Netflix ups content investments in India with 10 new Indian original films
MUMBAI: Internet TV network Netflix continues its investment in Indian content with its announcement of 10 new original films. Through this growing slate of films, Indian storytellers and talent will bring to life authentic stories, across a 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.
The first few steps in the Netflix film journey in India included ‘Lust Stories’, an Indian anthology film; ‘Soni’ – a tale of two Indian police officers, new-age romances like ‘Love Per Square Foot’ and a humorous family drama set in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, ‘Rajma Chawal’.
The 10 new Netflix Indian original films include:
- Ghost Stories: Directors Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Anurag Kashyap reunite (after Lust Stories) to tell tales, produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP and Ashi Dua.
- 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.
- Guilty: Produced by Dharmatic and directed by Ruchi Narain, Guilty explores the versions of truth that emerge when a small town girl accuses the college heartthrob of rape. Seen through the eyes of his musician girlfriend, this story makes us question who is really accused in a circumstance like this.
- Yeh Ballet: 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, the unlikely ballerinos find that escape is not as easy as they thought.
- House Arrest: Directed by Shashanka Ghosh and Samit Basu, written by Samit Basu 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.
- Kaali Khuhi: 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.
- Maska: The film is about a confused millennial who sets out to fulfill 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.
- Freedom: 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.
- Serious Men: 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.
“When Netflix launched in India, we changed the way Indian audiences enjoy their films. 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” said Netflix director – International Original Film, India Srishti Behl Arya.
Farah Khan who is the producer for ‘Mrs. Serial Killer’ said, “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 on 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 embarking on this journey together.”
Ronnie Screwvala of RSVP said, “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 RSVPs DNA – to lean into risk when it comes to bold content narratives and creative freedom. Just as ‘Lust Stories’ resonated around the world, we are aiming for Ghost Stories and many more stories and sequels from India to connect with audiences in Asia and around the world.”
Karan Johar, the producer for ‘Guilty’ said, “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 the 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.”
Siddharth Roy Kapur, the producer for ‘Yeh Ballet’ said, “‘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. Roy Kapur Films aims to enable incredible artistes like Sooni Taraporevala to transform their creative vision into reality, and we are delighted to partner with her to bring her dream to life. 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.”
Director Sooni Taraporevala ‘Yeh Ballet’ said, “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.”
Sudhir Mishra on ‘Serious Men’ said, “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.”