Indian beer baron Vijay Mallya has entered the Indian film business and is to produce his first Hindi film, Rakth.

Mallya runs UB Group, whose best-known brand is Kingfisher beer. Kingfisher is the market leading beer in India and sells in 65 countries around the world.

Rakth, which is about a tarot card reader, will be produced with Suniel Shetty and Prakash Khubchandani of Popcorn Entertainment. Sanjay Dutt, Yana Gupta and Bipasha Basu will play the leads in the US$2m film, which is to be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.

Rakth will reportedly shoot in South Africa for one month in October. It will be released early next year.

Vijay Mallya is also chairman of companies such as Hoechst Marion Roussel in India, Mendocino Brewing Corporation in California and UBICS Inc. in Pittsburgh.

Since taking the helm of the UB Group, Mallya has markedly expanded the company's global reach, and is responsible for growing the company to over $1.5bn in revenues. The UB Group's major areas of business are spirits, brewing, engineering, life sciences, IT, agriculture and leisure.