Last Updated: 11.14 PM, Apr 12, 2023
New Delhi: Actor Rana Daggubati is looking to scale up his business venture Spirit Media post the funding by Gruhas, led by Nikhil Kamath and Abhijeet Pai. The company will back multiple films across Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages besides fiction and non-fiction web shows both independently and in liaison with Daggubati’s family-owned production house Suresh Productions.
Besides providing VFX services to movie projects, it will also use its partnership with Amar Chitra Katha to develop live-action films centred around history and mythology.
“The idea is to create a professional entertainment company and offer what global studios do to independent creators so that they can come up with content across categories,” Daggubati told Mint. The company is looking to build scale post this latest round of funding and will not look for other investors at least for the next three to five years, he added.
In India, most entertainment companies remain family driven, be it Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions or in the south, AVM Productions. Other than that, there are global media and entertainment conglomerates such as Walt Disney and Amazon, Daggubati said, stressing the need for more democratization to allow entry into the industry to people who understand the business of entertainment.
Best known for playing the antagonist in Indian cinema’s highest-grossing films, the two-part Baahubali franchise, Daggubati had launched Anthill Studio, a business accelerator programme for technology startups that are building solutions for the media and entertainment sector, in 2018. The project is a joint venture between Anthill Ventures, an investment and scaling platform for early growth stage startups and Suresh Productions, an Indian film production and distribution company, owned by Daggubati’s father Daggubati Suresh Babu. He has himself worked as a visual effects supervisor and production executive in the south long before he took to acting in 2010 with Telugu political drama film Leader.
Daggubati who will officially announce a slate of feature films under Spirit Media this June, said the firm will release at least five to six projects each year across Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, first in theatres and then take them to satellite and digital platforms. Additionally, the company has several OTT projects in different stages of development. Building on the success of southern language spectacles such as RRR and Baahubali, the company is looking at working on visual effects both for films it produces as well as outside productions. Additionally, Daggubati who has bought a stake in Amar Chitra Katha, has two live-action films in development based on their titles, some of which he may also star in. These will be released in multiple Indian languages.
“The idea is to build a pool of producers, writers and actors who can each own a piece of content, making for an enterprise built on talent and IP that combines the best practices of the West, the south of India and the Mumbai film industry,” Daggubati said.