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Indian Billionaire Invests $825M in DreamWorks

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is saying that Indian billionaire Anil Ambani has invested $825 million in DreamWorks Studio. The new movie production house will find Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider and Ambani as partners. The board will consist of Spielberg, Snider, Reliance's Amitabh Jhunjhunwala and Alan Levine, current JPMorgan entertainment advisor and former Sony Pictures CEO.

This funding allows the independent DreamWorks to move long gestating projects from development into production. The studio plans to make five to six films per year and hopes to have its first production filming by the end of the year.

DreamWorks new money is coming from several sources. In addition to Ambani's Reliance ADA Group, DreamWorks will receive funds from various banks and Disney. Reliance will chip in $325 million, while Disney will pony up $150 million.

As part of a deal signed in early 2009, Disney will market and distribute DreamWorks films international, except in India where Reliance's Reliance BIG Ent. will handle the productions.

Some of the projects sitting on the tarmac at DreamWorks include comic book adaptation COWBOYS AND ALIENS (co-production with Universal); DINNER WITH SCHMUCKS, Jay Roach's remake of THE DINNER GAME; MOTORCADE, an action flick from director Len Wiseman; and HEREAFTER, a supernatural drama written by Peter Morgan.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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