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Goldstone to restore film archives

By K Rajani Kanth in Hyderabad
April 14, 2008 13:05 IST
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The media division of Goldstone Technologies, a Hyderabad-based software solutions and Internet protocol television provider, is eyeing business potential outside the film industry.

The division, which restores, colourises and digitises films, is exploring various opportunities to restore national archives. It is currently negotiating with a few government agencies in this regard.

"There is over 50,000 hours of short-film and documentary footage of national importance; this includes Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha and the Indo-Pak war. These could be restored and preserved for posterity, before they are lost forever. We expect to conclude a couple of deals in a few months," Rajesh Kalidindi, President and COO of Goldstone Technologies, told Business Standard.

Goldstone has also identified 140 films in three languages -- Telugu, Tamil and Kannada -- for restoration and colourisation. The company has already tied up for 40 movies -- 29 in Telugu, six in Tamil and four in Kannada -- including acquiring the negative rights of all 14 feature films produced by Vijaya Vauhini Pictures of Chennai.

The films include Telugu classics Maya Bazaar, Missamma, Appu Chesi Pappukudu, Jagadeka Veeruni Katha, Gundamma Katha, Pellichesi Chudu, and Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club.

The company is negotiating with three Bollywood production houses also. "The deals are yet to be finalised," Kalidindi said, while declining to divulge any further details.

The second restored and colourised film from Goldstone's stable, Navketan's Hum Dono starring Dev Anand, is complete. Discussions with Dev Anand about the time of release are on.

The company has already handed over the colourised version of Harischandra, a Kannada film, to its owner KCN Enterprises.

"We are gearing up for theatrical releases of eight films a year, starting this year, and expect revenues between Rs 10 -12 crore (Rs 100-120 million) per movie, from theatrical, satellite and DVD rights," he said.

Goldstone, which plans to invest around Rs 80 crore ($20 million) in its media business in the next 24 months, expects the division to contribute 20 per cent to the overall revenues in the current financial year.

The company posted revenues of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in the just-ended financial year. Most of it was derived from its core business of information technology.

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K Rajani Kanth in Hyderabad
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