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Reliance Entertainment has nothing to hide on Rafale deal-French film link: Sources

BusinessToday.In     August 31, 2018

Reliance Entertainment has nothing to hide, say sources in the group, responding to allegations of quid pro quo with former France President Francois Hollande. It was Anurag Kashyap's Phantom Films that produced the French leader's partner Julie Gayet's production Tout La-Haut. Reliance Entertainment had issued a formal release on 24 January, 2016 announcing the film (which was to be named 'Nomber One' originally). The release had specifically mentioned it was Julie Gayet's Rouge International that would be making the film.

Directed by French actor and film-maker Serge Hazanavicius, Tout La-Haut released on December 20, 2017 in France and never released in India. The 98-minute film was first screened at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain. The movie was eventually released in eight other countries including UAE, Lebanon, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and Taiwan.

Phantom Films, the production and distribution company set up by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl was founded in 2011. Reliance Entertainment picked up 50% stake in 2015.

"The film Tout La-Haut was produced by Phantom Films which was set up by Anurag Kashyap and team and Reliance Entertainment owns 50 per cent in it," a source told BusinessToday.In.

Besides, this wasn't the first time that Reliance Entertainment was producing a French Film. In 2014, it had released a film called The Hundred Foot Journey featuring Helen Mirren and Om Puri, along with DreamWorks Pictures and Harpo Films.

Anil Ambani's company also owns a host of other companies, along with Phantom Films, so it is not the operating company when it comes to these firms, sources said.

This response came in the wake of a report that Anil Ambani's Reliance Entertainment signed an agreement with former France President Francois Hollande's partner Julie Gayet two days before the French leader came to India for Republic Day celebrations in 2016. It was that visit during which Hollande signed a MoU with PM Modi for the delivery of 36 Rafale aircraft. The final agreement was signed later in the year on 23 Sept, 2016.

Later that year, in 2016, Reliance Defence joined the offset programme of the Rafale deal through Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd. It holds 51% stake in the entity, while Dassault Aviation that manufactured the jets, owns 49%.

(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)

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