Digital, OTT to Make it Big in India

admin   February 9, 2021

The future of Indian digital and OTT services are bright. India’s streaming growth prospects are growing at a much higher speed in current times that what it would have taken few years to adapt to.

Moderated by Prashanth Rao, Partner & Leader, Deloitte India, M & E Consulting, content leaders and technology providers in the panel were bullish on digital services growth in nook and corner of the country. The session was titled Content, technology & business models: The future of digital services. This session was organised during Fast Track Digital Series, part of the FICCI Knowledge Series, on the role of the digital economy to revitalize economic growth.

Kranti Gada, Chief Operating Officer, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited reasoned that Covid-19 has fastened digital video adoption and consumption in a big way. “I would really give credit to the OTT players and video platforms for encouraging a very active content system, which is drawing audiences for content to the phone, which is not available on television and other media,” said Kranti Gada.

Kranti predicted that ad revenue on digital for the current year will exceed or come on par with television advertising. The big challenge according to Kranti is find a robust payment ecosystem for the bottom of the pyramid viewers.

Saugata Mukherjee, Head of Original Content – SonyLIV maintained that content will remain the king, however technology will be the kingmaker. “We are very keen to tell stories which are intrinsically Indian. Sony Liv’s Scam 1992 has become a cult story one,” said Saugata.

Vinit Mehta, Director-New Business, Brightcove said India’s robust digital infrastructure and scalable technology ecosystem were reasons for improved viewer experience. “We have made the technology fast, simple and scalable,” said Vinit Mehta.

Vinit added that Brightcove has technologies in the space called context aware encoding, which uses AI and machine learning to optimize the bitrate ladder, depending on the motion in the video, thereby saving around 30 to 50% cost of bandwidth and storage expenses.

Karthik Nagarajan, Head-Content, Wavemaker predicted surge in regional consumption and availability of shows in many Indian languages. “One thing that I foresee happening in OTT in a fairly big way is the availability of content in multiple languages within India. That will change the dynamics of what’s happening in India,” said Karthik Nagarajan.

The big challenge in the OTT platforms is to find a robust payment ecosystem for the bottom of the pyramid viewers

 


Limited Regulations, Unlimited Possibilities

admin   February 9, 2021

Now that the OTT services and digital news aggregators have been brought under the ambit of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, streaming executives are hoping that the new regulatory guidelines may not lead to censorship of creative expression.

Content creators and OTT platform leaders deliberated on ‘Digital content regulation: Learning from best global practices’ at FICCI’s Knowledge Series Fast Track Digital.

Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer, ZEE5 India, said the government has always encouraged the industry to come up with a self-regulation code and supportive of content diversity. “Unlike other places, there has been no show that the government has ever said should be pulled out unless it was issues of pornography,” said Katial.

Ajay Chacko, Co-Founder & CEO, Arré, did not favour any regulation. “My simple point is that if you’ve seen industry grow with less regulation, relative self declaration, or offering informed choices to people, maybe it’s time to liberalize cinema, TV, print, and radio,” opined Chacko.

Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player said the right way forward would be to create a framework of standard practices that would be common to all platforms and settle on a denominator acceptable to all. “I think it’s only a matter of time where we come up with a set of standards that are acceptable to all.”

Gourav Rakshit, Chief Operating Officer, VOOT favoured self-regulation. “We have robust laws of the land to protect against content that’s inflammatory. The ability to be able to narrowcast to an audience and provide age-gating capability is what will take our existing framework forward. We are optimistic to work with the government on this self regulation process,” said Rakshit.

Sanjeev Lamba, Executive Producer, Hungama Originals, pointed out that having an informed audience, free to make their own choices, was as important as establishing clear and consistent guidelines in self-regulation.

Vivan Sharan, Partner – Koan Advisory Group, said self regulation is step in right direction. “I would sit down and actually create a list on what I think is a reasonable standard,” he said.

We have robust laws of the land to protect against content that’s inflammatory. The right way forward would be to create a framework of standard OTT practices

 


A New Documentary+ Non Fiction Streamer

admin   February 9, 2021

Are you looking to take time from your regular binge watching?

For global non-fiction fans, a new streaming platform from Studio XTR and late Zappos founder and visionary Tony Hsieh is avalable premium viewing experience on any device. Documentary+ platform is free to watch, but with ads.

