If you’re subscribed to Netflix, it’s likely you’ve seen the recently increasing advertisements for Indian Netflix Originals.
In recent collaborations, Netflix has unveiled a slew of quality video content from India, including favourites like Sacred Games, which features the content of writer-director darling Anurag Kashyap.
These Netflix Originals stand out distinctly in comparison to the troves of constantly updated Bollywood content that Netflix holds. Addressing crucially controversial themes in India such as sexuality and women’s rights, they are but a morsel of India’s groundbreaking content revolution. With the sturdy infrastructure of a multi-billion dollar film industry, the country is going to shake the world– and you best be prepared.
All That Matters 2018 unveiled some of India’s next steps in the content production industry. The event in Singapore, meant to celebrate advancements in Music, Sports, Gaming, and the Digital World, was conducted with consideration of the knowledge and perspectives of the acclaimed industry veterans who were part of panels. These included the likes of Sameer Nair (CEO, Applause Entertainment), Vinit Thakkar (Senior VP, Universal Music) and Ipsita Dasgupta (President, Star TV)
There’s an Indian version of The Office coming
Aditya Birla Group’s Applause Entertainment bought the signature format for the world’s favourite mockumentary sitcom from BBC Worldwide in February this year. Originally created by Rickey Gervais and Stephen Merchant as a British sitcom, NBC’s American version of the show lay the foundation for the fame of the then unknown Steve Carell, John Krasinski, and Rainn Wilson.
The plot of the Indian version sees a paper company called Wilkins-Chawla in an industrial park on the outskirts of Faridabad. Veering opposite of the American version, the Indian take is set to cast A-listers so as to ensure the quality of the product. The interpretation also helms the cause of a commentary on Indian workplaces.
If this turns out anything like the boisterous Outsourced, it stands a solid chance at lasting more than one season. We’re curious about whether Michael Scott’s occasionally referential humour will see a recurrence here – things that will aid in understanding whether the show is geared toward a global market, or an Indian one first. Either way, we can’t wait to get in.
Phantom Films Shattering Traditional Indian Filmmaking
Classic Bollywood glamour sequences and shots that linger on the dazzling smiles of heroines are things that you’ll see less in a Phantom Films production.
In an industry that hinges on glamour and the appeal of stunning Indian women, film and entertainment culture has taken its own shape. It’s no mean feat that Phantom Films has broken out of the model. The company has recurrently indulged in the themes of female empowerment and independence, with work like Queen, which harps heavily on the joys and pains of liberation from a female’s perspective.
In 2018, Phantom Films is working with Netflix on areas unventured: India’s first Netflix Original. The company’s Sacred Games has been renewed for its second season. In more shocking news, Phantom Films also unveiled a horror mini-series on Netflix.
Ghoul by Patrick Graham is a three-part series that takes advantage of audiences’ trope awareness, featuring tasteful political commentary and astounding cinematography. Collaborating with renown horror content creators Blumhouse, the series evolves Indian content by enabling accessibility and understanding by a global audience.
Defeating taboo with Netflix and online streaming platforms
At the opening address of All That Matters 2018, Sameer Nair (CEO, Applause Entertainment) drew reference to India’s decriminalisation of Section 377 to demonstrate how India is progressing to be increasingly liberal and explorative, as with content.
The rise of streaming services paired with the mobile data revolution in India has broadened the reach of Indian filmmakers now, more than ever, with the Netflix model seeing the rise of thought-inducing content made for quick uptake. New Indian content is notable for how it maintains a global relevance whilst challenging much of what is deemed to be taboo in Indian cultures.
To name an example, Lust Stories is an anthology that airs the talent of Indian directors Karan Johor, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap. Praise is attributed to the anthology’s honest renditions of liberation and sexuality, one of which is Kiara Advani’s masturbation scene with a vibrator. On the other hand, situational comedies like Brown Nation explore the quirks of Indian mannerism in a workplace set in New York.
Whether you’re into Indian media culture or not, be assured that what’s coming is unconventional and fresh off a rapidly urbanising country of talent and resource.