Armritraj Tapping Into Oil Money

Ashok Armritraj, brother to tennis great Vijay and indie producer extraordinaire himself, has tapped into an Arabian oil field called Imagenation for about $250 million to make 20 films over seven yearsashok.jpg, Variety says.

Abu Dhabi’s production banner Imagenation has signed a deal with Armitraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment. The joint venture will fund English-language fare with global appeal. There will also be additional money allocated to lower-budget, local-language fare in both Arabic and Hindi as well as projects with a cross-cultural approach.

Hyde Park exec veep Patrick Aiello will supervise creative affairs for the partnership, while Mimi Steinbauer, newly named prexy of Hyde Park Intl., will handle foreign sales for projects produced by the company. Stefan Brunner, Imagenation’s chief financial officer, will oversee the financial aspects of the joint venture.

No tennis movies are on the horizon, but you never know.