Jodhaa Akbar will release on Feb 15 in 26 countries

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (UNI) Come February 15 and 'Jodhaa Akbar', the much awaited period romance from Oscar-nominated Lagaan's director Ashutosh Gowarikar, will open to an unprecedented 1500 cinema screens worldwide, making it the biggest release ever for an Indian film, UTV sources said.

A co-production between UTV Motion Pictures and Ashutosh Gowariker Productions, 'Jodhaa Akbar', the epic romance between Mughal Emperor Akbar and the fiery Rajput princess Jodhaa, is set for a grand release befitting the film's grand settings and production values.

Featuring former Miss World Aishwarya Rai and one of Bollywood's greatest heartthrobs Hrithik Roshan, the film charts the personal journey of King Akbar, from Mughal king Jalalludin inheriting the legacy of King Humayun through his various conquests that elevated him to 'Akbar the Great'.

The scale of its release makes 'Jodhaa Akbar' the biggest ever release for an Indian film till date, company sources said.

'Jodha Akbar' will release on Friday across 26 countries in USA, Europe, Asia and West Asia. In India alone the film is set to release in more than 1200 screens of which 500 will be through digital cinemas and 825 through physical prints.

The film will be dubbed in three languages - Hindi, Telegu and Tamil; and subtitled in English, Arabic and Dutch.

In the US, the film will be released on close to 122 prints, the highest ever for an Indian film.

Director of UTV Motion Pictures, Siddharth Roy Kapur said ''Jodhaa Abkar is one of the most anticipated movies of the decade and in keeping with the unprecedented anticipation among audiences, our distribution strategy will ensure that the film can be viewed by the maximum possible audience in the very week of its release." Infact, with this film, UTV is reinventing distribution in North American continent. In Canada, for the first time, a Hindi film is being released simultaneously in six provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Alberta).

Further, the film will be released in Bal boa Theatre, San Francisco and Culver Plaza Theatre, Los Angeles - two well known art-house theatres for mainstream audiences, first for a mainstream Indian film.

On Febraury 14, there will be special Citibank screenings in New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco.

In the ''first-of-its-kind'' steps to combat piracy of a film in North America and other overseas territories, the UTV Motion Pictures has taken several innovative steps.

As a part of the process to take preemptive measures, in the last few weeks US based film exhibitors have collectively identified 500 top retail stores stocking piracy. All these retailers have been sent legal warning letters through registered mail.

Even before its release, 'Jodhaa Akbar' has evoked tremendous curiosity in the film trade.

Infact, trailers of the film, which bring alive the magnificence of the Mughal Era, have already caught the imagination of the audience.

The music of 'Jodhaa Akbar' by maestro AR Rahman available on the UTV Music label, launched earlier in January 2008 and has proved to be the undisputed mogul for the past few weeks. Songs like 'Jashne Baharan', 'Baahon Ke Daaman Mein' and the qawwali 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' have been topping popularity charts on various FM channels.

Trade analysts say 'Jodha Akbar' is Ashutosh Gowarikar's most expensive film till date.

The story of 'Jodhaa Akbar' begins when young Jalalludin Akbar is crowned the Mughal king after death of his father Humayun. As Akbar embarked on his ambitious quest to extend his empire from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal and from Himalayas to the Godavari river, he sought to win the allegiance of Rajputs, one of his biggest hurdles, by marrying Jodhaa, daughetr of King Bharmal of Ajmer. The marriage was to be an important step in strengthening his relations with Rajputs.

However, Jodhaa, a fiery Rajput princess, refused to be a mere political pawn in Akbar's marriage of allaince.

'Jodhaa Akbar' is about Akbar's journey of winning battles and heart of his beautiful wife.

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