Hollywood, Bollywood ink $100 mil pact


NEW DELHI -- Hollywood Studios International, based in Los Angeles and Dubai, and Mumbai-based Carving Dreams Entertainment on Tuesday announced a multipicture co-production deal that will see the companies producing films that feature Bollywood stars alongside Hollywood talent.

According to the terms of the two-year deal, the companies will co-produce at least five films with a total budget of $100 million.

HSI operates as a studio while also offering artist management services. The company's management includes such producers such as Steve Perry ("Sudden Impact," "Die Hard 2") and Andreas Klein ("Traffic").

Formed in 2005, Carving Dreams also operates as an artist management and production company, with such clients as Bollywood actors as Irrfan Khan, Ajay Devgan and Hrithik Roshan and actresses Bipasha Basu and Kajol.

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Carving Dreams for this exciting initiative," HSI CEO Steven Saxton said. "This association gives us the opportunity to not only create movies for global audiences but also build a bridge between Hollywood and Bollywood."

Added CDE co-founder Neeraj "Bunty" Bahl: "The $100 million projects will be shot in India, the Middle East and in Europe over a span of two years. This association gives us an opportunity to not only produce movies globally but also provide an opportunity to showcase Indian talent on an international platform."

Saxton said that the films will be simultaneously shot in both English and Hindi.

The HSI-CDE deal was structured in Dubai by Saxton along with HSI's Dubai-based executive director Dr. Mohammed Samir and Carving Dreams co-founders Afsar Zaidi and Bahl.