Reliance Entertainment to partner Phantom Films

Anil D. Ambani owned Reliance Entertainment’s film production and distribution business in India will partner boutique production house Phantom Films, founded by Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena – in a 50:50 joint venture.

Reliance will own 50% shareholding of the combined business, while the balance 50% will be equally held among the four promoters of Phantom Films. The day-to-day operations of the Joint Venture will be managed by Phantom Films. 

The proposed combination will leverage the creative and production capabilities of the Phantom team, while enjoying access to the established domestic and international sales and distribution infrastructure of Reliance Entertainment, including inter alia the wide reach of IM Global, a Reliance Entertainment company based in Los Angeles, with operations in North America, UK and Europe, Asia – Pacific, China, Latin America, etc.  

It will also allow Phantom Films to leverage the world class and world leading capabilities of the recently announced Reliance MediaWorks – Prime Focus combination in digital, visual and special effects, pre and post-production, physical studio, etc., with facilities in Mumbai, London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, etc., and including Double Negative, the UK based digital and visual effects powerhouse, a two time Academy Awards winner for its work in Inception and Interstellar.

The combination of Reliance and Phantom Films plans to develop and produce at least 5 to 6 films every year, apart from distribution of films in India and overseas, and syndication of rights from the over 175 films strong library.

Reliance Entertainment has produced, distributed and released more than 170 films in multiple Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, etc. Films from Reliance’s stable includes highly successful commercial films like Singham, Singham Returns, Bodyguard, Don 2, 3 Idiots, Singh is King, Sarkar, Guru, Attarintiki Daaredi (Telugu), Singham (Tamil) to name a few, and also critically acclaimed National Award winning films like Paa, Abohoman (Bengali), Jaatishwar (Bengali), Shob Choritra Kalponik (Bengali), Kutty Shrank (Malayalam), Ijjodu (Kannada), etc.

Internationally, Reliance Entertainment has partnered for the past over 5 years with iconic film producer and director, Steven Spielberg, in a 50:50 joint venture, Dreamworks Studios, which has produced award winning and highly successful films, such as The Help, War Horse, Lincoln and The Hundred Foot Journey.

Phantom Films has a slate of 6 films releasing over the next 12 months, including “Bombay Velvet” starring Ranbir Kapoor, “NH 10” with Anushka Sharma, “Shandar” with Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, “Udta Punjab” with Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, “Hunterr” and “Ghoomketu”.

Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Group Managing Director, Reliance Group, said, “We are delighted to partner with such creative and talented individuals as Anurag, Madhu, Vikas and Vikramaditya, who have an enviable track record of creating great cinema. This partnership is in line with our evolving strategy in the media and entertainment business, of aligning with like-minded people who are trailblazers in their own field, and playing the role of supportive investors on our part.”

Madhu Mantena said “It’s great to be appreciated by India’s leading entertainment company, and being given such a huge responsibility. We are overwhelmed with this partnership, and hope to do justice to it.”

Vikas Bahl added, “This not only gives us partnership with people we look up to and want to learn from, it opens up our world of learning and access to people and infrastructure which was way beyond our imagination. We are confident we will make even better films thanks to this merger.”

Anurag Kashyap said “This deal opens up our windows to international opportunities and talent. We hope to optimise on this opportunity and take Indian cinema international, and also attract excellent talent into the country.”

Vikramaditya Motwane commented, “This partnership and the avenues it opens up to us give us the opportunity to take our movies to the next level in domestic as well as international cinema. We couldn’t be more excited with this partnership.”