India’s DQE in new live, toon pics


NEW DELHI - Pritish Nandy Communications and Indian animation giant DQ Entertainment will co-produce six animated and live action films for up to $50 million over the next four years, company executives said Thursday.

DQ Entertainment, which runs seven animation facilities in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad with a staff of 2,200, raised $56 million on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market in December.

The co-productions with DQE "will be based on modern new age animation flicks and Indian mythology-based stories which will target global audiences," PNC managing director Pritish Nandy said from the company’s Mumbai headquarters.

Also planned are "gaming extensions for all platforms to be co-developed with DQE including comic book spin-offs," he said.

In February, DQE entered into a similar agreement with Mumbai-based film production and distribution company Percept Picture Company (PPC) to produce three animation films for an estimated $25 million.

"The animation and gaming market in India is about to explode and this partnership will explore every new idea that exists or can be developed," DQE chairman and CEO Tapaas Chakravarti said.

The partnership is the latest in a long string of international moves DQE has made in recent years.

In August 2006, DQE bought 20% equity in France-based TV production house Method Films for about $3.7 million. DQE also acquired 51% equity for $ 2.2 million in a joint venture with Paris-based production company Onyx Films to partner on as many as ten CGI feature projects in the near future.

DQE also has signed co-production deals with U.S.-based Marvel Comics to work on the popular "Ironman" series.