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Virgin starts joint venture to tap into Bollywood market

Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced has closed a deal with two Indian partners this week in a bid to cash in on the potential of Bollywood film for a youth audience.

Virgin Produced India, a partnership between Virgin Produced, Cinema Capital (the largest film venture fund in India) and Tantrik Group (an LA-based media and asset management firm), will develop, produce and distribute Bollywood films.

According to Virgin Produced CEO Jason Felts, who founded the company in 2010 together with Justin Berfield and Richard Branson, Virgin Produced India will adapt existing Hollywood content for Hindi-speaking audiences. The head office will be located in India’s commercial capital Mumbai.

Felts said: “We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to build off the success that Virgin has already found in this part of the world with Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic, and can’t wait to see what the future holds in terms of the amazing content that we plan to produce.”

“For Virgin Produced, India represents a young and vibrant audience that will embrace Virgin’s irreverent brand of content. With nearly half of the population of India being under the age of 25, this was clearly a market in which Virgin Produced belonged and could become a welcome part of.”

Virgin Produced has got a good track record, producing films such as Jobs (2013) with Ashton Kutcher, The Impossible (2012) with Ewen McGregor and Oscar-nominee Naomie Watts, and the company’s first ever film, action-thriller Limitless (2011), which starred Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro.

Earlier this week a music-infused safety video, produced by the company for their American flight branch went viral, receiving more than 5 million hits on YouTube.

Cinema Capital, an investment advisory company that manages India's first registered venture capital fund focused on the film and entertainment sector, has an investment scope of approximately USD $35m. It has already established a name for itself through backing some big Bollywood names such as Hrithik Roshan’s recent blockbuster Krrish 3.



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