India's Global thrust at Cannes

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Cannes, May 27 (UNI) The mood for the Indian Film Industry's corporate players was aggressive and upbeat at Cannes this year as several multi-platform production, distribution, and co-financing deals were announced with International players.

A serious marketing thrust widely covered by the media was successful in announcing India's global ambitions in the film business.

Indian Producers Reliance Big Entertainment made waves in the Cannes Market by announcing a new billion dollar film fund. They announced a slate of 69 pictures in nine languages featuring top Indian stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and others. They also announced multi-picture deals with Vinod Chopra, Sidhwani and Akhtar's Excel Entertainment, Shyam Benegal, Madhur Bhandarkar, Vivek Agnihotri, Sudhir Mishra and several other well-known directors.

In addition, they announced development deals with seven of Hollywood's major players. These include non-exclusive deals with Nicolas Cage's Saturn Films, George Clooney's Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus' 1492 pictures, Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment, Jim Carrey's JCB 23 and Jay Roach's Everyman's Pictures.

These companies have agreed to provide a development silo for each production entity. Reliance has put a value of one billion dollars on the deal and has also retained the option of co-financing projects realised through the deal, and will take Indian rights on any co-financed films.

Their partners have been given full creative freedom, prompting Vinod Chopra to comment at the press conference that he was happy to have the opportunity to be creative and leave all the hassles of production and marketing in the hands of Reliance Big Entertainment.

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