Movies

Prime Video announces 41 new Indian titles, expansion plan in country

A still from ‘Jee Karda,’ one of the many titles announced at the event

Streaming service Prime Video on Thursday unveiled its expansion plan in India, under which the platform will double its investment in the country and also release 41 new titles, including Vidya Balan-led film "Neeyat", Shahid Kapoor's series "Farzi" and "Maja Maa", starring Madhuri Dixit-Nene, over a period of 24 months.

The slate was announced as a part of the Prime Video Presents India event here, which was also attended by an array of Indian film celebrities such as Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, filmmakers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, Rohit Shetty, and Karan Johar, who was the host for the evening.

In the coming five years, Kelly Day, VP International, Amazon Prime Video, said their aim is to invest twice as much as they did in the last five years as India is one of their "most strategic markets".

"Our Indian Originals are doing well. We are uniquely positioned to bring local content we are producing. We are excited, it's just the beginning. Over the next five years our plan is to double the investment," she said without divulging exact details.

Day said the future of streaming lies in global expansion and India is leading the way.

"One of the things that is really interesting is that India is an innovation hub for us," she added.

"Maja Maa" and "Aye Watan... Mere Watan" (Hindi) and "Ammu" (Tamil) are part of the 'Amazon Original Movies' section.

Hindi titles in the Prime Video 'Scripted Original Series' include Reema Kagti's "Dahaad" fronted by Sonakshi Sinha; Ishwak Singh-Rasika Dugal-starrer "Adhura"; Vikramaditya Motwane's "Jubilee" led by Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aditi Rao Hyadri, Aparshakti Khurana, Wamiqa Gabbi; "Bambai Meri Jaan", featuring Kay Kay Menon, Kritika Kamra, Avinash Tiwary, Amyra Dastur; Dharmatic Entertainment's "Call Me Bae" and Annu Kapoor-headlined "Crash Course".

Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said finding new voices and supporting diverse stories is paramount for them.

"It is about thinking about our customers globally, who are diverse. It is about nurturing stories and finding new voices. Half of it comes from women producers, 30 per cent of women are directors. We have passionate women chasing stories, we have lovely men," she said.

According to James Farrell, Head, Local Originals, Amazon Studios, Indian content enjoys great popularity abroad and the upcoming slate will be a big plus.

"Customers outside watch Indian content. I watched 'Shershaah' in the US. Not just the shows but the ideas are also travelling," he added.

The line-up of the shows also features titles in other Indian languages. They include Telugu series "Dhootha", which marks Naga Chaitanya's digital debut, and a number of Tamil series such as Arya's OTT debut "The Village", Pushkar and Gayatri-created "Suzhal – The Vortex", "Vadhandhi: The Fable of Velonie" and "Sweet Kaaram Coffee".

Other 'Scripted Original Series' titles in Hindi are Raj Babbar, Ratna Pathak Shah-starrer "Happy Family Conditions Apply", "Jee Karda" featuring Tamannaah, Tanya Maniktala's "PI Meena", and "Shehar – Lakhot".

Gaurav Gupta, Country Head, Amazon Prime Video, India, the streamer has built a "strong slate of locally produced content across languages".

"With increased access and distribution, we have helped these great stories travel far and wide in India, and around the world. We have played a key role in helping expand the linguistic palette of Indian customers, thereby increasing the audience base for creators and talent," Gupta added.

Aparna Purohit, Head India Originals, Amazon Prime Video, India, said the platform's aim is to enable the vision of Indian storytellers.

"Amidst these multitude of stories to find that one story that resonates not just here but across the globe is a challenge. We want to back the vision of our creators, enable and empower them. We go across the length and breadth of the country to find a good story. We never dictate... We have given a platform to emerging talent," she said.

The slate also includes the already-announced "Ram Setu", a film starring Akshay Kumar; Shetty's series "Indian Police Force", featuring Sidharth Malhotra, and multistarrer series "Hush Hush".

A still from ‘Ram Setu’

A still from ‘Ram Setu’

The trailer of "Modern Love Mumbai", the first of the three localised Indian adaptations of the acclaimed international series, was also released today. The line-up includes "Modern Love Chennai" and "Modern Love Hyderabad" as well.

With "Farzi" and "Gulkanda Tales", creators Raj and DK further cement their ties with Prime Video. The duo's flagship project "The Family Man" will soon return for its season three.

Other hit series set to return at the streamer include "Breathe: Into The Shadows", "Four More Shots Please!", "Made in Heaven", "Mirzapur", "Mumbai Diaries", "Paatal Lok", "Comicstaan" and "Panchayat".

Kangana Ranaut's debut production "Tiku Weds Sheru", a film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Avneet Kaur, was listed as a 'Special Collaboration' by the streamer.

The 'Unscripted Original Series' section features reality documentary "This is AP Dhillon" on the life of the titular Punjabi singer-composer, "Cinema... Marte Dum Tak" from Vasan Bala, Patrick Graham's "Dancing on The Grave" and "India Love Project".

Prime Video also announced its licensing association with four major Indian production banners: Ajay Devgn FFilms, Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, and Excel Media and Entertainment.

Under the deal, the platform will be home for the movies released by these banners post their theatrical release.

These titles include Shah Rukh Khan's "Pathaan", Salman Khan-led "Tiger 3", Akshay's "Prithviraj", Ranveer Singh's "Jayeshbhai Jordaar", Ranbir Kapoor's "Shamshera", Johar's directorial venture "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani", Devgn's "Bholaa" and Farhan Akhtar's "Jee Lee Zara".


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Printable version | Apr 29, 2022 6:04:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/prime-video-announces-41-new-indian-titles-expansion-plan-in-country/article65366344.ece