With a large curated collection, the Documentary+ film library ranges from Academy Award-winners to festival darlings and critically acclaimed films. Documentary+ has a highly curated selection of award-winning films and nominated filmmakers including Spike Jonze, Kathryn Bigelow, Terrence Malick, Brett Morgen, Andrea Nevins, Roger Ross Williams, Zana Briski, Davis Guggenheim, and Werner Herzog, as well as up-and-coming filmmakers including Lana Wilson (Miss Americana), Ramona S. Diaz (A Thousand Cuts), Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation), Clay Tweel (Gleason), Kareem Tabsch (Mucho Mucho Amor), and Laura Gabbert (Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles).

“There has never been a more exciting time for nonfiction — we’re seeing visionary new directors emerge and streaming has given documentary films wide new global audiences,” said Bryn Mooser, co-founder of Documentary+ and CEO of XTR. “With Documentary+, not only are we building a home for some of the best documentary films of our time, but we’re giving filmmakers another option for distribution as competition continues to increase. The COVID pandemic created this great digital acceleration and we are building Documentary+ to be a key cornerstone in the future of the industry.”

XTR CEO Bryn Mooser in his interviews had said Documentary+ service is designed to feel curated, personal, like the [Criterion Channel] for non-fiction.

Since the company’s inception, XTR has invested into over 40 documentaries including You Cannot Kill David Arquette, Feels Good Man, 76 Days, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, The Fight and more.

The library includes classics like The Imposter, Born into Brothels, Cartel Land, My Best Fiend, and Life, Animated, and features pop culture icons like Michael Jordan (One Man and His Shoes), Christian Dior (Dior and I), Evel Knievel (Being Evel), Janis Joplin (Festival Express), and Pearl Jam (Hype!) alongside important political and historical figures like Cory Booker (Street Fight), Elian Gonzalez (Elian), and Neil Armstrong (Armstrong).

Documentary+ is available for free on all streaming platforms including Apple TV, Amazon and Roku, mobile devices and www.docplus.com.

 


Janhvi Catalogue: Watch Now

admin   August 18, 2020

Dhadak

Director: Shashank Khaitan
Starring: Ishaan Khatter , Janhvi Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana

Streaming on Amazon Prime, ZEE5

Madhu and Parthavi fall in love but face opposition from their families due to their differing social status. In a bid to unite, they elope but Parthavi’s father and brother stay on their tail.

Ghost Stories

Director: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap
Starring: Sobhita Dhulipala, Mrunal Thakur, Avinash Tiwary,
Janhvi apoor, Surekha Sikri, Raghuvir Yadav, Gulshan Devaiah

Streaming on Netflix

The winning team of LUST STORIES unite to tell some spine – chilling tales. Ghost Stories is an upcoming 2020 Indian anthology horror film, consisting of four short film segments.

Angrezi Medium

Director: Homi Adajania
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Radhika Madan, Deepak Dobriyal

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

An unassuming mithai shop owner and single father is set to fulfil his daughter’s dream to study in London. However,
certain misadventures lead him and his family on a new quest, which renews their relationships and bonds.

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

Director: Sharan Sharma
Starring: Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi , Angad Bedi

Streaming on Netflix

The life of Air Force pilot, Gunjan Saxena, the first Indian
female pilot in combat.


STREAMING CLASSICS ONLINE

admin   August 5, 2020

Heritage Online is an innovative service offered by Locarno Pro, with the aim to expand the horizons of Video On Demand and its global catalogue in order to include the past  

For the Future of Films, Locarno Pro remains an international hub for the independent film industry even in this “standby” year. The virtual Locarno Pro will launch Heritage Online, which aims to fill a void within the international film industry, with a platform where past and future go hand in hand.

Heritage Online is an innovative service offered by Locarno Pro, with the aim to expand the horizons of Video On Demand and its global catalogue in order to include the past. This unprecedented tool, a connective tissue that was previously unavailable to the international industry, will ideally bring the Lumière brothers next to the Marvel heroes.

Thanks to Heritage Online, rights holders (international sales agents, film archives, institutes, restoration companies) will be able to share their catalogues with potential clients, that is to say VOD platforms, from the giants in the field to smaller entities. By accessing this database of international film history, streamers will be able to view detailed information, including specifics concerning rights, and watch the submitted films. Locarno Pro is launching Heritage Online Platform enabling distribution of Heritage Films connecting right holders of classic films (premiered before 2006) and online OTT and VoD platforms.

