Exim Bank Bets Big On Film Financing

Mumbai | Updated: Apr 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) will soon venture into financing of film production. It is in final stages for funding Rs 15 crore to noted film maker Yash Chopra for three movies. The loan will be in foreign currency, carrying interest of LIBOR plus three per cent. The three movies - Hum Tum, Dhoom and an untitled movie directed by Mr Chopra himself - will involve an investment of around Rs 40 crore.

Exim Bank officials declined to name the production house they were planning to fund, but said that they were close to finalising with a big film production house which has potential to earn substantial revenues in overseas markets. This will be our first financing project for film production. We will be funding Rs 15 crore for three films. We cant reveal the name of the production house at this stage, said Exim Bank deputy general manager Mathew John. A source, however, confirmed that the funding would be for Mr Chopras movies.

Exim Bank recently extended the first loan of Rs 1.2 crore to Pune-based PPL Entertainment Ltd to produce the Spanish dubbed version of the Hindi blockbuster Kaho Na Pyaar Hai. But this was not in the area of film production. The dubbed version is slated for release in May in Peru and Venezuela and will travel around 20 Spanish speaking Latin American countries.

Rakesh Roshans FilmKraft Productions India sold the dubbing rights for Spanish speaking countries to PPL Entertainment for an undisclosed amount. PPL will enjoy total revenues from theatrical release in these countries, but will share 50 per cent earnings with FilmKraft from DVD, satellite and cable TV sale of telecast rights.

PPL has already tied up with distributors in Peru and Colombia. The dubbing for the movie was done in Mexico. In Peru, the company has tied up with Cine Planet while in Colombia it has done a deal with 20th Century Foxs sub-distributor LD Films Ltd, Mr John said.

Exim Bank has extended the loan at 10 per cent interest with repayment spread over five years. PPL has altogether invested Rs 1.8 crore, said Mr John. The length of the movie has been reduced from three to two hours.

EXIM Bank plans to extend financing for dubbing of movies in foreign languages. In the services sector, the Bank has identified education, healthcare and entertainment for financing of projects.

We will mainly look at funding dubbing of popular Indian movies which can be exploited globally. We will also fund production of Indian movies but they must have a business plan for the export market, said Exim Bank chairman and managing director TC Venkat Subramanian. Our first language dubbing was Spanish. We also feel that Arabic and Turkish can have a market, he added.