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    Bollywood goes to Africa as Zee launches on Kwesé TV

    Bollywood goes to Africa as Zee launches on Kwesé TV
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    Rebecca Hawkes
    | 31 January 2017

    Indian entertainment channels Zee Bollymovies and Zee Bollynova are being added to Econet Media’s just-launched African pay-TV platform Kwesé TV.

    Zee Bollymovies offers round-the-clock Bollywood entertainment, with films and TV series, while Zee Bollynova’s general entertainment programming showcases telenovelas and food shows.

    “As a new African broadcaster we want to ensure that our viewers have access to a diverse content offering that cuts across all programming genres. There is a strong appetite for premium Bollywood content on the continent, thus we are proud to offer these impressive channels on line-up as they provide engaging TV for the whole family to enjoy,” said Joseph Hundah, president and group CEO, Econet Media.

    Zee TV Africa CEO Harish Goyal (pictured) said: “Zee is continuously striving to make further in-roads into the African continent. We have packaged our latest offerings, Zee Bollymovies and Zee Bollynova with content adapted to suit the African viewer. Both channels are customised and dubbed in English.”

    The channels will be available to viewers through Kwesé’s multi-platform offering, which includes linear TV, mobile app and Web streaming services delivered to any screen.

    The Indian broadcaster’s channels Zee World and Zee Magic, which are already available in – and customised for – Africa, have been “warmly received by viewers” since their launch in 2015, according to ZEE CEO International Broadcast Business Amit Goenka. This, he said, encouraged Zee to further expand its reach in Africa.

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    Amazon acquires independent Indian films from Cinestaan

    Amazon acquires independent Indian films from Cinestaan
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    Rebecca Hawkes
    | 31 January 2017

    Following a deal with Cinestaan Film Company, Amazon Prime Video will be streaming independent Indian films Dev Bhoomi, A Death in the Gunj and international co-production The Hungry.

    The move extends a long-term alliance with Cinestaan Film’s subsidiary C International Sales for Indian content on Amazon’s subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform.

    Dev Bhoomi, directed by Goran Paskaljevic, was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2016, and the Hof International Film Festival. A Death in the Gunj, directed by Konkona Sen Sharma, was also selected for TIFF 2016 along with the Busan International Film Festival. The Hungry is an international co-production between Cinestaan Film Company and Film London.

    “Our alliance with Cinestaan is to build our selection of features from India’s evolving independent filmmakers. This realistic style of filmmaking, from a new exciting breed of filmmakers, creates room for experimentation in content as well as form. Death in The Gunj, The Hungry and Dev Bhoomi are the first titles in our Indian offering in this exciting new genre - independent cinema,” said Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head, Amazon Prime Video India.

    Devi Bhoomi tells the story of Rahul who returns to his old Himalayan village where he must face an isolated, prejudiced world in which women have no right to choose their own destiny. Death in the Gunj, set in 1979, depicts an uneventful family holiday that takes a dangerous turn when the guests play with spirits, while revenge thriller The Hungry is a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.

    Rohit Khattar, chairman, Cinestaan Group, added: “In our quest to champion independent Indian films, we have been trying to figure out various ways to effectively distribute films which face the usual conundrum of high P&A and other costs. Amazon Prime Video has presented a much needed option and we are delighted that they have seen such merit in three of the titles that C International Sales represented”.

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