Viacom18 Motion Pictures announced its entry into regional cinema on March 26, 2013. The company, part of the 50:50 joint venture between Viacom Inc and Network18, said the foray was being made with the aim of becoming a pan-Indian studio.
According to the company Jayesh Muzumdar, Director, Commercial Affairs, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, will spearhead the regional films business and will report to the Chief Operating Officer. In a statement, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “Foraying into regional cinema is in line with our vision to have a strong presence in the regional entertainment space - both television as well as films. Geographic and linguistic segmentation is a key component of our growth strategy, and we have already firmed our plans in five key regional markets.”
The studio has a slew of movies in the pipeline in Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali. The studio will remake the 2012 hit Hindi movie Kahaani in Tamil and Telugu, which will be directed by Shekhar Kammula, starring Nayanthara. In Marathi, the studio has lined up movies including 72 Miles, Kumari Gangubai Non Matric and a sequel of the hit movie Zapatlela. In Bengali, the studio will produce Bhitu, which is creatively produced by Neeraj Pandey and will star Bengali superstar Jeet, and Reunion (working title), creatively produced by Sujoy Ghosh. It will also produce Bhajji in Problem, a Punjabi film featuring Punjabi actor Gippy Grewal and will be directed by Smeep Kang.