Anil Ambani Group in new venture for acclaimed global scriptwriters

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NEW YORK - The entertainment unit of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group has teamed up with the partners of cinema and TV production house Imagine Entertainment to start a venture to pool a group of 10 talented hollywood screenwriters to generate scripts on a variety of genres.

The new creative venture named Imagine-Reliance Writers Lab has been started in a pact with with noted Hollywood names Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, in which the screenwriters will not only get a salary but also financial incentives under a collaborative system.

Grazer and Howard had earned global praise and won an Oscar for their film “A Beautiful Mind”. They have also been associated with films like “The Da Vinci Code” and “Inside Man”.

“When Ron and Brian brought this unique concept to Reliance, we immediately recognized its tremendous value and potential,” said Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, who heads the Reliance’s media and entertainment arm.

We are delighted to expand our existing relationship with Imagine and look forward to working with them on this new venture.

According to entertainment portal Deadline New York, the screenwriters will be exclusive to the venture for a year to generate some 10-15 scripts. Universal Pictures and Reliance will get the first right over the screenplays that come out of the arrangement.

“Basically at its core, the idea of this is meant to take away the loneliness from the creative process that writers face,” said Howard. “We are adding a collegial environment to authorship — a support system and guidance — and we will help get their work made into movies.”

Deadline New York said the venture hatched from an idea that Howard had worked over in his mind for 15 years. Karen Kehela Sherwood, who has been an executive at Imagine for 24 years, will run the lab.

For the Anil Ambani Group, this is another major global entertainment project after the pact with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider for DreamWorks Studios and the venture with the production company of Hollywood actor-director Tom Hanks to produce “Electric City” as an animated internet series and online game.

Reliance Big had also entered into development deals with the firms of Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.

Last month the group also announced a tie-up with BBC Earth, the natural history brand for BBC Worldwide, on three acclaimed motion pictures — “Walking with Dinosaurs 3D”, “Africa 3D” and “Life” — for the global audience.

The films are to be distributed by Reliance Entertainment’s international film sales and financing subsidiary IM Global, a statement by the groups had said.

According to Deadline New York, Imagine-Reliance Writers Lab so far has hired scriptwriters Margaret Nagle, Michael Fitzpatrick, Lee Patterson, Glen Lakin, Michael R. Perry, Stacey Harman, Jason Mantzoukas, Scott Aukerman and Daniel Casey.

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