MTV India to Air Short Films Inspired by Unilever Products

MTV India
Directors Rohan Sippy, Anurag Basu and Abhinay Deo (From left).

The branded content initiative will see six leading directors make films revolving around a selection of the company's personal care brands.

MTV India has partnered with the local affiliate of consumer products giant Unilever to launch MTV Films, a branded content initiative that will recruit six leading Indian directors to create short films “inspired by” selected Unilever products. The six shorts -- which will be between 45 to 60 minutes -- will air on MTV India this year.

The six directors are: Anurag Basu (Barfi!), Abhinay Deo (the Indian version of 24), Shoojit Sircar (Vicky Donor), Rohan Sippy (Nautanki Saala, which was based on the 2003 French comedy Après Vous), Nikhil Advani (D-Day) and Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur).

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The first film to kickoff the initiative is Real FM, directed by Basu, which is inspired by shampoo brand Sunsilk and which will air on March 23.
“In the past few years I have started believing that one can get their messaging across through branded films,” said Basu. “I strongly think that films made for the television is the future of the Indian film industry, and I personally have a lot of expectations with this short film.”

Upcoming films by the other directors will revolve around Hindustan Unilever Limited's personal care brands Tresemme, Ponds, Lakme and Close-Up.

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“It’s been a treat to watch six very special people look at youth through such different lenses," said MTV India executive vp and business head Aditya Swamy. "This project has redefined the rules of television and branded content in so many ways. With a new film being released every month, MTV Films can become a very strong franchise.”

The Unilever link-up is MTV India's second big move into branded content. In February, the network partnered with Pepsi to launch a branded channel, MTV Indies, offering alternative and independent content spanning music, films, fashion and art.