NDTV Imagine is all set to launch NDTV LUMIERE by the end of April this year. The NDTV Imagine group announces their secong offering in the entertainment space - NDTV LUMIERE - an initiative to bring contemporary cutting edge world cinema to India.
This venture is dedicated to bringing the best that world cinema offers to the Indian audience across different platforms - theatre, TV, home video, online, video on demand. NDTV Imagine CEO Sameer Nair says that the investment in the venture is Rs 250 million, and he expects to break-even within two years. Nair says, "Our aim is to explore every avenue of entertainment and to bring contemporary international cinema to discerning audiences. NDTV Lumiere takes us beyond just television. It will allow us to reach multiple platforms and screens. I had spoken to Sunil in April about brining in international cinema. We got Mr Shetty interested in this idea."
The aim is to release 60 films into theatres from March. The releases will coincide with the overseas release. So it is not a question of focusing on classic masters alone, says Nair. The focus will be on exposing Indian viewers to new age masters like Pedro Almodovar, Wong Kar Wei, Emir Kusturica, Aki Kaurismaki. The aim is to start with nine cities including the metros and then expand from there. The film genres will span horror, thrillers, political dramas and even animation. The countries whose work will be on display will include France, Spain, Germany, China, Africa, Latin America, South Korea.
On the television front, a channel will launch at the end of April. Nair, though, adds that the channel will only be available on digital platforms. "We are not in the ratings game here. People should want to see our channel, and when that desire is there they will pay for it. We are confident that the desire is there not just among the older audience but also among the youth. Differentiation from the current players is key for us. There is this perception that the foreign film audience is a subset of Hollywood which is a niche in India". "Although the Hindi film industry and other regional cinema continue to rule the box office in India, I always felt that there was space for cinema from Europe, Latin America, South East Asia, Africa and Arabic countries. I am happy to have partnered with NDTV Lumiere to bridge this gap by providing contemporary world cinema to the growing and evolving audience in our country," says Shetty.
NDTV Lumière derives its name from the Lumière brothers who brought Cinema to India from France on 7th July 1896, when six silent film strips, made by the Lumière brothers were shown in Mumbai’s Watson hotel. It is only fitting that more than a hundred years later, the movement that is bringing a new wave of cinema back into the country should be called NDTV Lumière.