India's Vensat Launches U.S. Film / TV Production Services Company

In an aggressive launch establishing a significant presence in the U.S. entertainment market for animation, visual effects, and 2D-to-3D conversion services, India’s VenSat Tech Services, Pvt. Ltd. (VenSat) today announced the formation of the media and entertainment company's new U.S. business entity, VenSat America.

Press Release from VenSat Tech Services, Pvt. Ltd.

Los Angeles, California, November 2, 2010 - In an aggressive launch establishing a significant presence in the U.S. entertainment market for animation, visual effects, and 2D-to-3D conversion services, India’s VenSat Tech Services, Pvt. Ltd. (VenSat) today announced the formation of the media and entertainment company's new U.S. business entity, VenSat America. Making the announcement, Satyanarayana Mudunuri and Venkatesh Roddam, Executive Directors of VenSat, said the new firm will be headed by veteran U.S. and India entertainment executive and entrepreneur Ken Silverman, who has been named CEO and President, while longtime visual effects producer and VFX studio executive John Follmer has joined as Executive Vice President and COO. The company will be based in Los Angeles and New York City.

VenSat America will serve as the company’s lead to the U.S. motion picture, television, home entertainment, gaming, and mobile entertainment markets, and will develop innovative co-production arrangements linked to the company’s animation, motion comics, VFX, and 2D-to-3D conversion services. Content amalgamation, including for 3D television, content production, and distribution, for all markets and platforms, will follow in 2011. Strategic investments into one or more US entertainment companies are now under active consideration.

To further VenSat’s market strength, the company has appointed David Uslan and Mohammad Ghouri as U.S. Business Advisors. Mr. Uslan comes with over 10 years experience in feature film and television development, motion comics, publishing and distribution, and will be focusing on emerging opportunities in the field of motion comics based of Los Angeles. Mohammad Ghouri, who has over 20 years experience in financial services, healthcare, and media and entertainment, will be driving strategic opportunities, based out of New York City.

VenSat (India) is a rapidly growing provider of animation, visual effects, motion comics and 2D/3D conversion services to the global marketplace.

VenSat’s lead investor is Indo-US Venture Partners (IUVP). Based in Santa Clara, California and Bangalore, India, IUVP is a leading venture capital firm that provides funding to new or growing businesses.

in India. Its principals are individuals of Indian lineage who have built exceptionally successful careers and companies, and now operate in investments in Indian companies to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the India of the 21st century.

VenSat is currently best known internationally for having created all of the visual effects for the 2010 motion picture releases, “DABANGG” and some of the most complex VFX sequences for “ROBO,” which have become two of the highest grossing films in India this year. Additionally, the company recently delivered a full-length animated motion picture for a major European entertainment group and all VFX for “LAND OF THE ASTRONAUTS” for Studio Cineville, in the U.S., which was premiered and showcased at the Montreal Film Festival and at the recently concluded Mumbai Film Festival. Further, VenSat is currently among the handful of Indian studios already doing 2D/3D conversion work for major U.S. theatrical features. VenSat is also currently engaged with a preeminent American university to deliver the first of an ongoing series of short animated health-education programs, which will be distributed globally.

In making today’s announcement, Mr. Roddam said, “Expansion of our rapidly growing operations into the U.S., and being part of the mainstream American entertainment industry, is a natural extension of our company’s great aspirations and recognized capabilities. We are already linked with animation, VFX, and 3D conversion entities in Los Angeles, so the timing for this expansive move became ideal.” He added, “In Ken Silverman, we have found an accomplished U.S. media executive, who is also among the best known and most respected American entertainment industry leaders in India. There’s virtually no aspect of media and entertainment, in the U.S. or India, with which he has not had direct engagement.”

