Religare to finance Bollywood production

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Mumbai, Mar 4: Investment firm Religare has announced a tie-up with Vistaar Entertainment Ventures to form the Rs 200-crore closed ended '' Vistaar Religare Film Fund (VRFF)'' venture capital fund under Vistaar Religare Capital Advisors (VRCA) to provide funding for the Bollywood productions.

''We plan to change the film finance senario by providing high quality capital for 18-month recovery cycles, ideal returns and transparency in functioning,'' said Sunil Godhwani, CEO, MD, Religare. ''We'll focus on scripts, new talents and content, not on star power or corporate style of financing where you have to submit quarterly reports.'' Funds will be locked-in for five years and VRCA expects SEBI approval within 4-6 months after which Vistaar will dilute its stake from 50 per cent to 26 for external investors.

Selection of projects will be carried out by VRFF's panel of selectors from advertising, marketing and cinema sectors and will be produced under seperate SPVs with a seperate entity. ''We will be involved mainly in supervision with close watch on financial and production aspect. Creative freedom will be given to producers and directors,'' said Sheetal Talwar, Chairman, MD, VRCA.

VRFF will primarily focus on the Rs 10,000 crore Bollywood industry. They will also fund regional films, documentaries and will also initiate a ''writers' cradle'' to help budding scripwriters find producers and necessary funding.


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