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ZEE and Rajshri Pictures join hands

By Kshama Rao

Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Zee Telefilms Limited made a big announcement last night at the Fun Republic theatre on the media and entertainment conglomerate's tie-up with the 56-years-old Rajshri Pictures. The two have joined hands for domestic distribution of Hindi and other language films throughout India. Said Chandra, "Films is an important leg of our media and entertainment company and we had to focus our attention on it. Rajshri has been long in the distribution business and we are proud to be associated with them, to pool our strengths together and make not only the process of film distribution smooth but also marketing and promoting worthy films in the best possible way so that the producers capitalize on the services provided by us."

Added Kamal Kumar Barjatya, "Though we started off as a company that distributed other producers' films too, there was a time when we were distributing only our films but with this association we are back to the distribution business. Today one has to look at joining hands and consolidating business and so I feel this tie-up will bring about a certain efficiency in the distribution set-up."

While the modalities of the Zee-Rajshri Film Distribution structure have to be finalized, the set-up will essentially distribute films produced, co-produced and acquitted by both companies through more than 20 distribution offices all over India. The current network of Rajshri will be modernized and linked for easy and transparent flow of box-office information. Said Chandra, "With modern technological tools, today producers can keep track of their film collections depending on a daily, weekly, monthly basis just by entering a password for their film. That way it ensures a transparency in the process of disclosure of business their film has made. At the same time our group will continue to address issues like piracy, entertainment tax etc."

Nittin Keni, CEO, Films Division, Zee Telefilms, said, "We also intend to be marketing partners for selective films which are at the conceptual or the pre-launch stage. We also want to bring out certain measures of evaluation which will enable the producer to 'cost and budget' his film before he goes on floors. For instance, we can help producers gauge the commercial viability and the revenue it's likely to generate and so control the budget instead of going overboard and then incurring losses." Also we will enable producers to get the maximum returns through not only theatrical releases in the domestic market but also overseas, DVD, home video, satellite and audio."

Beaming at the press conference were filmmakers and personalities like Saawan Kumar Tak, Sooraj Barjatya (who sat quietly in one corner, smiling occasionally), Jagmohan Mundhra, Adlabs biggie Manmohan Shetty, Pravin Nischol. Actor Dharmendra too graced the occasion and said, "Aap logon ne industry ko ek bahut khoobsurat tohfa diya hai" to which the Zee officials and the Barjatyas happily smiled.


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