During the days of Locarno Pro, on August 8, the catalogues of a selection of companies and institutions participating to Heritage Online will be promoted through a newsletter and the website. Moreover, the topic of heritage and library films’ distribution on streaming services will be discussed in a Round Table that will be streamed online on August 8.

“We believe that this initiative can really increase the circulation of Heritage and Library Films in what we think will soon be (or is already in most territories) the new standard for Home Video: Streaming Services,” says Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner.

“Locarno Pro is always responsive to the needs of industry professionals. Its mission is to create tools that help people in cinema to work even more effectively. Our new project Heritage Online fills a gap in the audiovisual industry landscape and will foster links between rightsholders, VOD platforms and world cinema distribution,” says Duffner.

Heritage Online is a B2B platform and Heritage Films right holders can do a selection of their catalogue on the platform for a basic subscription of chf85 (Approx Rs 6400) A premium subscription priced at chf160 (Rs 12,000) for enables right holders to include one film in the Online Screening Room, where potential clients have the chance of streaming a selection of titles.

Subscription for VoD broadcasters is free. By creating a private account via free sign-up, they will be able to access the database and, like all other professionals with an account, take part in virtual meetings, pitches and roundtables. Starting in 2021, Heritage Online will be available via yearly subscription or a Locarno Pro accreditation.

Heritage Online offers film professionals a year-round database where streamers (and other buyers) will be able to watch available titles, consult their detailed technical information, including availability of films in the various territories, and get in touch directly with rights holders.

Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner speaks

What’s the objective behind this? Will it continue beyond Locarno Pro Days?

With the absence of DVD distribution in favor of a dominating Online Streaming market – the distribution window that was dedicated to Heritage Films has shifted towards the second option. However, we think that Streaming Platforms are still looking mainly for recent and new content, rather than filling this gap left by the growing absence of DVDs. There are of course some great exceptions (MUBI, Criterion Channel, i.e.,) and our aim is to connect the Heritage Right Holder with Streaming content buyers (also Theatrical, TV, DVD buyers, Festivals and other film professionals can register to Heritage Online) through a year-round online Database dedicated to Heritage and library content (eligible titles are those that have premiered before 2006).

What’s the response among participating countries?

We have launched only a couple of weeks ago, but we already count registered users from all continents. We got a great feedback from both Right Holders and Streamers (VOD Platforms) since the early days of the project and we’re receiving more requests every day. I believe that the project will live throughout the year, gaining more and more importance with time.

Will Cinemalovers be able to watch films from Heritage Online?

The Online Database and its Screening Room is only accessible to film professionals with a registered account. I believe many of us in this industry are also cinemalovers (smiles).


Ayushmann Catalogue: Watch now

admin   August 5, 2020

Vicky Donor (2012)

Streaming on ErosNow, Youtube Movies

A man is brought in by an infertility doctor to supply him with his sperm, where he becomes the biggest sperm donor for his clinic.

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Nautanki Saala! (2013)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

An actor’s life changes dramatically when he saves a stranger from suicide.

Director: Rohan Sippy

Bewakoofiyaan (2014)

Streaming on youtube Movies

It is a slice-of life comedy when recession strikes and the lack of money tests love. Is living on love and fresh air really possible?

Director: Nupur Asthana

Hawaizaada (2015)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

The film which is based on the life on an Indian scientist Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who is credited to have constructed India’s first unmanned plane is the tale of the hardships that he went through on the journey to discover.
Also the film is set in the pre-independence era of Bombay of 1895.

Director: Vibhu Puri

Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)

Streaming on youtube Movies

Prem and his oversized wife Sandhya are supposed to spend a lifetime together. Will a regular arranged marriage turn out to be a perfect mismatch?

Director: Sharat Katariya

Meri Pyaari Bindu (2017)

Streaming on youtube Movies

Childhood friends Abhimanyu and Bindu face friction when she realises that she does not love him after a brief relationship. After getting famous, Abhimanyu decides to pen a story based on his life.

Director: Akshay Roy

Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017)

Streaming on Netflix

Set in the small-town of Bareilly, Bitti is a free-spirited young girl who lives life on her own terms and refuses to be pressured into getting married.
Her life takes a shift when she meets Chirag Dubey and Pritam Vidrohi.

Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)

Streaming on Eros Now, youtube movies

A couple fall in love but then the groom discovers that he suffers from erectile dysfunction.

