Big Entertainment goes big with Hollywood deals


Expanding its media investments in Hollywood, Reliance BIG Entertainment, the media and entertainment company of the Reliance ADA Group has signed two separate development deals with Julia Roberts' Red Om Films and Brett Ratner's Rat Entertainment. To date, Reliance BIG Entertainment has established creative partnerships with nine leading production entities.

The initial seven 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 were announced during the Cannes Film Festival 2008 by Reliance BIG Entertainment's Chairman Amit Khanna and President Rajesh Sawhney.

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.  For any green lit projects utilizing Reliance co-financing, the filmmakers will enjoy full creative and fiscal freedom.

Eight of the partnerships have had development projects approved and there is already a handpicked slate in excess of twenty projects and it is anticipated that most will generate content during 2009.

In announcing the new partnerships, Amit Khanna commented, '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.  We were immediately impressed by both Julia's and Brett's enthusiasm for our creative partnership plan'

Added Rajesh Sawhney, President of Reliance BIG Entertainment, '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.  From the conversations to date, we know that the respective studios will welcome our development silos and our subsequent co-financing ability.  We have broken completely new ground by empowering some of the best talent in the global industry'.

For the U.S. studios, the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group provides a partner with expertise in India, which has one of the most successful domestic filmed entertainment businesses in the world but which remains a challenge for non indigenous product.

Reliance BIG Picture, the 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.  They are part of Reliance BIG Entertainment's long-term strategy for media investments in Hollywood, as it continues to build a fully integrated movie company with substantial holdings in production, distribution and exhibition.

The deals also secure Indian rights for the films which Reliance co-finances.  Additionally, Reliance expects to attract suitable productions, with appropriate incentives, to India, where Reliance Entertainment is the largest film producer and owns physical studios and facility companies.

Reliance BIG Entertainment continues to launch Indian and international initiatives across different media and entertainment verticals.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) was instrumental in brokering the deals and is advising Reliance BIG Entertainment on its Hollywood strategy.