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India's UTV Aims For Big Future with Three New Features

Indian film and TV conglomerate UTV has greenlighted a trio of 3D CGI cartoon features, according to Variety.

The company is ramping up its UTV Toons division into an industrial scale production-line capable of releasing features on an annual basis. The Mumbai-based facility is to grow from its present 300-member staff to 1,000 employees and the company is looking to recruit top line managers to oversee the expansion and Hollywood-level creative staff to guide the movie development process.

First up is $9 million Alibaba, a retelling of the classic children’s tale, directed by Soumitra Ranade and set to be delivered in the last quarter of 2008.

That will be followed by the $12 million-$14 million Arjun, drawn from the Hindu epic “Mahabarata.” Arjun is directed by Arnab Goswami with completion scheduled for mid-2009. The third picture is Dream Blanket, described as a “Mulan”-like tale directed by Simi Nallaseth, previously an animator on Ice Age.

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