Netflix unveils expanding universe of Indian stories
Just two-and-a-half years after Netflix premiered its first Indian original series, “Sacred Games“, the streaming giant is rolling out a massive lineup of 41 Indian titles.
“At Netflix, we love to tell stories that bring us together. Films and series told authentically by Indian creators you love as well as voices that are new. But how do we identify that one story that everyone will love? We don’t. Each and everyone of us have our own tastes and moods and all of us want to see our lives reflected on screen,” said Netflix VP of Content for India Monika Shergill in her blog post about See What’s Next India 2021.
Investing in original content
At See What’s Next India 2021, Shergill was joined by Netflix Director of International Original Film Srishti Behl Arya and an all-star lineup of talent and creators from across India, including Ashvini Yardi, Raveena Tandon, Imtiaz Ali, Puneet Krishna, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vivek Gomber, Karan Johar, and Amala Paul. Actor, TV host, and VJ Ranvijay Singha hosted the event.
Shergill shared her vision, which is to collaborate with creators from all corners of the country and tell stories that connect with the company’s subscribers in India and around the world.
Previewing the slate of 41 films and series and more, Shergill underscored Netflix’s commitment to the creative community in India. Netflix has been making a huge push for creating original content in Asia, including its recent announcement at See What’s Next Korea 2021 that it will invest nearly US$500M in Korean content this year.
Empowering Indian creators
“Netflix has opened the audiences to a global platform and with that we get to experiment with different formats, enjoy new cinema and gain access to global works. Women protagonists have also evolved across storytelling efforts and are prominently seen across Netflix content,” Tandon said in the panel discussion.
Tandon is making her digital debut in the Netflix Original Series “Aranyak”, where she plays the cop Kasturi Dogra.
From films, series, documentaries, reality shows, comedy specials, and more, Indian creators are taking advantage of a powerful platform. One that allows them to tell their stories to a global audience without sacrificing their unique voices and creative vision.
“Over the last two decades, I have made soaps in which characters had to keep evolving or be replaced. Digital revolutionized how content is consumed, proving that content can be made across formats, and countries, catering to a global audience,” Yardi shared.
Yardi is the producer of “Masaba Masaba”. This biographical drama series stars Indian fashion designer Masaba Gupta and her mother, actress Neena Gupta, who play fictional versions of themselves.
Meanwhile, Ali, the showrunner and writer of the crime drama series “She”, said: “There were stories I could not make as films, and I am glad for platforms like Netflix, where I can share the same concept from a different point of view. I don’t need to encapsulate everything in two hours, and can keep the creativity going.”
“She”, which is returning for a second season, tells the story of Bhumika Pardeshi (played by Aaditi Pohankar), a female constable who goes undercover.
So, ready for more Indian stories? The universe just keeps growing.