Reliance Big Entertainment signs deal with Julia Roberts

February 6th, 2009 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 6 (IANS) After collaborating with seven Hollywood giants, Reliance Big Entertainment, the media and entertainment arm of the Anil Ambani group, has now signed two more deals with actress Julia Roberts and director Brett Ratner.Big Entertainment has collaborated with Roberts’ Red Om Films and Ratner’s Rat Entertainment for creative partnership, the company said in a statement.

“Our innovative foray into Hollywood has proven very productive on the development front and we are now looking forward to moving into the filmmaking stage over the coming months,” said Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment, in the statement.

“We were immediately impressed by both Julia’s and Brett’s enthusiasm for our creative partnership plan,” he added.

The two deals takes Big Entertainment’s partnership deals with the leading production houses in Hollywood to nine.

Earlier, at the Cannes Film Festival 2008, it announced deals with Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Productions, Jim Carrey’s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Jay Roach’s Everyman Pictures.

All nine deals provide for the creation of a development silo for each of the production entities and the possibility of Reliance co-financing projects that emanate from these development deals.

According to the statement, filmmakers of any greenlit project - films that are financed - which Reliance co-finances will be given creative and financial freedom.

Eight of the partnerships have had development projects approved, while over 20 projects are in its handpicked slate. The Ambani company anticipates most projects to generate content this year.

“These creative partnerships will lead to Reliance co-financing with the majority of the major US studios as we are totally respectful of the existing first-look deals that each of our partners enjoys,” said Reliance Big Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney.

“From the conversations to date, we know that the respective studios will welcome our development silos and our subsequent co-financing ability,” he added.

The statement said Reliance Big Picture, a division of Reliance Big Entertainment that will focus on media investments outside of India, sees the development deals as the first major building block in the creation of a virtual studio, or new-generation media company.

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