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GROUND BREAKING GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION PLANS FOR UNIQUE BOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION
HIGH FLYING “KITES” TO OPEN MAY 21
In what will be the widest ever release for any Indian ‘Bollywood’ production, KITES, the eagerly anticipated romantic adventure starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, will open globally, including the U.S. and Canada, on May 21st, day and date with its Indian release. The Rakesh Roshan production, directed by Anurag Basu, will be released by Reliance BIG Pictures on more than 2000 screens simultaneously, including over 200 in the States.
Shot completely on location in Las Vegas, Sante Fe and Los Angeles, KITES is a unique ‘Bollywood’ film in a number of ways, not the least of which is the fact that a reworked English language version, designed to extend the reach of the original, will be launched in select engagements one week later. Entitled KITES: THE REMIX, it is being presented by Brett Ratner, who oversaw its creation. In the States, KITES: THE REMIX will be released in association with Mark Urman’s Paladin, and will open in several major markets, including New York and Los Angeles, for the Memorial Day holiday weekend beginning May 28th.
Produced on an epic scale, and set primarily against the lavish backdrop of Las Vegas, KITES tells the story of two star-crossed lovers who are destined to be together even though each is betrothed to another. Indian superstar Roshan, plays “J,” a charming hustler looking to make a big score, and Mori, the renowned Mexican actress (best known in America for the 2005 hit “La Mujer De Mi Hermano”), plays Linda, a beautiful immigrant with dreams of marrying a rich American. Their romance is described in the film as a love that “knows no language,” an apt description of KITES itself, which has more international appeal than more traditional Bollywood films.
Reliance BIG Pictures CEO, Sanjeev Lamba, commented ‘KITES is a very important film for Reliance with a story that has international appeal. By releasing the original Hindi version and Brett Ratner’s REMIX a week apart, we feel that we can reach the largest possible audience, including the younger demographic for whom 2+ hours is a challenge’
As of May 21st, KITES will play at all traditional Indian film venues around the World, including Reliance’s own newly- opened Big Cinema on E. 59th Street in Manhattan, New York. However, the vast majority of the initial screens will be major-chain, mainstream commercial theaters, as well as specialty cinemas catering to foreign film-going audiences.
Officially billed as “A Brett Ratner Presentation,” Ratner’s version of KITES is, as its title suggests, a true “remix,” in that it is the same film, played to a different rhythm, running a swift 90 minutes as opposed to the 130–minute original. One of the leading action directors working in the industry today, Ratner is credited with taking Asian action star Jackie Chan and crossing him over into American superstardom with his spectacularly successful “Rush Hour” series. In much the same way, KITES: THE REMIX will target younger, hipper, more action-oriented crowd than the original. Besides playing different theaters and neighborhoods, it will also take on additional screens at many of the same multiplexes that will be playing the original version as of May, 21, an unprecedented strategy that will present an alternative to fans who want to see more—and less—of the film at the same time.
Brett Ratner said ‘As a huge fan of Bollywood and its filmmakers, I was delighted when Rakesh and Anurag invited me to create a westernised version of their fabulously conceived film. The opportunity to widen the audience profile for KITES was compelling and I have thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration’
Barbara Mori and Hrithik Roshan, and the key filmmaking team, will attend a US premiere in New York on May 16th. The entire entourage then flies to London for the European premiere at the Odeon West End on the 18th.
About Reliance Big Entertainment:
Reliance BIG Entertainment Ltd. (RBEL) is the flagship media and entertainment arm of India’s Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group with significant presence in film entertainment (film production, distribution, and exhibition), broadcasting and new media ventures.
With commitments of over USD 1 billion in its Filmed Entertainment business RBEL’s motion picture brand, Reliance BIG Pictures (www.reliancebigpictures.com) has built a impressive film production slate in Hindi, English & other Indian languages, which it markets & distributes worldwide. Following Reliance BIG Pictures’ association with IM Global, the company now benefits from an international sales team with excellent reputation and global presence dedicated to selling its Bollywood and regional language slate and demonstrates an expansion into sales and financing. The slate has projects with leading production houses and marquee Indian filmmakers, both mainstream and arthouse.
In Hollywood, Reliance BIG Pictures has partnered with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider on the formation of DreamWorks Studios and has development deals with Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films, Jim Carrey’s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, Jay Roach’s Everyman Pictures, Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment, Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films and Brian Grazer and Ron Howards’ Imagine Entertainment.
RBEL’s exhibition and film services division is Reliance MediaWorks Limited (www.reliancemediaworks.com), India’s largest film processing, exhibition and entertainment services company. It operates BIG Cinemas, India’s premier cinema chain with over 515 screens, including over 200 screens in the United States and an exhibition presence in Malaysia and Netherlands in addition to BIG Synergy, a television venture which is among the top players in the television programming industry. Furthermore through Reliance MediaWorks’ Los Angeles-based subsidiary Lowry Digital and its Japan-based subsidiary Imagica the company has a dominant and comprehensive presence in Film Services including motion picture processing and DI; visual effects; film restoration and image enhancement; 2D to 3D conversion; digital mastering: studios and equipment rentals.
The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (www.relianceada.com) is amongst India’s top 3 business houses and has interests in telecommunications, financial services, energy, infrastructure and media & entertainment. As on March 31, 2009, the Group achieved net worth in excess of Rs 78,000 crore (US$ 16 billion), cash flows of Rs 13,000 crore (US$ 3 billion) and net profit of over Rs 8,700 crore (US$ 2 billion).
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