Religare Enterprises and Vistaar Entertainment Ventures have joined hands to launch the Vistaar Religare Film Fund (VRFF), touted as India’s first regulated film fund.

AMC Vistaar Religare Capital Advisors Limited has filed for approval with the Indian stock exchange board as a venture capital fund (VCF). The fund will be close-ended with a lock-in of five years and is expected to raise approximately $49.6m (Rs2bn) in the first round.

VRFF intends to invest in film projects in India and overseas and will focus on providing a platform for new directing, writing and acting talent.

Religare is regarded as one of the leading integrated financial services institutions in India with businesses clubbed across three key verticals - retail, institutional and wealth.

‘We have always believed in innovation and for us spotting new opportunities for creating and maximizing wealth for our investors is a constant,’ said Religare CEO and managing director, Sunil Godhwani.

‘This Fund will be yet another step from our umbrella in that direction and it’s a strong combination of sharp, seasoned financial minds along with experienced and innovative minds from the business of entertainment and films.’

Vistaar Entertainment Ventures is the holding company of The Friday Fund and WSG Pictures. Its first film venture Dharm (2007) redefined the economics of film-making in India by recovering its production costs from non-traditional theatrical territories.

The company is headed by banking and marketing professional Sheetal V Talwar and co-promoted by American Express former country head K L Muralidhara and Peter Anshin of AEFA, among others.