ZEE5 to have aggressive original content slate as it gears up for launch

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MUMBAI: Media conglomerate ZEEL’s new digital platform ZEE5 has an aggressive original content slate lined-up as it gears up to launch.

As per the available information, ZEE5 is working on five original web series such as ‘Babbar Ka Tabbar’, ‘0Kms’, ‘Tamashri’ besides two untitled shows.

Produced by Oddjoint and directed by Q, ‘0Kms’ features veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah in a prominent role. The show will revolve around the sports genre and the shoot has already begun in Goa. The show will also feature Tanmay Dhanania who will play the male lead whereas Vaibhavi Upadhyaya will play his love interest. Satyadeep Mishra and Amol Sarang will also be a part of the show.

‘Babbar ka Tabbar’ created under the banner Mango People Media will revolve around a Punjabi family based in Delhi, showcasing the struggle of the middle-class family. The show will star Avneet Kaur and Bhavin Bhanushali as siblings and veteran actors Manu Rishi Chadha (Tanu Weds Manu Returns) and Ayesha Raza Mishra (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha) as parents.

‘Tamashri’ is a thriller drama produced by Boom Man Productions. It is a story of a girl who aspires to be perfect in everything. She figures that her relationship with her boyfriend and her personal life is not perfect which drives her to attain that perfection. In her drive to attain perfection she ends up doing things that tread on the lines of being psychotic. The show will feature Maanvi Gagroo in the lead role.

The platform is also working on two untitled web series. One is a biopic of actress Sunny Leone while other, produced by Tanveer Bookwala, is a fictional story featuring Swara Bhaskar, Meherzan Mazda, Sukhmani Sadhana.

Talking about ZEE5 recently, ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka had said that the VoD platform will have original content from its launch.

“On Zee5, our strategy is purely content driven, and the breadth of content that we want to offer will be our differentiator compared to anybody else out there. Yes, we will have original content on day one on Zee5. And also, in the application itself we are trying to build in certain features which may not be available on the current OTT platforms,” he had said.

The company is also looking to acquire exclusive digital rights of movies as it wants to be the owner of exclusive content. ZEE5 has grabbed digital rights for Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer Indian sci-film 2.0. The film is directed by S. Shankar and is the first Indian film that is directly shot in 3D. The movie serves as a sequel to the 2010 Tamil film Enthiran, and features Rajinikanth reprising the roles of Dr. Vaseegaran and Chitti, alongside Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson. The film will be shot simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi, and will be dubbed in Telugu. It is expected to be released in 15 languages in April 2018.

The platform has also got the digital rights for Tamil-language action thriller film ‘Mersal’ which is directed by Atlee and co-written by Atlee, K. V. Vijayendra Prasad and S. Ramana Girivasan. The film stars Vijay in triple roles with Samantha, Nithya Menen, and Kajal Aggarwal. The background score and soundtrack were composed by A R Rahman.

“In terms of exclusivity on content, movie content for digital, I think that strategy is going to play out as we speak. I think right now we want to have exclusive content for our digital platform, not just movies but even on television shows. But that is something that we will have to answer as we go along,” Goenka had stated.

ZEE5, which will replace existing VoD platforms OZEE and DittoTV, will be built on four pillars, technology, content, regional focus and strong revenue model. The new platform will have a digital-first strategy and will have three revenue models SVOD, AVOD and TVOD.

Besides hosting regional content, the platform will also have local language user interface (UI). It will also have intuitive UI and strong recommendation engine.


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