While India has bucked the international trend of cord cutting, and traditional fixed TV-viewing continues to grow, premium streaming content service Netflix has upped the stakes yet again, unveiling a large slate of original content for India. From a streaming platform, this is the kind of original content slate that would be fit to challenge the biggest traditional broadcasters with themes and quality of production not easily matched.
Netflix has announced Eight New Original Films and one new original series from India.
In a move that reinforces Netflix’s commitment to Asia, the company concluded its inaugural content event in Asia, “See What’s Next: Asia” with CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos joining performers and creators from India to announce eight original films and a new original series. The showcase also included updates on four Indian original series that were previously announced.
“We celebrate India today with an incredible line-up of original films and series that are right now filming across India. This line-up cuts across genres from horror to fantasy and in locations from Leh to Mumbai. The breadth of stories with its local settings and complex characters is incredible and we can’t wait for people to discover and fall in love with them,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix.
The “Celebrating India” session at the event saw media and influencers from 11 countries across Asia witness the breadth and depth of Netflix Indian Originals.
4 original series on Netflix
Rajma Chawal, an original film starring Rishi Kapoor, Anirudh Tanwar, Amyra Dastur and others, directed by Leena Yadav, is about an internet-rookie father attempts to use social media to enhance his faltering relationship with his millennial son. The 16+ comedy is of 1 hour 58 minutes duration.
Watch the promo here:
This is an original series based on Aravind Adiga’s book of the same name. Produced by Anil Kapoor Film Company and Seven Stories Ltd, Selection Day is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players. Stars Mohammad Samad, Yash Shashank Dholye, Rajesh Tailang and others in the story of a 14-year-old boy who tries out for Mumbai’s under-19 cricket team and meets his older brother’s rival… and how everything in his world begins to change!
Baahubali – Before the Beginning
Based on Anand Neelakantan’s book, this prequel series to India’s epic fantasy franchise traces the dramatic rise of Queen Sivagami and her empire.Stars Mrunal Thakur as Sivagami, Rahul Bose as Skandadasa, Atul Kulkarni, Vaquar Shaikh, Jameel Khan, Siddharth Arora and Anup Soni, among others.
In the forgotten margins of the segregated communities of a dystopian future, a woman searches for the daughter she lost upon her arrest years ago. This dystopian fiction series produced by Deepa Mehta features Huma Qureshi in the title role and Siddharth Suryanarayan, among others.
Netflix rounded off these updates with the announcement of a new original series, Typewriter.
New original series on Netflix: Typewriter
Typewriter is about a haunted house and a haunted book that stir the imagination of a group of young, wannabe ghost hunters, and a dog, determined to capture the ghost that plagues the notorious home in their neighbourhood in Goa.
When a new family and their captivating daughter move into the haunted home, the crew finds it difficult to balance the demands of school and chores with the renewed urgency to capture the neighbourhood ghost before it is too late.
8 new original films from Netflix
Underlining its investment in original films in India, Netflix unveiled eight new original Indian films spanning genres and involving the best of established and new Indian talent:
Chopsticks is about an under-confident but talented girl, sidestepped at every stage of her life, who seeks out an enigmatic con to help recover her stolen car from a goat-loving, crazy Mumbai gangster. In the process, she finds her confidence and place in the sun. Along with Mithila Palkar who won hearts in Netflix series Little Things 02, Abhay Deol and Vijay Raaz will act in the film.
Chopsticks is produced by Ashvini Yardi of Vineyard Productions and directed by Sachin Yardi.
Bulbul is the story of a man who returns home after years to find his brother’s child bride now grown up and abandoned, and his ancestral village plagued by mysterious deaths.
Produced by Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, is a period piece set in a vibrant atmosphere amidst age-old beliefs and superstitions.
Satya and his brother’s child bride, Bulbul, were inseparable until he was sent to England for his education. On his return, he finds Bulbul has been abandoned by his brother and now lives a solitary existence as the enigmatic lady-of-the-palace, dedicating herself to the welfare of the people.
But their ancestral village is plagued by mysterious deaths and stories of a haunting by a woman who lives in the trees!
Satya must find the truth behind the lore and save his village from the evil “chudail with the inverted feet”.
Upstarts is a bromance about three college graduates from small-town India, captivated by the startup mania sweeping the country. Determined to ride the burgeoning wave of startup companies, they set out to change the world while making millions.
As they enter the rollercoaster startup ecosystem of big dreams, big money and bigger sharks, they are faced with a big choice – their dreams, or their friendship.
Directed by Udai Singh Pawar, Upstarts is produced by Raja Menon, Janani Ravichandran and Jawahar Sharma of Bandra West Productions. This film is supported by real-life heroes from the startup world in Bengaluru.
Cobalt Blue, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, is the story of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man, and how a traditional Marathi family is shattered by the ensuing events.
This story brings out the pain and the beauty of forbidden love, and is written and directed by Sachin Kundalkar.
15th August, produced by Madhuri Dixit, is set in a Mumbai chawl, and follows the course of a single day as its residents prepare for the flag-hoisting ceremony. This Marathi film is a lighthearted snapshot of life in the chawls of Mumbai, and the struggles of middle-class India. The film has a soaring climax, and is about how love sets us free.
Music Teacher, directed by Sarthak Dasgupta, is a story about an emotionally troubled music teacher, essayed by Manav Kaul, who gets a chance to come to terms with his bitterness with an estranged student, now a renowned celebrity singer of Bollywood. The music teacher vows to get back everything he lost in the past risking all his achievements in the present day.
Hotel Mumbaitells the astonishing true story of the victims and survivors of the devastating attacks on Mumbai in 2008. The film directed by Anthony Maras stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs, and others. This film is available on Netflix in the SAARC region only.
Firebrand, directed by Aruna Raje and produced by Priyanka Chopra, is a Marathi Film, a contemporary, slice-of-life story in which the ups and downs of modern-day relationships take the spotlight. Produced by Priyanka Chopra, it follows a successful lawyer, a sexual assault victim played by Usha Jadhav, as she tackles difficult family cases while also dealing with intimacy issues in her own marriage.
Girish Kulkarni essays the role of her husband Madhav Patkar, an architect by profession. Sachin Khedekar and Rajeshwari Sachdev play a couple in the movie which is high on drama.