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Indian 3-D in Chinese

February 05, 2004 15:44 IST
Chinese kids will soon get hooked to two pioneering Indian 3-D films produced by Navodaya Studio, the leading Kerala-based film production firm.

The Chinese Film Development Corporation has purchased the rights to My Dear Kuttichathan (Chota Chetan in Hindi) and Magic Magic, the only two 3-D films produced in India.

A delegation from Navodaya Studio led by its owner and producer Appachan (popularly known as Navodaya Appachan), travelled to China last month to screen the films for the CFDC officials.

"They were so impressed by our 3-D films that CDFC has bought the rights to our films. We will release these films across the theatres in China after dubbing them into Chinese," Appachan told rediff.com.

Refusing to divulge the details of the agreement, Appachan stated that China is a huge market for films, and that Navodaya is excited about releasing its revolutionary 3-D films: "I am sure the Chinese audience, especially the children, will immensely love My Dear Kuttichathan and Magic Magic."

Last year, the Chinese government declared film production as an industry. This new policy grants foreign investment in film production. It also permits private companies to invest in films.

Appachan says domestic film distribution in China has also been on the reform with the introduction of film classification and access to non-film

private enterprises into domestic film distribution. Some of the most successful films in China last year were: Hero (under New Picture Company), Love for All Seasons (under International Shanghai Creative Star Company) and Together (under Beijing Bona Culture Company).

Appachan and his sons, Jijo and Jose, weaved magic with the first 3-D film in India -- My Dear Kuttichathan in Malayalam -- in 1984. The film was later dubbed into all major Indian languages. Navodaya reportedly made nearly Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million) from the film. Eleven years later, it was re-released in Hindi as Chota Chetan. The Hindi film, that had the additional footage of oomph girl Urmila Matondkar, reportedly raked in nearly Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million).

My Dear Kuttichathan won the National Award in the Best Producer, Director and Child Artiste categories.

The same Navodaya team recreated the old 3-D magic with Magic, Magic last year. Shot in New York, it was about an eight-year-old boy played by Suraj Balajee and his grandfather, a great magician, played by singer S P Balasubramaniam. The film also starred 38 dogs, including Barky, the top dog of Hollywood who has featured in films like American Beauty and Men In Black.

Navodaya will soon help the Chinese Film Development Corporation to set up the infrastructure at theatres there.

George Iype in Kochi