Director: R. S. Prasanna

Andhadhun (2018)

Streaming on Netflix

A series of mysterious events change the life of a blind pianist, who must now report a crime that he should technically know nothing of.

Director: Sriram Raghavan

Badhaai Ho (2018)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

A man is embarrassed when he finds out his mother is pregnant.

Director: Amit Sharma

Article 15 (2019)

Streaming on Netflix

In the rural heartlands of India, an upright police officer sets out on a crusade against violent caste-based crimes and discrimination.

Director: Anubhav Sinha

Dream Girl (2019)

Streaming on ZEE5

Rom-com Movie, directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa, stars Ayushmann Khurrana who plays a ‘dream girl’. In every love story, there is always one trying to win the heart of the other, who could be the ‘dream girl’.

Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa

Bala (2019)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

It tells the story of a man who is balding prematurely and how he copes up with the situation.

Director: Amar Kaushik

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020)

Streaming on Amazon prime

The road to achieving a happy ending is a little too rough for two guys Kartik and Aman. While Aman’s family tries hard to battle his love for Kartik, Kartik isn’t prepared to step back until he marries Aman.

Director: Hitesh Kewalya

Gulabo Sitabo (2020)

Streaming on Amazon prime

Two scheming men get caught up in a game of one upmanship, each one attracting other members to their clan and each one with an agenda of his own.

Director: Shoojit Sircar


Vidya Balan Catalogue: Watch Now

admin   July 29, 2020

Bhalo Theko (2003)

Streaming ON HoiChoi

Anandi lives in an extended family along with her parents, siblings and uncle and is in love with Babua, her brother’s friend. However, things change drastically in her life when Babua goes abroad

Director: Goutam Halder

Parineeta (2005)

Streaming ON Netflix

The lifelong romance between Lolita (Balan) and Shekar (Khan) is upset by
the arrival of another man.

Director: Pradeep Sarkar

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

Streaming ON Netflix

Munna Bhai embarks on a journey with Mahatma Gandhi in order to fight against a corrupt property dealer.

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Guru (2007)

Streaming ON YOUTUBE

A villager, Gurukant Desai, arrives in Bombay 1958, and rises from its streets to become the GURU, the biggest tycoon in Indian history.

Director: Mani Ratnam

Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love (2007)

Streaming ON ZEE5

Six couples face problems in their lives when fate forces them to move away from each other. They must overcome these issues in order to make their love triumphant.

Director: Nikkhil Advani

Eklavya: The Royal Guard (2007)

Streaming ON NETFLIX

As the kingdom of Devigarh comes apart at the seams, an aging bodyguard
attempts to protect the Royal Family, as well as keep its darkest secrets from ever coming to light.

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Heyy Babyy (2007)

Streaming ON YOUTUBE MOVIES

Three bachelors who are compulsive womanizers find their lives turned
upside down when a baby is left at their doorstep. The trio suspect each
other of being the father.

Director: Sajid Khan

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Streaming ON YOUTUBE MOVIES

An NRI and his wife decide to stay in his ancestral home, paying no heed to the warnings about ghosts. Soon, inexplicable occurrences cause him to call a psychiatrist to help solve the mystery.

Director: Priyadarshan

Halla Bol (2008)

Streaming ON Voot

A popular Bollywood actor witnesses a murder but refuses to come forward to identify the killer(s)

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

Kismat Konnection (2008)

Streaming ON YOUTUBE MOVIES

A luckless architect discovers a social activist to be his lucky charm.
Unfortunately, she’s protecting the community center he’s aiming to win a
contract to tear down.

Director: Aziz Mirza

Paa (2009)

Streaming ON YUPP TV

A father tries to help his son cope with a rare condition that causes the young boy to age beyond his years.

Director: R. Balki

Ishqiya (2010)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

While on the run from goons, a man and his nephew fall for a kidnapper’s
seductive widow.

Director: Abhishek Chaubey

No One Killed Jessica (2011)

Streaming ON Netflix

A journalist, who is more of an activist teams up with the sister of a murdered model, as she gets interested in the case and wants to bring justice to her case.

Director: Raj Kumar Gupta

Urumi (2011)

Streaming ON ZEE5

Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, a warrior in 16th century Kerala wants to avenge his father killed in a confrontation with Vasco da Gama and his troops and is assisted by his best friend Vavvali and warrior princess Ayesha.

Director: Santosh Sivan

The Dirty Picture (2011)

Streaming ON Viu

The love story between an actress and a director, inspired by the life of the late south Indian actress Silk Smitha.

