Mumbai-based entertainment giant UTV plans to bring world cinema to the Indian market through a joint venture with local distributor Palador Pictures, UTV Palador, which encompasses arthouse theatres, a DVD label and a movie channel.

Unveiled at the FICCI-Frames conference in Mumbai on Tuesday, UTV Palador plans to release more than 1,000 films fromdirectors such as Akira Kurusawa, Francois Truffaut, Michael Haneke, Wim Wenders, Claude Chabrol, Abbas Kiarostami and Takeshi Kitano.

UTV Palador's business strategy includes establishing world cinemascreens in select locations all over India, in partnership with local exhibitors Adlabs and Sathyam, in addition to launching a DVD label and world cinema movie channel.

The company will invest $16m (Rs700m)to acquireworld cinema titles and has already spent $3m topick up rightsfrom 20 countries including the Miramax catalogue. The non-Indian-language film market in India is projected to be worth $349m (Rs15bn) by 2009 and UTV Palador believes that World Cinema distributed by these methods could account for about 20% of that.

UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala said: 'UTV Palador's main objective is to ensure that the beauty, timelessness and quality of the world's greatest filmmakers is not lost to Indians. It was our vision to ensure that quality cinema is not a one-off event at limited locations but a regular part of India's entertainment industry.'

Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who is brand ambassador and partner of the collection, said: 'In India world cinema has been available to a privileged few. Our endeavour is to bring cinema of the world to the common man in India.'

The roll-out for the Olive Collection is scheduled to begin next month with the theatrical release of Fernando Meirelles' City Of God. Twenty theatres across the country will release Olive Collection films with two shows daily that will account for nearly 15,000 shows a year.