Warners branches to India via People Tree

Partnership covers prod'n, distribution of three films

DUBAI -- Hot on the heels of finishing its first Bollywood film, Warner Bros. Pictures on Monday unveiled a partnership with Mumbai-based People Tree Films to ramp up its India ventures.

The deal covers the production and distribution of three films to be released by Warner Bros., said People Tree partners director Nikhil Advani and producer Mukesh Talreja, and Warner Bros. India head Blaise Fernandes.

Already in production, "Jaane Kahaa Se Aayi Hai," directed by Milap Milan Zaveri and staring Riteish Deshmukh, Jacqueline Fernandez and Ruslaan Mumtaz, is a romantic comedy about a woman from Venus who crash-lands on Earth looking for love.

"Chandbhai" is Nikhil Advani's second film as a director with Warner Bros., after "Chandni Chowk to China." Starring comedian Akshay Khanna and Vidya Balan, the film is the story of an inmate's struggle to change his life.

The third film is "Basra," directed by Navdeep Singh and starring Akshaye Khanna. The political thriller about the intertwining lives of a spy and a cop, moves from the deserts of Iraq to Mumbai's underbelly to the corridors of Indian power politics in New Delhi.

"Both Nikhil Advani and Mukesh Talreja are dynamic, creative individuals whose vision we share. We hope to have a long and successful association with People Tree Films in the future," said Richard Fox, executive vp Warner Bros. International.

Warner and People Tree hope to release the films beginning in the summer.
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