Viacom18 Motion Pictures has announced its advent into the regional cinema space. This move comes in the light of the brand’s vision to be a pan India studio and hence, reach out to the audiences who consume cinema in varied regional languages.
Jayesh Muzumdar, who is currently Director – Commercial Affairs, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, will now also be heading the Regional Films Business, reporting in to the COO.
Speaking on this development, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 said, “Foraying into regional cinema is in line with our vision for Viacom18 to have a strong presence in the regional entertainment space – both television and films. Geographic and linguistic segmentation is a key component of our growth strategy as we move ahead, and the good news is that we’ve already firmed our plans in five key regional markets.”
He further added, “Over the last two years, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has redefined the rules of Hindi cinema, making critically acclaimed films that were commercial successes as well. As we move in to other languages, we hope to replicate our model and success in those markets as well.”
In its inception stage, the studio’s regional division has a pipeline of six movies across Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali. The Tamil and Telugu titles include the remake of the studio’s 2012 hit Kahaani. The remake will be directed by Shekhar Kammula and stars superstar Nayanthara. The Marathi movies include the sequel to the popular hit Zapatlela, which would make it Marathi cinema’s first sequel and 3D film; 72 Miles – a movie based on the commercially successful novel of the same name and directed by the award-winning director, Rajiv Patil; last but not the least, Kumari Gangubai Non-Matric that brings a loved TV character on the big screen for the first time.
Bhitu – creatively produced by Neeraj Pandey and starring the Bengali superstar Jeet and Reunion (working title) – creatively produced by Sujoy Ghosh are the movies lined up in Bengali. Lastly, Bhajji in Problem is a Punjabi film featuring Punjabi superstar Gippy Grewal and directed by Smeet Kang, who has to his credit Punjabi cinema’s hit to date – Carry on Jatta. This film will also feature Harbhajan Singh (cricketer), Honey Singh and Akshay Kumar (in a cameo) as part of the cast.
On this latest move, Vikram Malhotra, COO of Viacom18 Motion Pictures commented, “We are now firmly on the path of our ambition to be a pan-India movie studio. With incremental growth coming from regional markets, Viacom18 Motion Pictures will now extend its understanding of path-breaking content and innovative marketing skills to connect with regional audiences. Our partnership with best-in-class talent across languages underscores the trust and belief that our creative partners put behind our studio.”