Great Southern Ark Productions & Southern Ark Productions mandate is to develop and nurture strong business relationships as well as encourage new and emerging talent

Partners in Professional Excellence


Mahesh Ramanathan – Executive Producer/Producer

Mahesh Ramanathan was formerly the founder & Chief Operating Officer of Reliance Entertainment, the film production arm of India’s Reliance Group - a top three private sector business house in India on all major financial parameters, with assets in excess of US $ 30 billion and net worth in excess of US $ 15 billion.

Across different companies, the Reliance group has a customer base of over 100 million, the largest in India, and a shareholder base of over 12 million, among the largest in the world.

Through its products and services, the Reliance Group touches the life of 1 in 10 Indians every single day. It has a business presence that extends to over 20000 towns and 0.5 million villages in India, and 5 continents across the world.

Mahesh is a management graduate from IIM-Ahmedabad, India’s premier business school. He is one of India’s most successful movie studio executives having produced, marketed and distributed a diverse slate of 113 films worldwide to date, in 10 languages across all genres. Under his leadership, Reliance Entertainment grew from a start-up to one of India’s leading movie studios within 8 years. Mahesh has strong working relationships in the Indian film industry having collaborated with 78 film makers and almost all the big & active stars of India cinema.

Production credits include the popular “Singham” (“The Lion”) franchise which ranks amongst the top grossing Indian films taking over US $ 80 million worldwide.

Mahesh has marketed & distributed worldwide some of the highest grossing Indian films of all time – “3 Idiots” (US $ 80 million),”Bodyguard” (US $ 53 million), “Don-2” (US $ 54 million), Holiday (US $ 40 million).

Mahesh’s productions for Reliance Entertainment have won an impressive 28 National Film awards up until 2014 (President of India’s Golden & Silver Lotus Awards). National Films awards are the highest honour for films in India. This is the one of the highest award accolades for any film studio in India in a span of 7 years.

Mahesh was also involved in the production of India's first full length animation feature "Hanuman" which was a box office success and had a transformational impact on the Indian animation industry.

Mahesh has been instrumental in opening non-traditional markets for Indian films abroad with major theatrical releases in China, Japan, South Korea and Latin America. His films have been screened in over 100 prestigious international film festivals across 45 world cities.


Nila Madhab Panda – Director/Producer

Nila Madhab Panda, film-maker from India. Panda has made films of different genre, each of his story telling is a discover to new craft. Most of his films have unique insights drawn from his own life, the metaphorical distance that he has traversed from a small obscure village to different cities around the world. His first hindi feature film, the highly-acclaimed ‘I am Kalam’ has won 33 International & National awards.

His second feature film “Jalpari”, about female feticide and gender equality, was also well received by audience and was highly acclaimed. It received the prestigious, MIP Junior award at Cannes 2013. His third feature film “Babloo Happy Hai”, based on Youths and HIV/AIDS was also well appreciated by audience and critics in India. His fourth film “Kaun Kitney Paani Main”, a satire on water crisis in India got released last year. His new feature length documentary “God’s own people” narrated by Mr Bachchan. His new film “Kadvi hawa” got national award this year, is based on the economical and emotional impact of climate change/global warming. He has started shooting his new children film called “Halkaa” which is a sequel of “I am kalam” based on a child growing in the slums of Delhi. Panda has founded the “International Screenwriters Lab” in India to create quality children’s film scripts in Asian Cinema.

He was the producer for the 60x60 programme, UK Arts Council-funded, to bring cultural connection between India-Pakistan and Britain. Apart film awards he has been honored with “Longest Journey Award” from IIM-B & BC, UN award, “Karmaveer Puraskar-2011”, on his contribution on social issues through film medium, Living Legend, Odisha Icon, Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship award, Honored with “Bharat Gaurav”. And year 2016 he was honored with “Padmashree” one of the highest civilian honor by the president of India for his work on arts and cinema.


