Netflix is working its magic on the Indian audience, making it a hotspot for stories of all kinds. To strengthen this engagement, it is coming up with 10 more Indian originals
“Kabhi kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwaan hain (Sometimes it feels like I am God).” Who isn’t aware of this dialogue from Netflix’s famous Indian original series Sacred Games that became the talk of the town and broke the Internet? It was the first time that an Indian original on this streaming platform made such a ground-breaking impact.
From controversial thriller Delhi Crime to light-hearted comedy Rajma Chawal, from the bold anthology Lust Stories to the new age romance Love Per Square Foot — India has come up with a variety of series and films for Netflix in the recent times. Being the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 139 million paid memberships in over 190 countries, with TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages, it definitely has a wide reach.
Netflix has continued its investment in Indian content with its announcement of 10 new original films, further paving the way to hosting some of the finest Indian films. Through this growing slate, Indian storytellers and talent will bring to life, authentic stories across a wide range of subjects and genres — including drama, sci-fi, thriller, horror, comedy and romance.
By the end of 2020, a total of 15 new original Indian films (including previously announced titles Music Teacher, Cobalt Blue, Chopsticks, Upstarts and Bulbul) will be available to Netflix members around the world. “When Netflix was launched in India, we changed the way Indian audience enjoys their films,” said Srishti Behl Arya, Director of International Original Film, India, Netflix.
“Given our diversity, history and culture, India is home to powerful stories waiting to be told to audiences around the world. The depth of talent and vision of our creators is enabling us to create films our members will love. We want to be a home for India’s finest filmmakers where their stories travel to more people than ever before,” she adds.
The 10 new Netflix Indian original films include:
Directors Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Anurag Kashyap reunite (after Lust Stories) to tell spine-chilling tales, produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP and Ashi Dua. “The overwhelming success of Lust Stories – which still has people talking about it a year after it launched – made us want to repeat the magic with our second anthology called Ghost Stories. With Netflix we have a partner who complements the strain in RSVP’s DNA, to lean into risk when it comes to bold content narratives and creative freedom. Just as Lust Stories resonated with people, we are aiming for Ghost Stories and many more stories and sequels from India to connect with audiences in Asia and around the world,” says Screwvala.
Class of ‘83:
Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and directed by Atul Sabharwal, it explores the story of an upright policeman-turned-trainer, whose students grapple with the complexities of honour, morals and devotion to the nation.
Mrs Serial Killer:
When her husband is framed and imprisoned for serial murders, a doting wife must perform a murder exactly like the serial killer, to prove her husband innocent. The thriller is directed by Shirish Kunder and produced by Farah Khan. “The Internet is an exciting place for telling stories that are multi-genre and multi-layered. We are thrilled that our film Mrs Serial Killer will launch first on Netflix. Being on Netflix allows the film to find its audience in their own time, and stays on for newer audiences to discover it even months later. Both Shirish and I at Three’s Company are looking forward to embark on this journey together,” says Farah Khan.
Produced by Dharmatic and directed by Ruchi Narain, Guilty explores the versions of truth that emerge when a small town girl accuses the college heart throb of rape. Seen through the eyes of his musician girlfriend, this story makes us question who is really accused in a circumstance like this. “Today a filmmaker with an interesting idea has so many avenues to connect with the audience, and Netflix is definitely one of the most exciting among them. As a content creator, there has never been a better time to tell stories! Guilty is a film that explores a personal, powerful subject where a small-town girl takes on the structures that protect perpetrators of rape. Ruchi Narain is helming the film as a director, and we at Dharmatic, could not be more excited than to see her vision come alive across 190 countries on Netflix,” says Karan Johar, who’s producing the film.
Directed by Sooni Taraporevala and produced by Roy Kapur Films, this is a story about two boys from very low income families who discover ballet and through it a way to escape their challenging circumstances. Over the course of the film, they find that escape is not as easy as they thought.
“Yeh Ballet explores the universal theme of rising above one’s circumstances and finding acceptance and belonging, through the riveting true story of two young boys from Mumbai who discovered themselves through ballet. The expression of emotions through the universal language of dance is an integral part of every culture around the world, and the global reach of Netflix gives us the opportunity to have this powerful story resonate with an audience around the world. We are excited about this collaboration and look forward to telling this incredible story together,” says Kapoor.
“This is the extraordinary journey of two young boys who find themselves and their purpose in life, thanks to a chance meeting with a ballet teacher. It’s wonderful to collaborate with Siddharth Roy Kapur again, a producer who believes in trusting filmmakers to craft a good story their way as it is to partner with Netflix and take this film not just across India but to a globe-spanning audience simultaneously. Making films that speak a global language, while celebrating their local beating heart is every filmmaker’s intent, and I’m beyond thrilled to bring this unbelievable story to life on Netflix,” says Tarapoorevala.
Directed by Shashanka Ghosh and produced by India Stories, this film is the story of a man – trapped in his own fears – who locks himself at home, only to find that while he can restrict his interaction with the world, he can’t keep the world from entering his domain.
With a history of female infanticide and mysterious deaths of its residents, this Punjab village must be saved, and it is up to 10-year-old Shivangi to be its saviour. The film is directed by Terrie Samundra and produced by Manomay Motion Pictures.
The film is about a confused millennial who sets out to fulfil his fantasy of becoming a movie star, until a summer romance with a clear-headed girl helps him discover the fine line between dreams and delusions. The film is directed by Neeraj Udhwani and produced by Seher Aly Latif and Shivani Saran’s Mutant Films.
Directed and produced by Dibakar Banerjee, it is the story of an Indian family interwoven with the personal, ideological and sexual history of India and how desire plays a common role in each.
Produced by Bombay Fables and Cineraas Entertainment, the film is about a wily slum dweller, who cons the country into believing his dim-witted 10-year-old son is a genius, to realise that the only victim of his dangerous game is his son. Based on Manu Joseph’s book, the film will be adapted and directed for the screen by Sudhir Mishra.
“Book adaptations typically face the conundrum of pleasing the reader or pleasing the viewer, but Netflix has eliminated the need for a compromise. The reader and the viewer converge on Netflix, and now we can tell quality stories the way they were meant to be told. So it seems natural that this thrilling tale of wiles, wits, danger and redemption would find a home and an audience on this platform,” says Mishra.