Fox goes Bollywood with Star

News Corp is getting into the Bollywood movie business, with two of its units, Twentieth Century Fox and Star, forming a joint venture to produce local-language films in Asia for worldwide distribution.

Fox Star Studios will start in India before expanding into other markets, including Greater China and south-east Asia. Fox Star Studios India will not only produce both Bollywood and regional Indian films but the company will also aim to build a national theatrical distribution unit and “enhanced capabilities in the home entertainment and digital media platforms”. Star’s 20% ownership in DTH venture TataSky is likely to come in handy here.

The “vision” for the Indian company, according to its CEO Vijay Singh, is to become a “one-stop shop” for film development, production, acquisition, distribution and marketing. And while concentrating on local-language fare, the unit will also allow Fox to expand the reach of its Hollywood productions further into India.

Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India, said: “This joint venture will complete the missing piece in STAR India's entertainment portfolio. With our track record of creating compelling family entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox's legendary expertise in filmmaking and distribution, this initiative promises to redefine the film viewing experience for the people of India, as well as to create higher level skill sets in film production, marketing and distribution for the industry. With 18 channels in our bouquet, we can add unique value in marketing the movies made by Fox Star Studios India.”