Director: Milan Luthria

Kahaani (2012)

Streaming ON NETFLIX

A pregnant woman’s search for her missing husband takes her from London to Kolkata, but everyone she questions denies having ever met him.

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Ghanchakkar (2013)

Streaming ON NETFLIX

A safe cracker claims he has lost his memory when two criminals come calling for their cut of the bank heist loot.

Director: Rajkumar Gupta

Shaadi Ke Side Effects (2014)

Streaming ON Disney+hotstar

A complicated relationship develops between a man and woman after getting married and having a baby.

Director: Saket Chaudhary

Bobby Jasoos (2014)

Streaming ON Disney+hotstar

Bobby Jasoos is a film that celebrates the aspiration of Bobby, who wants to
become the number one detective in the old city area of Hyderabad.

Director: Samar Shaikh

Hamari Adhuri Kahani (2015)

Not available for streaming

A single mother finds solace with a wealthy, but lonely hotel magnate,
together they find love until her past comes back to confront her.

Director: Mohit Suri

Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh (2016)

Streaming ON ZEE5

A woman with a mysterious past is charged with kidnapping and murder.

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Begum Jaan (2017)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

The story of eleven prostitutes who refuse to part ways with their brothel and each other during the partition between India and Pakistan.

Director: Srijit Mukherji

Tumhari Sulu (2017)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

Sulu is an ambitious housewife with a loving husband and a happy family.
Things start changing for her when she accidentally lands a job as a radio jockey and her show becomes an instant hit.

Director: Suresh Triveni

N.T.R: Kathanayakudu (2019)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

Based on the journey of the legendary Telugu actor, filmmaker and ex-Chief
Minister Late Taraka Rama Rao Nandamuri.

Director: Krish

N.T.R: Mahanayakudu (2019)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

A follow up to NTR: Kathanayakudu which was based on N.T. Rama Rao’s life and acting career. This movie will focus on his political career.

Director: Krish

Nerkonda Paarvai (2019)

Streaming ON ZEE5

When three young women are implicated in a crime, a retired lawyer steps forward to help them clear their names.

Director: H. Vinoth

Mission Mangal (2019)

Streaming ON Disney+hotstar

Based on true events of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launching the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), making it the least expensive mission to Mars.

Director: Jagan Shakti

Natkhat (2020)

Not available for streaming

A doting mother tries to correct the course of her child through her bedtime stories.

Director: Shaan Vyas

Shakuntala Devi (2020)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

Based on the life of Shakuntala Devi who is a well-known mathematical genius and calculating prodigy from India. She has been nicknamed ‘Human Computer’ because of her extraordinary talent and skill in solving complex mathematical problems without any mechanical aid.

Director: Anu Menon


What’s New To Stream This Week

admin   July 29, 2020

Yaara

JULY 30 ZEE5

A remake of the French film A Gang Story, the film is about the rise and fall of four friends’ rustling operations across the Nepal-India border. It chronicles the friendship between four criminals. This gang of four is nabbed by the police and serve their time in jail. However, two men who once ruled the drug smuggling, gunrunning and looting struggle in their own different ways to escape their past and start a new life after being released.

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Starring: Vidyut Jammwal, Shruti Haasan, Amit Sadh, Vijay Varma, Kenny Basumatary
Friendship, Feature Film
Hindi

Shakuntala Devi

JULY 31 Amazon Prime

It is a bio-pic on Shakuntala Devi, who was also known as the ‘human computer’. The movie throws light on the extraordinary life of the mathematical genius. The film will show how we all as child start our mathematical journey from basic tables and how Shakuntala Devi started off with complex mathematical problems.

Director: Anu Menon
Starring: Vidya Balan, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra
Biography, Feature film
Hindi

Avrodh

JULY 31 SONY LIV

It is a war thriller based on the theme of Indian Army and Uri Surgical Strike. Avrodh is based on Rahul Singh and Shiv Aroor’s book India’s Most Fearless. Every Indian knows about the surgical strike but not enough people know the ‘real’ story behind it. The film follows some diplomatic and mostly military preparations for the strike.

Director: Raj Acharya
Starring: Amit Sadh, Darshan Kumaar, Madhurima Tuli
War, Webseries
Hindi

Lootcase

JULY 31 Disney+ Hotstar

Nandan Kumar comes across a suitcase and discovers it is full of cash. He knows nothing about who it belongs to, where it’s from, or how it got there. Nandan has to decide whether or not to take it or leave it. He takes the suitcase and soon enough, finds himself being chased by a notorious gangster, an honest cop and a Minister, who want the suitcase at any cost.

