UTV to release 'Jodhaa Akbar' in 26 countries


Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, Feb 12 (IANS) Ashutosh Gowariker's epic love story "Jodhaa Akbar" is to get one of the biggest worldwide releases. UTV Motion Pictures will release the Hritik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai starrer in 26 countries on Friday.

Earlier, Sony Pictures' first Indian venture, "Saawariya", was one of the biggest releases of 2007. It was released in around 14 countries.

"Jodhaa Akbar" is dubbed in three languages - Hindi, Telugu and Tamil - and subtitled in English, Arabic and Dutch. It will be viewed across 1,500 screens worldwide.

In India alone the film is to be released in more than 1,300 screens, of which 500 will be digital and 825 physical prints. In the US, 122 prints will be released, the highest ever for an Indian film.

"The film is one of the most anticipated movies of the decade and in keeping with the unprecedented anticipation among audiences, our distribution strategy will ensure that it can be viewed by the maximum possible audience in the very week of its release," said Siddharth Roy Kapoor, executive vice-president of marketing and distribution, Syndication UTV Motion Pictures, in a press statement.

The film may also be screened in Pakistan, but at a later date.

"We are definitely planning to release the film in Pakistan but it won't be on Feb 15. Most probably we will screen it in March," Roy told IANS.

Set in the 16th century, this epic romance begins as a marriage of alliance between two cultures and religions, for political gain, with King Bharmal of Amer giving his daughter Jodha's hand to Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Akbar.

The music by maestro A.R. Rahman launched UTV's music label.

With this film, UTV is also reinventing its distribution in North America.

In Canada, it is the first time that a Hindi film is being released simultaneously in six provinces - British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Alberta.