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India's DAR Media gains approval for film fund

Mumbai-based DAR Media has gained approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for a film fund that is raising $18.5m (Rs100m) in its first round.

DAR has teamed up with investment firm MentorCap Management to launch the five-year “DAR MentorCap Film Fund”, which has a “green-shoe option” allowing the founders to increase the size of the fund. The film fund is the first to be approved under SEBI’s stringent Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) guidelines introduced in May 2012.

DAR Media, a subsidiary of private equity and investment firm DAR Capital Group, has a film production and distribution arm, DAR Motion Pictures, which is developing a slate of around 20 films.

The new fund will invest in the slate which includes projects with established Indian filmmakers such as Anurag Kashyap, Nikhil Advani and Pan Nalin.

DAR Motion Pictures has invested in films such as Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted 3D, Vasan Bala’s Peddlers which screen in Cannes’ Critics Week, and Amit Kumar’s upcoming Monsoon Shootout. The company is currently co-producing Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly with Phantom Films.

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