Disney-UTV Expands South Indian Slate With First Telegu Language Project

Mahesh Babu - South Indian actor
Disney UTV India

The studio's first film in the Telegu language industry, India's second largest film sector after the mainstream Hindi Bollywood industry, will star top talent Mahesh Babu.

MUMBAI – Disney-UTV announced its first South Indian Telegu language project, which will feature top star Mahesh Babu. Presented in association with Indira Productions, the film, as yet unnamed, will begin production in July 2014 and will be written and directed by Koratala Siva whose credits include the hit Mirchi.

While the studio has been active in the South Indian industry with features in Malayalam and Tamil languages, its first Telegu language project aims to further expand Disney UTV's South Indian footprint. The studio is already a major player in the mainstream Hindi Bollywood industry with recent hits including Chennai Express, featuring Shah Rukh Khan.

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“We are extremely delighted to commence our journey in the Telugu film industry, which is the second biggest industry in India after Hindi films,” said Disney-UTV chief of South Indian business, G. Dhananjayan. “We believe in the power of great storytelling and have proven the same in the south with our Malayalam and Tamil slate.”

The studio first ventured into south Indian cinema in 2011 with Tamil titles Deiva Thirumagal and Muran, and followed with this summer's Settai (a remake of Hindi comedy Delhi Belly) and comedy hit Husbands in Goa in Malayalam.

The Hollywood majors who are active in local productions have been expanding southwards after first establishing a beachhead in Bollywood. Fox Star Studios has also been bolstering its south Indian slate via a recent alliance with well-known producer C. V. Kumar's banner Thirukumaran Entertainment. The agreement covers two projects -- Mundasupatti and V. Chitram -- both slated for release in 2014. After establishing itself in Bollywood with mainstream releases including My Name Is Khan, FSS expanded into south India by pacting with leading Tamil producer/director A. R. Murugadoss, which saw the 2011 release Engaeyum Eppothum (Anywhere, Anytime) and this year's Vathikuchi (Matchstick).