Reinforcing its focus on regional entertainment, India’s fastest growing media conglomerate Viacom18’s film entertainment division Viacom18 Motion Pictures has appointed Nikhil Sane as Business Head to lead its enhanced focus on Marathi cinema. Sane will report to Ajit Andhare, COO - Viacom18 Motion Pictures.
Welcoming Sane to Viacom18, Andhare said, “Viacom18 Motion Pictures is the only studio that operates in all three – Hindi, Hollywood and regional – segments. Our success in Hindi and Hollywood is well established. Our endeavour is to make a similar impact in regional cinema. As a first step, we are going after Marathi cinema, which has tremendous potential and a clear synergy with our broadcast business. Nikhil, with his keen understanding of this market, will be an asset to spearhead our move.”
Nikhil was previously managing the Marathi Film division of Zee Studios. Nikhil’s producer credits have some of the Marathi industry’s most commercially successful films which include the biggest box office grosser in Marathi cinema ever - Sairat. The other prominent films include Natsamrat, Lai Bhaari, Time Pass, Katyar Kaljat Ghusli and Duniyadari, besides critically acclaimed award winning films such as Natarang, Fandry, Killa and Elizabeth Ekadashi. During his career spanning 18 years, Nikhil has contributed immensely to the remarkable growth of the Marathi entertainment genre by bringing about innovative content that has carved a niche for Marathi TV and cinema in the regional space.
Speaking about this new role, Sane said, “The Marathi film industry is going through an amazing phase of resurgence and evolution. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best talent from the industry. With Viacom18 Motion Pictures, I intend to combine the strength of the organisation’s experience in the Hindi and English film industries with the remarkable strength of the Marathi film industry in story telling and experimentation. I look forward to chanelising my best efforts and strengths into creating the next big leap in Marathi cinema.”
Viacom18 Motion Pictures has steered focus on regional markets such as Marathi aggressively. Conducive factors such as zero entertainment tax, exhibition window mandated by the government, the presence of large general entertainment channels and movie channels, controlled cost of production and an audience base that is keen to consume regional cinema makes Marathi cinema an excellent growth potential area.