NDTV launches distrib'n effort

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NEW DELHI -- New Delhi Television capped a busy week Thursday, taking the wraps off NDTV Lumiere, a nationwide project that will see films from around the world offered to Indian viewers via platforms including theatrical, home video, the Internet and a dedicated channel set to bow around April.

Lumiere is being launched by NDTV Imagine, a division of New Delhi Television. Earlier this week, NBC Universal acquired a 26% stake in NDTV for $150 million (HR 1/23).

NDTV Lumiere is a three-way partnership between NDTV Imagine (51%), Manmohan Shetty (29%), founder of Mumbai-based film processing, and exhibition company Adlabs Films and Sunil Doshi (20%), NDTV Imagine CEO Sameer Nair told The Hollywood Reporter.

"The start-up capital for this venture is between $5 million and $6 million," Nair said, adding that the venture "already has a catalog of 300 titles featuring the best of contemporary European and international cinema."

Titles include British Indian director Asif Kapadia's "Far North," Lebanese actress-director Nadine Labaki's directorial debut "Sukkar Banat" (Caramel) and Danish director Billie August's 2007 Berlin festival Peace Prize winner "Goodbye Bafana."

Given that NBCU owns properties such as the Sundance Channel and Vivendi, "there will definitely be synergies we can explore together for NDTV Lumiere and even other avenues," Nair said.
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