Reliance Media-Works (RMW), one of India’s leading Media & Entertainment companies has signed a mega deal with global media giants Prime Focus Limited (PFL), to set up a new media powerhouse.
The move could prove to be a game-changer for film and media services worldwide and in particular Vancouver which has been named as a potential site for the development of state-of-the-art operations and talent pools.
Highlights of the deal include gradual development of similar operations in India, Los Angeles, London, , Singapore and Beijing.
The new powerhouse has handled blockbusters such as Gravity, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, the Harry Potter films, Avatar and this week's release Transformers: Age Of Extinction, to name a few.
The PFL-RMW venture along with Oscar-winning visual effects firm Double Negative will help create the world's largest and most integrated media services.
These include visual effects, stereo 3D conversion, animation, and cloud based digital media solutions that transcend film, advertising and television industries in over 20 locations.
Combined revenue worth about US$300 is expected from this deal.
The new house will also have the world's first hybrid cloud-enabled Media ERP platform. This unique platform virtualises content supply chain and helps broadcasters, studios, and digital businesses manage their content.
Reliance MediaWorks is one of India’s leading Media & Entertainment (“M&E”) companies, with a presence across several businesses including theatrical exhibition of films, film and media services and television content production and distribution. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, Reliance MediaWorks has operations across 78 cities and towns in India and internationally in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Reliance MediaWorks was recently delisted from the stock exchanges and has been part of the investment portfolio of Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group.
Anil Ambani got back into business last year with his older brother Mukesh (India's richest person) 8 years after a nasty split resulted in divvying up the family assets.
"We are very pleased to combine our global and film services business with Prime Focus," said Venkatesh Roddam, CEO, Reliance MediaWorks.
"This is a natural and synergistic combination that will optimise resources, and create enhanced value and new opportunities for all stakeholders including customers in India and overseas, and our dedicated team of people," he added.
"This is a very exciting time in the life of Prime Focus", said Namit Malhotra, founder, Prime Focus and executive chairman and group CEO, Prime Focus Group.
"From being able to partner the world's finest visual effects provider Double Negative, to having the Reliance Group come on board, our strategy has always been to help mobilise and build bridges between the West and the East. I am confident about the benefits this combination will bring to our customers, employees and stakeholders worldwide," he added.
Future plans for the combination include a one-million square-foot facility including studios in Mumbai's Film City and a 30 per cent stake in the renowned Hollywood VFX firm Digital Domain, acclaimed for its award winning VFX works on Titanic and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
The news came just as an agreement was signed between India and Canada that would allow film producers in both countries to share resources on joint film and TV projects.
India, and its giant Bollywood film industry, from July 1 became the 54th country to have an official co-production treaty with Canada.
The agreement would permit film producers in both countries to tap into various incentives and tax breaks offered by both the governments.
The India-Canada co-production treaty being enacted follows a diplomatic push by the ruling Conservatives in Ottawa to see a first-time film treaty help draw votes from Indo-Canadian communities in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and the British Columbia and Ontario provincial governments subsidized Indian film award shows here in recent years.
Telefilm Canada said the agreement enables producers from both countries to pool their creative, technical and financial resources.
This treaty is the first to be signed since Canada’s Policy on Audiovisual Treaty Coproduction was implemented in March 2013. The Policy reflects the ever-changing audiovisual production environment, allows the Government of Canada to better support the Canadian audiovisual industry and makes Canada a partner of choice.
A world leader in audiovisual coproduction, Canada has produced 681 coproduction projects with production budgets totalling close to $5 billion over the past decade.