Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment and Anil Ambani's Mumbai-based Adlabs have signed a deal in Dubai to co-produce feature films in Hollywood.

Adlabs will invest $30m of the $50m budget of the first co production, the David Ellis-directed Asylum, which is expected to begin shooting in the next two months.

The deal covers a total of five films with around $150m investment, although details of other films are not yet available.

Adlabs Films Ltd was founded by current CEO Manmohan Shetty and Vasanji Mamania back in 1978 as a film processing laboratory but has quickly evolved into a major player in the Indian entertainment business.

It entered the film exhibition business in 2000, setting up of the world's largest IMAX Dome Theatre, along with Mumbai`s first multiplex.

In 2005, The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance - ADA Group) acquired an $81m 50.16% stake in the company.

But the deal with Hyde Park is part of an increasingly international focus.

Adlabs launched into the international film distribution business at Cannes 2006 and plans to distribute 24 Hindi films in the global market, acquiring rights to Rakesh Roshan's Krrish, Sajid Nadiadwala's Jaanemann, Ravi Chopra's Babul and Mani Ratnam's Guru.

It has also set up wholly-owned subsidiaries in the UK and the USA for its overseas projects.

Until now, India has been generally been the recipient of Hollywood investment rather than the other way around.

Earlier this year ScreenDaily reported that US studios were actively seeking partnerships with Indian production houses as Sony, Paramount and Disney announced their plans to make their first Hindi films.

With India's filmed entertainment business valued at $1.5bn in 2005 Hollywood studios see a huge opportunity to cash in on the Bollywood (Hindi Song & Dance film industry) market through co-productions.


Adlabs to foray into film co-production - Economic Times

Adlabs web site