K.V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad, Oct. 12

DAMINI Entertainments Pvt. Ltd is planning to foray into film production, post-production facilities, digital cinemas and digital film distribution segments in a big way.

"We are going to enter these segments in a phased manner. We have kick-started film production by making two Tamil movies. We have also lined up movies in Telugu, Hindi and Kannada languages," Mr G.V. Prasad, Chairman of Damini Entertainments, told Business Line here on Wednesday.

The company is in talks with a Russian firm for sourcing technology to convert films into digital mode on a multi-layered disc.

Besides giving quality digital images, the technology would enable the company to cut down costs significantly on prints. "Digital exhibition would also mean reduced operational costs. We see a great opportunity there," said Mr Prasad, son of Padmalaya promoter Mr Hanumantha Rao.

The secured information on the disc could be programmed to run for a specific period in a particular theatre. Damini has also planned to acquire theatres in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and refurbish them to show digital films.

Mr Ajithan G. Kurup, a Director on Damini board, said costs would significantly drop, if the company could reach `B' and `C' centres. "This is key to digital revolution. Also, it would help us fight piracy," he said.

On the company's production plans, Mr Kurup said it would go for production in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. On Wednesday, it announced two films, one in Telugu and another in Hindi (starring Dharmendra and Sunny Deol).

The way entertainment industry operates has changed. "One must have control over production, post-production and distribution to tap the opportunities fully," he added.

"We are looking at acquiring a studio in Mumbai, and refurbish it to cater to the niche post-production needs. Besides meeting our needs, it would cater to the niche requirements," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 13, 2005)
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