Spielberg inks deal with Indian billionaire

The director’s DreamWorks studios has secured $875 million ($583 million) in financial backing after inking a deal with billionaire Anil Ambani, chairman of India’s Reliance BIG Entertainment. The money has also come from an agreement with Walt Disney Co. and bank loans.

The Jurassic Park filmmaker and his partner Stacey Snider began a search for investors last year (08) after Spielberg cut ties with Paramount Pictures in a bid to rebuild DreamWorks as an independent studio.

The deal, which was finalised on Monday (17Aug09), will give Reliance the right to distribute and market six DreamWorks films in India every year, while Disney will do so in other countries.

In a joint statement, Spielberg and Snider said, “This will allow us to move ahead quickly into production with our first group of films.

Ambani has spent 2009 putting funds into a number of Hollywood production firms, including those owned by actors Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Nicolas Cage and Jim Carrey.