India’s newest studio, Cinestaan Film Company today announced a joint venture with Anil Thadani. The new company,Cinestaan AA Distributors, will be distributing Indian films overseas. Anil Thadani’s AA Pictures is India’s leading independent distributor. Thadani will be the Managing Director and CEO of the new company, while Rohit Khattar is the Chairman.
The first film that the joint venture has released is Cinestaan Film Company’s Mirzya, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, starring screen legend Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher. Other films are set to follow from Cinestaan Film Company as well as those from other production houses.
Rohit Khattar, Founder and Chairman, Cinestaan Film Company, says “We are delighted to join hands with Anil, who is undoubtedly India’s most prolific and credible distributor. Together we wish to create the most reliable and transparent overseas distribution network to further the reach of Indian Cinema.”
Anil Thadani, Managing Director, AA Films says “Extending from the domestic market to the international is a natural progression. More so to have a partner in Rohit who shares similar aspirations and passion like me, it has worked out perfectly for us. To kick-start with a prestigious film like Mirzya, directed by celebrated filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, seems like a dream. We look forward to a successful partnership.”
Not all Indian films released every year in India are fortunate enough to find overseas distribution. According to industry data, overseas theatricals are expected to grow at par with the Indian M&E industry. Most of the leading studios usually distribute only their own films. Therefore, there is a substantial void in the market, which Cinestaan AA Distributors intends to fill. The overseas theatrical market is expected to grow at 10.5% CAGR till 2020 with the Indian diaspora in the US, Middle East & UK being major contributors to its growth.
Cinestaan Film Company created an international division earlier this year, which also acts as a Sales Agency for films it does not produce. Currently four films are being sold at the Toronto International Film Festival. Marina Fuentes, Director International Sales and Deborah Sathe, Director International Operations of Cinestaan International will further strengthen Mr. Thadani’s expertise in distribution by being able to also penetrate into non-diaspora territories.
It is particularly important for Cinestaan to champion small independent films from India which usually do not find overseas distribution. Khattar is also the Chairman of Mumbai Mantra Media, which supports Screenplay Writers through the Mumbai Mantra CineRise Screenwriting Initiative.