In a unique promotional initiative, leading film major, Studio 18 has collaborated with the Leeds-based publication, Asian Express National newspaper, to release a special issue of Rann Times UK-wide.
Produced by Sheetal Vinod Talwar and Madhu Mantena of Ghajini and directed by the maverick, Ram Gopal Varma, Rann top-lines the legendary superstar Amitabh Bachchan with a well-known ensemble cast comprising Riteish Deshmukh, Sudeep, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Rajat Kapoor, and a host of others.
Bachchan’s character (Vijay Harshwardhan Malik) plays a media baron in the controversial film, which takes a bold and entertaining look at the fierce war between news channels, which drives them to the extent of “creating” sensational and often dangerous news, in order to grab viewership.
Remarks Ram Gopal Varma, “The way the news is presented today is much more entertaining than family soaps and thrillers. What’s worse is that we enjoy this kind of presentation.”
In keeping with the film’s theme of Bachchan playing a reel-life news editor, the makers have created a special 12-page newspaper called Rann Times, which features candid and hard-hitting interviews with the film’s talent, including Mr. Bachchan’s views and thoughts, Varma’s candid note on the state of the media, and horoscopes of those born on 29th January, the film’s worldwide release date.
The special issue of Rann Times will be inserted in the Asian Express National newspaper on 22nd January, a week prior to the film release. The founders of the Asian Express newspapers, Nadim and Andleeb Hanif, have been printing the free-to-pick-up regional Asian Express titles for Yorkshire and Lancashire for over eight years. In December 2009 a free newspaper was released with a quarter of a million copies. It currently prints more copies than any other Asian newspaper in the UK.
Remarked Andleeb Hanif, Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Express National newspaper, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Studio18 on a major Amitabh Bachchan release. What Mr. Bachchan is to Bollywood, Asian Express National is to the Asian print media in the UK. We could not have asked for a better brand fit than Rann, in which Mr. Amitabh Bachchan plays an astute news editor.”
Tanuj Garg, Head of Studio 18 UK, commented, “As professionals who believe in high-impact innovative marketing, we feel it is important to find newer ways of reaching out to our audiences. An association with Asian Express National is one such initiative that will enable a high drama like Rann to reach out to a large diverse audience.”