WB sets ‘Saas’ for local distribution

Indian feature set for release on Sept. 12

HONG KONG — Warner Bros. has set “Saas bahu aur Sensex” as its first Indian movie for local distribution. The urban comedy about housewife day traders (Sensex is a share index relating to the Bombay Stock Exchange) and other unlikely stock market investors is set for release Sept. 12.

Warner last year announced production of big-budget pic “Chandni Chowk to China” (“Made in China” ) in a deal with Ramesh Sippy Prods. and Orion Pictures. That film will be released during the Diwali holiday period in October.

“Saas bahu aur Sensex” is produced by PLA Entertainment and was helmed by Shona Urvashi (“Chupke se”). It stars vets Kirron Kher, Lillette Dubey and Farooq Shaikh alongside relative newcomers Ankur Khanna, Tanushree Dutta and Masumeh Makhija.

“We see (‘Saas bahu aur Sensex’) as a movie with broad-based appeal from teens to adults to families,” said Neeraj Goswami, director of national sales, Warner Bros. Pictures India.

Warner is expanding its range of approaches to India’s movie market.

The studio has also backed Pro-Motion Pictures’ “SRK” but has disclosed few details of its release and marketing strategy. Pic, another niche comedy that is also in post, is helmed by tyro director Ajoy Verma and stars Vinay Pathak and Rituparna Sengupta.

Earlier this month the U.S. studio announced that it had pacted with Chennai-based Ocher Studios to make films in regional languages (Ocher is a visual-effects company run by Tamil superstar Rajnikanth’s daughter that’s now expanding into production). Titles and schedules were not disclosed, but the companies said they will produce in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

“Made in China” is helmed by Nikhil Advani and features Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as a lowly Mumbai cook who is mistaken for a martial arts hero. Pic also stars Deepika Padukone, who debuted opposite Shah Rukh Khan in smash hit “Om Shanti Om.”

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