Anil Ambani, Spielberg join hands for another project

Mumbai, Dec 17 (IANS) Anil Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks on Thursday announced the formation of Amblin Partners — a new film, television and digital content creation company.

Participant Media led by Jeff Skoll and Entertainment One (eOne), leading US based entertainment companies, are also part of the joint venture and will work closely in the project for specific content, while also exploring co-production opportunities, a joint statement said.

Ambani said ties between Reliance Entertainment and DreamWorks was over seven years old and the new project gave another opportunity for their entities to work together.

“We look forward to the combination of Steven’s passion and integrity with Jeff’s unique socially conscious vision to create uplifting and quality content to entertain global audiences,” he said, adding the projects they pursue will combine all banners — Amblin, DreamWorks and others.

“We are honoured to continue our long-term association with our dear friend, Anil Ambani and his team at Reliance. We have had the opportunity to develop and produce wonderful films thanks to their ongoing support,” Spielberg said.

DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media have collaborated on many Academy Awards-nominated films such as “Lincoln” and “The Help” as well as the critically acclaimed “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” and the recently released “Bridge of Spies”.

Amblin Partners’ Film projects in various stages of production include: “The BFG”, and “The Light Between Oceans”, scheduled for release by Disney and “The Girl on the Train”, all scheduled for release next year.

This apart, “A Dog’s Purpose”, is set for release in the first quarter of 2017 and “Ready Player One”, a co-production between Amblin Partners and Warner is due in December of 2017, the company statement added.

Upcoming shows from Amblin TV include “All the Way”, an HBO movie directed by Jay Roach, starring Bryan Cranston, with an airdate to be announced shortly, and “American Gothic”, a summer series that will air on CBS and begin production in February 2016.

JP Morgan Chase, which has been involved with the Ambani-Spielberg projects since 1994, structured and arranged a $500-million debt syndication with Comerica Bank for the venture. Others involved included Sun Trust Bank, Union Bank, City National Bank and Bank of America, among others.

Reliance Entertainment is the media and entertainment arm of the Reliance Group, engaged in the creation and distribution of content across films, television, digital and gaming platforms. It also has a global footprint that was expended since 2009 with Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios.

Their partner Participant Media, founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, is engaged in entertainment that inspires social change. Its 70-plus films include, “Spotlight”, “Contagion”, “Lincoln”, “The Help”, “He Named Me Malala”, “The Look of Silence”, “Food, Inc”, and “An Inconvenient Truth”.

They have collectively earned 37 Academy Award nominations and eight wins. Participant has also launched more than a dozen original series including, “Please Like Me”, Emmy Award-winning “Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt”, and “Fortitude”, for its television network Pivot.

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