UTV revealed its slate for 2012 at a well-attended party held on January 18 at a five-star hotel. The corporate, which is in the process of being taken over by Hollywood studio Disney, made it a point to invite to the party the other Hollywood studios which have presence in India, besides the corporate houses of Bollywood and leading distributors of various circuits. The first looks of several forthcoming films of UTV like Rowdy Rathore, Joker, Heroine, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, Race 2, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, Barfi! and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu were unveiled. In a departure of sorts, UTV made an announcement after the function to inform that if anybody wanted to bid for any rights of any of its films, he could do so right there at the function itself.
No doubt, functions like these are held to generate heat and excitement in the trade for the films showcased. The ultimate aim is, of course, to convert the excitement into monetary returns. Yet, rarely has anyone been as brazen as UTV was at this partcular event to openly solicit enquiries for the films on display.
In a way, UTV’s party did the job of a film agent. Since times immemorial, it is the broker who acts as a catalyst to generate interest of a distributor in a film or, in cases where the interest is already generated, to get the interested party to meet the producer who has the object of the former’s interest. With several deals now being composite ones, in which a corporate could buy the all-India or all-world distribution rights of films and, in several cases, there being no need for deals because corporates often themselves distribute films produced in-house, the film broker finds himself out of place or without much work to do nowadays. Parties like the one hosted by UTV this week may only hasten the extinction process of the tribe of film agents/brokers.