Former UTV executive TanujGarg has been appointed head of UK & Ireland for the recently-launched Studio 18, owned byleading Indian news broadcaster Network 18, which has ambitious plans for internationaldistribution and co-production.

Based in London, Garg will be responsible for the UK marketing and distribution of films produced andacquired by Studio 18, as well as advising on potential projects for productionand co-production.

Worldwide distribution ofIndian films is becoming more competitive with Studio 18 joining companies suchas Eros, Yash Raj, Adlabs and UTV in releasing films across traditionalBollywood markets. Studio 18 also recently appointed another former UTVexecutive, Ashoka Holla, as head of international distribution andacquisitions.

The start-up company, whichhas offices in London, New York and Mumbai,also plans to become involved in international co-productions starting in2007-2008. The company is evaluating Indian projects with internationalpotential and hopes to work with a US studio on an international film.

"At Studio 18, we arelooking at a 360 degree studio with interests in production, acquisition andco-productions which allow us to share risk and do more projects with the samecapital. We have a team that understands new and old formats and can exploitboth," said Studio 18 CEO Sandeep Bhargava.

Studio 18 also recentlyannounced a co-production agreement with Bollywood production house SriAshtavinayak Films for four films over the next two years with the first filmexpected to start shooting in the first quarter of 2007.

Network 18 is the holdingcompany of the TV18 Group, which operates four round-the-clock news channelsand distributes content across television, internet and mobile platforms. VandanaMalik and Sanjay Ray Chadhuri, both founding shareholder-directors of the TV18Group, will act as creative advisors for Studio 18.