Mumbai: Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. are among the partner platforms of the Indian production house Clean Slate Filmz Pvt. to release movies and web series worth around 4 billion rupees ($54 million) as the battle for content intensifies in one of the biggest entertainment markets in the world.
Clean Slate Filmz, based in the heart of Bollywood in Mumbai, will release eight films and series on these over-the-top streaming sites along with a few more over the next 18 months, the studio’s 37-year-old co-founder, Karnesh Ssharma, told Bloomberg. Ssharma declined to provide a full list before their official announcement.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed they would be rolling out three upcoming productions with Clean Slate Filmz, while Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The release slate is the latest sign that film production is rebounding in the world’s most prolific film hub after being crippled by financial and logistical disruptions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, which shuttered cinemas and film sets movies across the country. Traffic brakes have eased and cinemas have reopened in recent months, to strenghten prospects for Indian studios.
The pandemic, which has forced people to consume more entertainment online, has also exposed India’s estimated 1.4 billion people to varied geographies and niche genres on an unprecedented scale.
More avant-garde studios
This fueled a race to secure content among the streaming giants, in favor of smaller but more forward-thinking studios like Clean Slate Filmz which produced the 2015 feature ‘NH10’, which starred the actor- Ssharma’s Bollywood sister. Anouchka Sharma and attacked the practice of so-called honor killings in India.
Last month, Netflix slashed its subscription in India costs up to 60% as it seeks to claw back market share from Amazon and Walt Disney Co., the country’s two leading online entertainment platforms. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings last week expressed frustration that the streaming giant hadn’t gained traction in India, known for its very price-conscious consumers.
Competition among OTT giants has meant that budgets are on the rise, as has the willingness to experiment, according to Ssharma, whose studio is behind the acclaimed crime series “Paatal Lok” on Amazon Prime Video.
Clean Slate Filmz is now gearing up to release on Netflix »Chakda’Xpress“, a biopic where Anushka will play an Indian cricketer considered one of the greatest speed players in the world, as well as the thriller series “Mai” and the drama film “Qala”.
“What’s happened over a period of time is that ambition is also increasing within studio systems,” Ssharma said. “And that’s great for people like us.”- Bloomberg
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