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IMEN to invest Rs 200 crore in multi-format transmedia content

Promoters of Mumbai-based boutique media company Indian Media Entertainment Network (IMEN) are looking to invest Rs 200 crore over the next three years in developing multi-format transmedia content.

The company, which is set to release its first action film ‘Squad’ in June, will raise Rs 100 crore from private equity players, while the promoters will put in another Rs 100 crore of their own money, IMEN director and film producer Nilesh Sahay said.

“Between 2021 and 2023, we will make a total investment of Rs 200 crore to develop, produce and distribute content,” he told ET. “We are looking at transforming IMEN into a transmedia company, which will leverage our content IPs across platforms and media. We will have movies, web-series spinoffs, mobile games, graphic novels, merchandise, figurines, etc.”

Sahay said the company is already in talks with multiple private equity investors in Hong Kong and the UK. “I am hopeful of closing the deal in the next 5-7 months.”

He said he has got favourable response from the potential investors as his company has found a need gap and is sharply focused on action as a genre.

“When it comes to action in Bollywood, the Hollywood-like scale is missing,” Sahay said. “There are very few true action films, which is why there is a strong demand for South Indian dubbed films. What we are doing with ‘Squad’ is something never done before in India.”

Written, directed and produced by Sahay, ‘Squad’ will be the debut film of Rinzing Denzongpa, son of Danny Denzongpa. Apart from the film, IMEN will start working on a web-series with two characters from the film and a graphic novel.

Simultaneously, a first person shooting (FPS) game based on the film will be released along with figurines and other merchandise.

“We need to create a universe of the characters, so that people can come back,” Sahay said. “Right now, filmmakers only look at four revenue streams – theatrical, digital, satellite and music. We want to create an equally strong ancillary revenue stream.”

Globally, Disney is a master of building franchises and leveraging them across films, TV, web-series, merchandise and across its theme-parks. While the theme park option is not yet available in India, Sahay said he would like to expand IMEN in as many verticals as possible.

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