Director: Rajesh Krishnan
Starring: Kunal Khemu, Gajraj Rao, Vijay Raaz, Ranvir Shorey, Rasika Dugal
Drama, Feature Film
Hindi

Raat Akeli Hai

July 31 Netflix

When a newly married landlord is murdered, a misfit cop’s investigation is complicated by the victim’s secretive family and his own conflicted heart. Raat Akeli Hai follows police officer Jatil Yadav who is out to investigate the
murder of a local politician. While his family continues to call it an accident, Jatil believes there’s more to what meets the eye. From the
politician’s first wife to daughter to even his widow, everyone is a suspect for him.

Director: Honey Trehan
Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shivani Raghuvanshi
Crime, Web film
Hindi

My Client’s Wife

JULY 31 Shemaroo ME

A defending lawyer uncovers the hideous truth about his client’s wife. It tells the story of a married couple and the crimes of which they accuse each other. The plot thickens as Hashmi’s character enters the scene as an inquisitive lawyer. Who is to be trusted? What is real? What is fiction? The film is said to be an ode to Hitchcock.

Director: Prabhakar Meena Bhaskar Pant
Starring: Anjali Patil, Sharib Hashmi, Gireesh Sahedev
Mystery, Thriller, Web film

The Last Narc

JULY 31 Amazon Prime

In 1985, DEA agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena is kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican drug lords. Special agent Hector Berellez reveals the truth about the conspiracy behind Camarena’s murder that stretches from Mexico to Washington, D.C. The Last Narc aims to tell the true story of who this fallen hero really was, and what really happened to him once he made life difficult for drug cartels. It also follows the one man who risked everything to find out the truth.

Director: Tiller Russell
Starring: Hector Berrellez, Geneva Camarena, Jorge Godoy
Docu Series
English

Immigration Nation

August 3 Netflix

Immigration Nation, as the title suggests, is about Immigration in the United States. The film tracks the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the experience of immigrants in the US following President Donald Trump’s election in 2017. With unprecedented access to ICE operations, as well as moving portraits of immigrants, this Docu Series takes a deep look at US immigration today.

Director: Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz
Docu Series
English



A Suitable Boy set to Shine In Netflix

admin   July 21, 2020

The six-part series tells the story of spirited university student, Lata, coming of age in Northern part of  India in 1951 at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election

A Suitable Boy, based on the critically acclaimed best-selling book by Vikram Seth, was shot by Lookout Point Production for BBC One and later bought by Netflix. It will be first seen on  BBC One  on  July 26 in the UK and available on Netflix globally except in the United States, Canada and China. A Suitable Boy will be available on Netflix in UK and Ireland 12 months after its release on BBC One.

It tells the story of spirited university student Lata (Tanya Maniktala) as she comes of age in North India in 1951, at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.

Lata, who is averse to marriage, must choose between several suitors put forward by her mother. Set in the fictional Indian city of Brahmpur, relationships play out against the raw backdrop of early ’50s India; newly partitioned, violently divided, with Muslims brutally separated from Hindus and Sikhs.

Intertwined is the tale of a condemned love affair between a politician’s son, Maan, played by Khatter, and a courtesan, Saeeda Bai, played by Tabu. A series of exquisitely filmed weddings frame the tale, but it’s no fluffy period piece. Set in the aftermath of the Raj, when the British have exited, it is a historical TV drama set in India and transports the viewer to ’50s India

A Suitable Boy is adapted by Les Misérables and War & Peace writer Andrew Davies and the director is Mira Nair, the Golden Globe-nominated Monsoon Wedding helmer. It stars Bollywood leading man Ishaan Khatter, Indian screen star Tabu and rising actress Tanya Maniktala in the central role of Lata.

Says Mira Nair, “I am really honoured and terribly excited to make Vikram Seth’s great novel, which I’ve loved since it was published — A Suitable Boy. I’m very excited to be director of all six hours of A Suitable Boy. And it’s with 110 Indian actors: It’s a great opportunity to tell the story of independent India. Portions of A Suitable Boy was shot in Uttar Pradesh, India. 

