A slew of new Indian shows on Netflix, along with films, are set to release in India on the streaming platform this year. The announcement was made via an event Netflix hosted in Mumbai, and it showcased a list of 41 projects all scheduled to release in 2021. The announcement marks Netflix’s largest annual roster of Indian content ever since they entered the Indian market five years ago. The 41 announced projects include original films, television shows, renewed webseries, reality programs and comedy specials.
It is reported that the streaming giant will be spending a much heftier amount this year, almost three times what they spent in 2019 and 2020, which was around 30 billion rupees (US$420 million). Netflix is committed to gaining more subscribers from the second largest internet market in the world.
Monika Shergill, Vice President of Content at Netflix India made the announcement:
“Growing up in India you see and feel entertainment all around you. Our country is filled with beautiful, diverse stories to tell, talented storytellers and crew who bring them to life and incredible actors who captivate us on screen. 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. Our upcoming lineup features more variety and diversity than we have seen before. From the biggest films and series, to gripping documentaries and reality and bold comedy formats. We are taking our next big leap in India to bring you more than 40 powerful and irresistible stories from all corners of the country.”
The upcoming projects are set to feature several high profile Indian actors including Manoj Bajpayee, Raveena Tandon, R. Madhavan, Neena Gupta, Dhanush and Madhuri Dixit among many others.
The growing catalog of Indian shows on Netflix (and other content) has grown since Bollywood, which releases movies at a rate much higher than any other film industry, has struggled to be consistent due to the coronavirus pandemic and theaters being closed. Moreover, this announcement comes at a time where the Indian government has seemed to get more involved with the nature of content on these OTT platforms.
Until recently, OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have not had to worry about censorship with the content they release on their platform for the Indian market. However, new laws set by the Indian government are expected to impact the streaming service industry in a significant way for its Indian market.
According to the new rules set by Indian law:
“The category classification of a content will take into account the potentially offensive impact of a film on matters such as caste, race, gender, religion, disability or sexuality that may arise in a wide range of works, and the classification decision will take account of the strength or impact of their inclusion.”
The implementation of this law has already seen certain projects having to re-edit their content to satisfy the new laws. Amazon Prime Video India had to issue a rare apology recently to their viewers in India after certain members of the political party Bhartiya Janata Party criticized one of their shows, “Tandav,” for depicting Hindu gods in a distasteful manner which offended certain religious beliefs in India. Netflix also faced some heat for their show “A Suitable Boy.” A police case was filed against Monika Shergill, VP of Content at Netflix and Ambika Khurana, Director of Public Policies for Netflix India, after certain scenes from the show depicted Hindu religious sentiments being degraded and were objected to by Indian audiences.
Regarding the impact these new laws will have on Netflix’s upcoming projects, only time can tell. However, a Bollywood producer who chose to remain anonymous spoke about the new law, saying, “Scripts are being read and reread now. Streaming platforms are vetting content for anything that they see as a red flag.”
Following the “Tandav” controversy, Amazon had to delay the streaming of the new season of one of their most anticipated and popular Indian shows, “The Family Man,” due to fears of landing into more controversy.
See the full list of the 41 projects announced by Netflix India below.
“Sardar Ka Grandson”
“Delhi Crime – Season 2”
“Feels Like Ishq”
“Jamtara – Sabka Number Ayega – Season 2”
“Kota Factory – Season 2”
“Little Things – Season 4”
“Masaba Masaba – Season 2”
“Mismatched – Season 2”
“She – Season 2”
“Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein”
“Aakash Gupta Special”
“Comedy Premium League”
“Kapil Sharma Special”
“Prashasti Singh Special”
“Rahul Dua Special”
“Sumukhi Suresh Special”
“Crime Stories: India Detectives”
“House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths”
“Indian Predator (Docu-Series)”
“Searching for Sheela”
“Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives – Season 2”
“The Big Day Collection – Season 2”
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