic will be released in late 2009.

In a separate deal with Arshad Warsi’s Shooting Star Films TIFC has set up “I Believe in Angels” to be helmed by Kabir Kaushik and star Warsi. Pic is tentatively scheduled to release early in 2010.

Company is also financing Dev Benegal’s “Road Movie,” with helmer Benegal’s August Entertainment. Production will begin in August with delivery skedded for May 2009.

TIFC, which is backed by the TV18 group, also acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Shortkut — The Con Is On” from Anil Kapoor Film. Pic is directed by Neeraj Vohra and stars Akshaye Khanna, Warsi and Amrita Rao. The film is scheduled to release in the second half of 2009.

TIFC acquired the Indian theatrical and satellite rights for “Gajni,” which company says is Aamir Khan’s only release in 2008 and one of India’s biggest productions of the year. The Hindi remake of the blockbuster Tamil film, also called “Gajni,” is directed by A.R. Murgadoss and has music by A.R. Rahman.     

Locking in talent is becoming increasingly important to India’s big studio and distribution groups.

TIFC signed two-picture deals with Sanjay Ghadvi, helmer of  Bollywood hits “Dhoom” and “Dhoom II,” and with “Partner” helmer David Dhawan.

Deal includes a sequel to “Partner” titled “Tom and Jerry” co-produced with Sohail Khan Prods. and starring Salman Khan, Govinda and Lara Dutta.

Deals were announced as an annex to TIFC’s quarterly trading results.

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