Imax readies for Bollywood


MUMBAI -- Imax versions of some Bollywood movies could be in the pipeline once "the threshold of 15 Imax screens is reached in India," according to Imax Corp. managing director Asia Pacific Don Savant.

Savant said that currently Imax runs four screens in India "and there are four more screens being deployed. The long-term plan is to see how some Bollywood films can be converted to the Imax format to offer audiences a whole new experience and moreover, to open a new overseas market for these films given our global presence," in an interview Wednesday on the sidelines of the ongoing FICCI Frames confab.

"Typically a Hollywood film is converted to the Imax format for about $1.5 million. Our plan is to do the conversions in India for Bollywood films to make the cost more viable for the market here," Savant added. As in Hollywood, Savant said Imax will follow a co-production model with Bollywood banners interested in creating Imax versions.

Among the upcoming screens, Imax will install India's first Imax 3D screen for Chennai-based Sathyam Cinemas. "We are already looking at sourcing content for this screen. Ideally, we'd love to get the new U2 concert film that was shot for Imax 3D,” Sathyam COO Tan Ngaronga said in an interview.

“We will be making announcements shortly for our India plans," Savant said.