UTV ends Palador partnership


NEW DELHI -- Mumbai-based entertainment group UTV announced Wednesday that it has terminated its recent partnership with distributor Palador Films, stating that the joint venture had been discontinued "due to material breach of terms of agreement by Palador and its co-promoters."

The new entity, UTV Palador, was formed in late March with the aim of promoting world cinema titles here via theatrical, DVD and satellite television distribution under the brand name of Olive (HR 3/28).

In an interview Wednesday, a UTV spokesperson would not give details of the breakup with Palador Films, an independent distributor headed by founders Gautam Shiknis and Mohan Polarasetty, saying only that "legal proceedings have been initiated."

Despite the end of the Palador relationship, UTV said it will continue operating the Olive brand, which will include an Olive DVD rollout and a dedicated movie channel using the 1,000-title Palador catalog that was previously acquired.

With the departure of Shiknis and Polarasetty, a new management team is expected to be announced shortly to head the Olive project.

The Olive collection includes titles from 20 countries, including classics from such masters as Akira Kurusawa, Francois Truffaut, Michael Haneke, Wim Wenders, Claude Chabrol, Takeshi Kitano and Abbas Kiarostami, among others.

When the world cinema deal was launched, UTV said the project would entail an initial investment of $16 million.