Among other accomplishments, Mr. Silverman was the first head of pay-television distribution for Warner Bros., launched the pioneering pay-television group, Cinemerica, Inc., served as a former executive at Columbia Pictures, and wrote the start-up business plan for Viacom’s Black Entertainment Television (BET). Engaged in India since 1997, he has for the past eight years been Senior U.S. Strategic Advisor for the media and entertainment initiatives of The Tata Group (Tata Elxsi, Ltd.), which, with $72 billion in annual revenues, is India’s oldest, and largest business conglomerate. Acting on behalf of Tata, he initiated and/or oversaw U.S.-India projects with 20th Century Fox, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Film Roman, Hasbro, Lionsgate, MGM, Sony, and others.

Mr. Mudunuri noted, “The VenSat mission since day one has been to serve front-ranking U.S. creators of animated and live-action content for motion picture theatres, television, and all other delivery platforms. Having determined this year to aggressively expand into 2D-to-3D conversion services as well, the decision to now enter the American market was a given.  That said, John Follmer became a natural choice to head-up operations in the U.S., as well as to oversee the integration between our two studios in India and our American front-end. He has vast VFX experience, at both the creative and executive levels, coupled with a rich background in animation and pioneering works in 3D.”

Mr. Follmer was formerly Senior VP and Head of VFX production at Double Edge Digital, VP and Head of Production at Metrolight Studios, VP at Calico Entertainment, and he has visual effects credits on more than 50 motion pictures, ranging from “RED PLANET” and “DARJEELING LIMITED” to “BATMAN FOREVER” and “TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON.” He has also set up and/or supervised assignments at VFX studios in Taiwan, Russia, and Japan, and he also recently consulted for India’s two largest VFX groups, Prime Focus World and Reliance MediaWorks.

Commenting on the launch of VenSat America, Mr. Silverman said, “I am delighted to lead VenSat’s participation in the mainstream U.S. media and entertainment industries. The group’s talented professionals, substantial resources, and proven accomplishments make them a standout in India, and now we’ve truly gone global in a meaningful way. Venkatesh Roddam is a true visionary; his quarter century in international banking and great strategic savvy gives us unique access to capital and significant opportunities around the world. Furthermore, Satyanarayana Mudunuri is ‘the rock of Gibraltar,’ a veteran of several decades as CFO for some of India’s most respected business organizations.”

Mr. Follmer added, “I am genuinely impressed with all of the group’s executives. Their skills, commitment, and passion for what they’re doing rivals anything I’ve seen anywhere in the world. I could not be more pleased to be aligned with all of them.”

VenSat America’s offices are located at 3500 W. Olive, Suite 300, Burbank, CA 91505; telephone (818) 827-7112. The Company’s New York office is at 275 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY, 10016; telephone (212) 380-8682.

About VenSat Tech Services Pvt Ltd.VenSat Tech Services, Pvt. Ltd. was founded by Venkatesh Roddam and Satyanarayana Mudunuri, in 2009. Mr. Roddam is a veteran of 20 years in international banking, including almost a decade with Deutsche Bank, last serving as Managing Director responsible for the business operations of the  Corporate Trust and Securities Services business for 31 markets, based in Frankfurt. Prior to the launch of VenSat, Mr. Roddam was CEO of one of the leading Business Process Outsourcing services groups. Mr. Mudunuri has, for over three decades, been one of India’s most respected financial executives. He is the former Executive Vice President, Finance, for ITC, Ltd., the diversified conglomerate which is one of the most esteemed companies in India. He also served as CFO of one of the leading Business Process Outsourcing services companies.

The rest of the VenSat Senior Management team come from longtime leadership positions in VFX production, animation, human resources, technology and marketing. The production team, now over 100 artists strong in two animation/VFX studios in Chennai and Hyderabad, will be ramped-up to 250 during the first quarter of 2011, and is expected to surpass 400, as increased US-initiated demand requires. The VenSat creative teams, while at VenSat and their prior studios, have created visual effects for more than 200+ motion pictures for clients in India, the U.S., and Europe, and more than 50 animated motion pictures, TV episodes and/or DVD titles.

To know more, please visit www.VenSat.in.

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