With India being the second largest English speaking nation in the world with a population of 1.3billion, there is now an unprecedented interest in India’s $10 billion media and entertainment industry propelling at over 12.5% CAGR. As Hollywood majors continue to venture east for a stake in this industry, Eros International, the London listed leading Indian filmed entertainment studio with a global distribution network, has solidified its position as the true international player of Indian Cinema, as it announces three exciting, international film projects at Cannes Film Festival, 2009 – Kambakkht Ishq, Love Aaj Kal and Aladin.
Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kambakkht Ishq, Co-Produced by Sunil A. Lulla – Executive Director and President, India for Eros International and Directed by Sabbir Khan, will be unique to this year’s festival and marks the beginning of a milestone film phenomenon among the key players of international cinema, signifying the first ever Indian film to feature both Indian stars and Hollywood talent on one cinematic canvas – India’s top-ranking artists, Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor, with special guest appearances by Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards.
Much of the dialogue thus far on Hollywood amalgamating with Indian cinema has been ‘behind the scenes’ such as joint ventures for distribution of content across all formats, monetising libraries and exploring opportunities to create crossover films that will tap into India’s booming local language market as well as wider audiences outside of India. However, ‘Kambakkht Ishq’ celebrates the ‘on screen’ synergy between the artists themselves. Whilst the film stays true to its rooted Bollywood principles as a genre, ‘Kambakkht Ishq’ is a major example of Eros International’s aim to redefine Indian cinema according to changing tastes of both mainstream audiences, as well as domestic audiences in India.
‘Love Aaj Kal’, Produced by Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan, Co-Produced by Sunil A. Lulla and Directed by Imtiaz Ali of Jab We Met fame will set a new precedent for the love story sub-genre for which Indian cinema is so famous. One of the most enrapturing romances of modern times, marrying traditional Indian cinema with the energy and exuberance of young love, ‘Love Aaj Kal’ also marks Eros International’s exciting synergy with Saif Ali Khan’s newly formed company Illuminati Films and stars the on-screen heartthrob himself alongside spellbinding starlet Deepika Padukone, and veteran actor Rishi Kapoor.
‘Aladin’, Produced by Eros International and Boundscript and Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, is one of the most unique Indian film productions of recent times – a larger than life family adventure heralding a modern day adaptation of an age old story. With a stellar cast that includes the world’s biggest superstar as per a BBC poll, Amitabh Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Sanjay Dutt and debutante Jacqueline Fernandez, ‘Aladin’ marks a new turning point in Indian filmmaking and content that will truly appeal to traditional and international Indian film cineastes. The visual effects for the film have emerged from EyeQube Studio, an Eros International company headed by Charles Darby, taking the celluloid world of special effects to an entirely new stratum.
In commenting on Eros International’s showcases at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Sunil Lulla says, “With the multi-faceted global fan base of Indian cinema standing at 3.6 billion, we want to be at the forefront of meeting the ever-increasing demands of audiences by pioneering innovative film content. Through our vision and innovative content, we have been instrumental in increasing the mainstream appetite for films of Indian origin or those encapsulating a strong essence of Indian sensibilities, as well as servicing the emerged market among contemporary Indian audiences that wants to consume Indian films that are truly ‘international’ in style, subject and content. It has been our objective to increase the level of expectancy for the films of our genre year after year, 2009 being of no exception as with great pride we introduce three extraordinary film projects at Cannes.”