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Channel war heats up in Kerala with the entry of megastars

18-September-2001
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Channel war heats up in Kerala with the entry of megastars

With the entry of Malayalam megastars Mammooty and Mohanlal in the TV channel business, Kerala is witnessing channel war it has never seen before. With Mohanlal’s entry through his venture Visual Magic Pvt. Ltd. in the TV channel business, both actors are now competing for eyeballs for their small screen ventures. While Mammooty is the chairman of Malayalam Communications Ltd., which runs the Kairali channel, Mohanlal’s Visual Magic has tied up with Asianet.

Mohanlal floated his new venture, Visual Magic Pvt. Ltd., which entered into a strategic alliance with Asianet Communications Ltd. headed by NRI entrepreneur Reji Menon. As the first project of the Visual Magic-Asianet combine, a full-fledged feature film in Malayalam for children is on the cards with Mohanlal in the lead role. The film will be dubbed into several other Indian languages.

Visual Magic, in association with Asianet, will be taking up more innovative media projects in due course. Also, there is a proposal to focus on the Internet and host Websites for children with video-streaming facilities using state-of-the-art technology. The Visual-Magic-Asianet combine is, meanwhile, looking for a foreign tie-up too. Discussions are on with numtv.com, which has a strong presence in Europe and US.

Based on the popular collection of legends in Malayalam, Iytheehyamala by Kottarathil Sankunni, a five-episode TV serial is also being planned, with five leading directors in Malayalam cinema directing one episode each.

Visual Magic is also looking at production of animation films and the making DVDs on classics like Karnabharam, the Sanskrit play conceived and directed by Kavalam Narayan Panicker starring Mohanlal. The play was recently enacted in Delhi and was the first stage performance by Mohanlal, ever since he took to acting in films.

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