She adds: “The casting is full of bounty and full of beauty. A Suitable Boy is an incredible canvas of very rich characters. Tabu plays Saeeda Bai, the courtesan based on Begum Akhtar. Randeep Hooda, my discovery from Monsoon Wedding, is this cool stud in Calcutta called Billy Irani. Shefali Shah, a wonderful actor, plays Roopa Mehra, the mother of the young woman, for whom she wants the suitable boy. Vivaan Shah plays this wastrel lout who turns good.”

Says Tabu, “Mira has the same energy that I had seen during The Namesake. I don’t think she has aged at all. Mira keeps collaborating with people whom she has worked with earlier. To be able to form such bonds in today’s world is a beautiful quality. She is like a rock who will never move. It’s always so wonderful reconnecting with Mira. Her quality of work is reassuring. You can submit yourself to her, knowing that she will create something magical.”

Damian Keogh, Managing Director of Lookout Point, said: “We’re hugely excited to be partnering with Netflix to bring A Suitable Boy to international audiences, hot on the heels of its UK debut on BBC One. This epic tale speaks of human truths of life, love and family amid a country in rapid transition – themes and experiences as relevant today as when they were written.”

Caroline Stone, Director of Independent Drama at BBC Studios said: “The demand for quality British drama is higher than ever globally so we are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this wonderful series to bring audiences around the world Vikram Seth’s literary classic reimagined with such colour and vigour. The talent on and off screen for A Suitable Boy are exceptional and have helped to make this a series of which we are very proud.”

Executive Producers are Andrew Davies, Mira Nair and Vikram Seth; Faith Penhale, Laura Lankester and Will Johnston for Lookout Point; Lydia Dean Pilcher and Aradhana Seth (who also produce); and Mona Qureshi and Ayela Butt for the BBC. BBC Studios distributes the series internationally.

Lookout Point, which is wholly owned by BBC Studios, is one of the UK’s leading producers of television drama, known for delivering highly authored series with scale, ambition, and global impact.

A SUITBALE BOY SNAPSHOT

1951. In a newly independent India, passionate literature student Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala) is looking towards her own future.

Her mother Rupa (Mahira Kakkar) has successfully arranged the marriage of her eldest daughter Savita (Rasika Dugal) to Pran Kapoor (Gagandeep Singh Riar), a university lecturer. Now Rupa has her sights set on her spirited younger daughter but Lata wants to make her own way in the world. She isn’t interested in romance but her resolve is challenged when she starts to fall for a mysterious fellow student, Kabir Durrani (Danesh Razvi).

Pran’s brother is the charming but directionless Maan Kapoor (Ishaan Khatter), who becomes bewitched by the singer and courtesan, Saeeda Bai (Tabu). Maan is a worry to his father, the progressive Revenue Minister Mahesh Kapoor (Ram Kapoor), who can’t let anything unbalance his political career at a crucial moment.

As religious tensions mount between Muslims and Hindus in the wake of Partition, India’s first national democratic election approaches.


Super 17 From Netflix

admin   July 21, 2020

Exciting times are in for Netizens, as Netflix has announced the biggest release schedule of 2020 in India. Seventeen original titles. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming originals and films

Netflix has announced an interesting lineup of 17 original stories, including six new films and two new series. From thrillers to romantic comedies to lighthearted dramas, this diverse collection will launch on Netflix in the coming months.

According to Monika Shergill, Vice President-Content, Netflix India, “We are excited to share our lineup of stories across formats and multiple genres. We know our members have unique tastes, moods and needs – sometimes, they want to lean back and watch a delightful comedy, and at other times, they want a pulsepounding thriller that brings them to the edge of their seats. We are so proud to bring these diverse stories created by acclaimed and emerging storytellers and producing partners. Together with the finest stories from around the world and our rapidly growing selection of licensed titles, we want to give our members something to discover and love on Netflix every day.”

The six new additions to Netflix films include – Ludo, Torbaaz, Raat Akeli Hai, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Ginny Weds Sunny and Bombay Rose. These stories join the upcoming slate of Netflix films which include the inspiring true story of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Tribhanga – Tedhi Medhi Crazy, Kaali Khuhi, Serious Men, Class Of ’83 and AK vs AK. The two series are Mismatched and A Suitable Boy. They join the lineup of upcoming series including the delightful Masaba Masaba, Bombay Begums and Bhaag
Beanie Bhaag.

