Ashutosh Gowariker and Dr. BN Modi at the press meet to announce Spice Enfotainment's new project Buddha
Mumbai, May 9
Well-known film-maker Ashutosh Gowariker will direct a Rs 100 crore English film based on the life of Lord Buddha for Spice Enfotainment, a new venture of the Spice Group headed by industrialist B K Modi.
The film titled "Buddha" is one of two movies the company is planning. The other is commercial potboiler titled "No Problem" to be produced in association with Anil Kapoor Productions and to be directed by Aneez Bazmi.
Dr Modi, chairman of the group, which has interests in telecom, media, entertainment, technology and financial services, announced plans to invest Rs 400 crore in the entertainment and media businesses at a press conference here today.
He said Spice Enfotainment has chalked out plans in film production, television production, broadcasting, music, gaming and Internet while creating and owning content and distributing it over multiple platforms, including digital and wireless.
Spice Enfotainment encompasses Spiceworld Malls, Spice Cinemas, Spice Circle Restaurants, Music and Gaming.
Dr Modi said Spice Enfotainment is looking at several movies coming out of India with Asian themes and actors, global language and technology.
"Spice Enfotainment Ltd. will help lovers of entertainment and information consume content through connectivity. It will make significant investments in global content production, exhibition and distribution across multimedia platforms. Inspite of being an intrinsically Indian venture at heart, it will present the best of the Israel-to-Indonesia ‘brown’ belt to the global audiences. The best ‘glocal’ teams will aggregate information, communication and entertainment on digital and mobile devices," he said.
"The global entertainment domain presents numerous opportunities and Spice Enfotainment Ltd. is looking at organic and inorganic growth opportunities across platforms for monetization. Our unique strategy will weave in race, geography and technology. Leveraging a technology-based and digitization model, we are looking at a wide spectrum of possibilities and opportunities in content aggregation and dissemination. And addressing the youth will the cornerstone of our success mantra," he added.
Gowariker, who had, incidentally, portrayed Lord Buddha in Shyam Benegal's television series "Discovery of India", said the script for the move had been written by David Ward. The movie will go on the floor in May 2010 and be completed by the end of the year. Pre-production work will begin this month, he said.
According to the director, who has helmed successful movies such as "Lagaan", said "Buddha" would be shot on locations in the foothills of the Himalayas. He said the film would be an expensive proposition because it would attempt to recreate an era long gone by and would be his most challenging assignment yet. The cast for the film would be a mix of Indian and international actors, he added.