EXCLUSIVE: Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions has entered into a strategic content partnership with fellow Indian production house, Sikhya Entertainment, founded by Guneet Monga.
The two companies will work together to produce multiple projects across feature films and digital formats. While no projects were announced under the deal, the partners said they would start to reveal details in two to three months.
The deal brings together one of mainstream Bollywood’s biggest production companies with an outfit better known internationally for independent and festival fare.
Dharma’s credits span 1990s Bollywood classics such as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, to recent releases such as Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva, a big-budget fantasy action film co-produced with Disney and released last year, and Selfiee, an action comedy starring Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi, released this year.
Sikhya has been a producer or co-producer on festival hits such as The Lunchbox, Masaan and What Will People Say, as well as Oscar-winning documentaries Period. End Of Sentence, directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, and Kartiki Gonsalves’ The Elephant Whisperers. Monga also moved into producing digital formats in 2020 with short film anthology, Zindagi In Short, in collaboration with Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.
The two companies first worked together on Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, which Dharma co-distributed in India with UTV Motion Pictures, following the film’s premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Rail d’Or in Critics Week.
In a statement, the partners said that Dharma’s mainstream expertise and talent discovery would be combined with Sikhya’s experience in independent cinema “to produce diverse and captivating content for both theatrical and digital releases. Together, they aim to set new benchmarks for creativity and innovation in the industry.”
Johar said: “We are extremely excited to collaborate with Sikhya Entertainment. As a filmmaker, I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire, entertain, and challenge audiences. With this alliance, we have the opportunity to bring together our shared passion for creating innovative content and telling stories that resonate with people from all walks of life. This partnership represents a unique blend of two brands that have always supported diverse and unconventional talent, and I can’t wait to see what we will create together.”
Monga said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Dharma Productions, India’s leading production house, and bring together our experience and expertise to create impactful and unforgettable cinema. This partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between two distinct and unique brands in the industry, and we are excited to work together to create content that resonates with a wider audience.”
Dharma Productions CEO Apoorva Mehta said: “At Dharma Productions, we have always strived to create content that resonates with our audiences and tells compelling stories that stay with them. This partnership represents a unique opportunity to collaborate with one of the most innovative production houses in the industry and bring together our respective talents and expertise to create something truly special.”