India's Shemaroo has eye on int'l


NEW DELHI -- Mumbai-based film company Shemaroo Entertainment on Friday unveiled its home video rollout plan for its foreign film catalog, which includes 218 recently acquired titles from such studios as Lakeshore Entertainment, Pathe, Imageworks, Fremantle Media and France's MK2, among others.

Established 25 years ago, Shemaroo's strength has been its 1,000 title local catalog, but the company is now actively expanding its foreign film catalog.

"We plan to expand our catalog to include around 850 foreign titles for home video, theatrical and new media distribution," Shemaroo assistant vp international division Sumann Gon said. "We are also negotiating with major MPA-registered studios to represent their entire library."

Shemaroo's releases include the Burt Reynolds starrer "Cloud 9" and other films such as "Beyond the Sea," "Left Luggage," "Me and Will," "Too Young to Die," "The World's Fastest Indian," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "A River Runs Through It." Gon said the acquisitions were negotiated over the 2006 and 2007 Cannes festivals and other markets such as AFM and MIPTV.

Shemaroo also plans to bolster its world cinema catalog with such titles as Pedro Almodovar's "All About My Mother," Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "The Silence," Carlos Reygada's "Japon," Alejandro Amenabar's "The Sea Inside," Pan Nalin's "Samsara," Chen Kaige's "The Promise," Oliver Hirschbiegel's "Downfall," Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi," Benito Zambrano's "Habana Blues," Costa-Gavras' "Amen," Akira Kurasawa's "Rashomon" and Takashi Miike's "Audition," among others.

Shemaroo ventured into production with its latest Bengali-language release, "Anuranan" (Resonance), while it recently bowed its local animation debut, "Bal Ganesh," inspired by the Indian elephant God.

The world cinema market in India already includes such players as Mumbai-based Palador Pictures, which boasts a 1,000-title catalog. Palador recently pacted with Mumbai-based entertainment group UTV to partner on a joint world cinema initiative, the Olive Collection, but that partnership was recently annulled (HR 8/10).