LUDO

It is a dark comedy featuring Abhishek alongside Rajkummar Rao, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Asha Negi and Pankaj Tripathi. It plays on one key theme: Nothing’s ever a coincidence and is expected to us a dark and comical ride.

TORBAZZ

An action-packed film starring Sanjay Dutt in the lead role, Torbazz uses cricket as a medium to help transform the lives of a group of children at a refugee camp. According to Dutt, the film highlights his character’s rise form personal tragedy as well.

RAAT AKELI HAI

Raat Akeli Hai is a mystery-thriller that will pair Radhika Apte opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the lead character, Jatil Yadav, tries to uncover what happened one fateful night.

DOLLY KITTY AUR WOH CHAMAKTE SITARE

It is a satire film by Alankrita Shrivastava, featuring Konkona Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles and Vikrant Massey and Amol Parashar in prominent roles opposite the actors. According to Pednekar, it is a charming story of womanhood, sisterhood, and everything in between.

GINNY WEDS SUNNY

Ginny Weds Sunny, a rom-com, features Yami Gautam and Vikrant Massey. It follows the actors’ unusual love story, one that’s perpetrated by her mother. A matchmaker by profession, she introduces the two, and even helps Massey’s character get on her daughter’s good side. But as all Hindi rom-coms go, expect a hidden twist in this tale as well.

BOMBAY ROSE

It is the first Indian animation film ever selected to open Venice Critics’ Week. It unfolds the story of a flower seller falling in love in the filmy style you only expect to see in Hindi movies.

GUNJAN SAXENA: THE KARGIL GIRL

It is a biopic based on the life of Gunjan Saxena, the first Indian woman to pilot a Cheetah Helicopter during the Kargil War in 1999. Bankrolled by Dharma Productions and Zee Studios, the film features Jahnvi Kapoor as Gunjan Saxena and portrays Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Manav Vij and Viineet Kumar Singh in pivotal roles.

TRIBHANGA – TEDHI MEDHI CRAZY

This film, starring Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar in the lead roles, will chart the hectic lives of their characters: Nayan, Anu and Masha. The title of which is inspired by Tribhanga, an Odissi dance pose that is asymmetrical, yet mesmerising to watch, much like what the film promises to be.

KAALI KHUHI

Shivangi, a 10-year-old girl, embarks on a mission to save her family’s village in Punjab from the restless ghosts of its horrific past. The film stars Shabana Azmi, Satyadeep Mishra, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Riva Arora in lead roles.

SERIOUS MEN

Serious Men, a film directed by Sudhir Mishra with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead role, deals with this unique ideaWhat happens when you con the entire world into believing that your son is a genius? According to Netflix, Siddiqui’s character is tormented with his ‘underprivileged’ societal status and hatches a master plan to earn a quick buck, only it backfires and how.

CLASS OF ‘83

Class of ‘83 stars Bobby Deol in the lead role of Dean Vijay Singh, a cop-turned-educator whose students grapple with the complexities of being in the force and devotion to the nation. Notably, the film produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and directed by Atul Sabharwal is based on the book The Class of 83 by Sayyed Yunus Hussain Zaidi.

AK VS AK

A dark comedy, AK vs AK features Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor in the lead roles. The plot revolves around the eccentric tale of how a director (Kashyap) kidnaps the daughter of a movie star and films the star’s (Kapoor) desperate search for his daughter in realtime as his next blockbuster.

MISMATCHED

This series stars one of YouTube’s biggest sensations, Prajakta Kohli with The Sky Is Pink’s Rohit Saraf. It is tipped to be a young-adult romance series that’ll take us through the ups and downs of their equation.

A SUITABLE BOY

Tabu and Ishaan Khatter play lead roles in Mira Nair’s TV adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. The show will unfold the story of Maan and Saeeda and a love that’s not barred by traditional norms of society.

MASABA MASABA

It is a scripted series based on real-life moments from Masaba Gupta’s life, her unique background, the diverse worlds she straddles across fashion and family, and her foray back into the dating world.

BOMBAY BEGUMS

In Bombay Begums, a fictional series, five women across generations wrestle with desire, ethics, personal crises and vulnerabilities to own their ambition, in contemporary urban India. It will follow each woman’s journey to find her own truth.

BHAAG BEANIE BHAAG

It is a comedy series that will follow the life of Beanie, a young girl, who decides to run from her very comfortable life and pursue a career in stand-up comedy. While navigating the demands of everyone from her concerned parents to her proposal-popping boyfriend.