The Walt Disney Company India Announces First Studio Production targeted at Southern Audiences
Epic fantasy adventure featuring an exciting ensemble cast and crew
Mumbai [March 11, 2010]: The Walt Disney Company in India today officially announced its first locally developed studio project aimed specifically at Southern audiences, a yet to be named epic fantasy adventure, which is scheduled to release in January 2011. The film, which commenced production in November 2009 features a host of leading local talent including Siddharth, Shruti Haasan, Lakshmi Manchu, and Harshitha.
“We are thrilled to be working with such a high caliber cast and a team of talented filmmakers on this exciting film which will appeal to Indian moviegoers of all ages,” said Mr. Mahesh Samat, managing director, The Walt Disney Company India Pvt. ltd.
Outside of the US, India is one of the largest markets Disney has invested in for local production. “As we work to build a family entertainment brand in India we plan to provide Indian audiences with an unparalleled roster of locally relevant stories and engaging characters and will continue to tap into the local creative ecosystem to develop content which resonates with Indian kids and families,” Mr. Samat added.
The fantasy adventure film is set in the fictitious teardrop shaped land of Sangarashtra and explores the inseparable bond between man and the myths that remain relevant even today. The story focuses on the journey of a nine year old girl with special healing powers and her quest to save Sangarashtra from the tyranny of an evil Queen, played by Lakshmi Manchu. The girl portrayed by Hrishitha is protected by a blind swordsman played by Siddharth who faces great adversity and helps the girl on her epic journey. Shruti Haasan plays a gypsy woman whose destiny is tied into that of the swordsman and plays his love interest.
The Telugu language movie, which will be dubbed in Tamil is expected to broaden the company’s appeal to southern India and is being produced by Mr. K. Raghavendra Rao who is renowned for his expertise and experience in developing films for the South and is directed by national award winning director Mr. Prakash Rao Kovelamudi.
“The story is an epic tale of adventure and fantasy and it was a great challenge bring these amazing worlds and characters to life,” said Mr. Kovelamudi. “We are immensely proud to work with Disney on this project. With its legacy of incredible storytelling and creating enduring characters they are the perfect partners for this film”.
About The Walt Disney Company in India
Disney is a Dow 30 Company, had annual revenues of over US$36 billion in its most recent fiscal year, and a market capitalization of US$64.61billion as of March 9th, 2010. Worldwide, The Walt Disney Company has approximately 137,000 employees.
The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited opened in July 2004 with its head office located in Mumbai. In less than five years, Disney has established a strong foothold in this diverse and highly dynamic market. Disney in India employs around 161 permanent staff, and anticipates accelerated growth across Media Networks, Interactive media group, Consumer Products, and Studio businesses. Outside of the U.S., India is one of the largest markets Disney has invested in for local production. The Disney Television Network comprising Disney Channel, Disney XD and Hungama TV has consistently been one of the leading networks for kids in Cable & Satellite (C&S) programming. The network currently reaches over 71 million homes with Star Den as the exclusive distribution partner, offering a blend of quality entertainment and distinct original programming that kids love and families trust and enjoy. Through a block called Disney Jadoo on the terrestrial network Doordarshan, Disney Channel reaches over 145 million homes.
ABOUT THE FILM (TITLE TBC)
About the Cast & Crew
Siddharth: Sidharth is a multi-faceted personality with screen credits that include acting, writing, playback singing and music production. He was actively involved in theater in college and started his career as an associate to the noted director "Mani Ratnam". He debuted as an actor in 2003 in a Tamil film "Boys" and has 10 releases in 3 languages. Siddharth is a successful Star, down South with a filmography that balances creative excellence with box office success.
Shruti Haasan: Daughter of India's noted actors Kamal Hassan and Saarika, Shruthi is an accomplished singer and songwriter, who later branched out into modeling and acting. She has a degree from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. She has scored music for feature length films and is currently working on an independent music album.
Lakshmi Manchu: Lakshmi Manchu burst upon the world of stage at the age of 4, who later took a bachelor’s degree in Theater from Oklahoma City University. She has a production company with her father Dr. M Mohan Babu that has produced 48 fearture films. Lakshmi also is popular with her own show called ‘Lakshmi Talk show’
Harshitha: Harshitha- another talented 9-year old kid in the south film circuit. She has 6 big films to her credit and still manages to be the class topper.
Producer: K. Raghavendra Rao: A Legend in Telugu cinema, K.Raghavendra Rao's illustrious career spans across 35 years in which he has directed over 105 films and produced over 25 films in various Indian languages. He has the unique distinction of having worked with 5 generations of stars in Telugu Cinema. He has to his credit 1 National Award, over 15 State awards, 2 Filmfare awards and a Filmfare Life Time Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian Cinema.
Writer / Director: Prakash Rao Kovelamudi: is a 3rd generation filmmaker, coming from a family that has made over 150 films in South India. An IT engineering graduate and a Theater Arts Student from Lee Strasberg, he has to his credit two films as an actor and one as a writer/director. His first film "A Bellyful of Dreams" as a writer/director was critically acclaimed and won two international awards and two National awards – best child artist and the best Telugu language film.