Janet Wu, Bright East Films, Beijing, China - Producer

Janet Wu studied producing at UCLA MFA’s producer’s program in 1999. From then on, she has worked on feature films, TV series, and co-productions between China and U.S. The projects include:

Producer: Feature film “CEO” (2002) (as the producer in US)
Producer: CCTV’s 20 episode TV series “War of the Genes” (2003) (as the producer in US)
Producer: 20 episode-TV series “Pretty Woman in New York” (2001) (as the producer in US)
Location Manager: Feature film “Hi, Frank” (2000) (as the location manager)

In 2005, Janet Wu returned from Los Angeles to China, from 2006 to the present, where she has worked as the key producer in both Bright East Entertainment Inc., and Dream Garden Pictures Inc. She also worked as the producing executive and was responsible for making investment decisions on films, such as the blockbuster film “Beginning Of The Great Revival” (2011), the commercial film “Metallic Attraction-Kung Fu Cyborg” (2009);and the Feature film “Something About Kids”(2009) (which won the best film at the International Children’s Film Festival, and the Best Children’s Film at Hua Biao Government Awards). All these films either profited from box office return or from sales revenues for the investors.

As a Producer she also produced:

Producer: 25 episode- TV series “My Big Family, My Small Apartment” (2008)
Producer: 30 episode-TV series “Don’t Touch My Man” (2013)
Producer: Feature film “ MAWEN’S Battle” (2009)(nominated for best film at Shanghai International Film Festival’s media awards section, nominated for best film at Macau International Film Festival, official selection of Hawaii International Film Festival)
Producer: Feature film “XIAO LIANG’S Summer” (2011)
Executive Producer: Feature film “Holidays in Shangri-La” (2011)
Producer: Feature film “Great Escape” (principle production starts in August 2014)
Producer: Feature film “Fallen” (principle production starts in June 2014)
2013.12- Current. Vice President (China Office), Ivanhoe Pictures

Other professional experiences include:

2006- 2015. An active member of Xi’an Film Studio whose affiliate members include most of the current film directors in the Chinese film industry such as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Gu ChangWei and Huang JianXing etc.

2009- 2015. A member of the China Film Producers Association, whose organization covers film writers, directors and producers in China.


Geoffrey Simpson, ACS - Director of Photography

Geoffrey Simpson, one of Australia's most successful cinematographers, has a prolific career in Australia and internationally.

Recent films include “The Sessions” and “My Mistress”. He also recently filmed 'Romulus My Father' for director Richard Roxburgh, starring Eric Bana, and 'Last Holiday' for director 'Wayne Wang', starring Queen Latifa, LL Cool J and Gerard Depardieu, which followed 'Under The Tuscan Sun' starring Diane Lane. Other film credits include 'Little Women', 'Oscar & Lucinda' and 'The Last Days of Chez Nous' for director Gillian Armstrong, Peter Weir's 'Green Card', John Avnet's 'Fried Green Tomatoes', Anthony Minghella's 'Mr Wonderful', Scott Hick's 'Shine' and previously for Arenafilm, 'The Navigator' directed by Vincent Ward and produced by John Maynard.

A recipient of numerous accolades, Simpson has won Australian Film Industry Awards for 'Oscar & Lucinda' (1998), 'Shine' (1996), ''The Navigator' (1988) and was nominated for 'The Last Days of Chez Nous' (1992).


The International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers

A brilliant idea conceived a half a century ago ignited a spark that turned into IQ. Filmmakers helping filmmakers, across time zones, cultures, and projects. Each member held to the highest standards of creativity and production excellence. An organization founded on trust. Built on relationships forged in the field and in darkened screening rooms at the yearly IQ conference. Connections that expand business and mind, fueled by the common need to tell stories, and by the sharing of struggles. Woven together with the power of business across borders.

While we embrace all categories – documentaries, non- fiction, commercials, corporate, web series, TV, movies – our members defy categorization. Their work finds its way onto all screens, from movie theatres to mobile phones. Whether focused on a specialized niche, or ranging across all these formats, what we all work on is how to grow our businesses. It’s this diversity of involvement that enriches us. Limited to 100 hand-picked Producers, IQ has over 80 Members in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Several have been awarded the highest film awards including Emmy’s, Grammy’s and Oscars. IQ acknowledges and honors the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We pledge ourselves to creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages and experiences.


Lingwood Productions, Australia

An award-winning film & television production company specialising in feature films, television programming & commercials, and documentaries throughout Asia and Australia.


Orient Films Ltd.

A film production company in Hong Kong with strong connections to mainland China.