search slide
search slide
pages bottom

Netflix announces its first original series in India

In a major step towards expanding its presence in India, Netflix has announced its first original series in the country. Based on the critically-acclaimed crime novel Sacred Games by Indian author Vikram Chandra, it will be made in partnership with Indian production house Phantom Films.

The forthcoming bi-lingual series will be a noir delving into Mumbai's underbelly, and shot in India in both Hindi and English. Netflix hasn't disclosed any dates yet, but said that the series will be streamed globally after completion. 

“We are delighted to partner with creative powerhouse, Phantom Films, to bring Vikram Chandra’s epic novel to life with the best Indian and global film talent available today,” Erik Barmack, vice president of international original series at Netflix said in a statement. "Sacred Games reinforces our commitment to bring the authenticity of local stories to Netflix members across 190 countries worldwide.”  

Published in 2006, Chandra's epic novel explores the web of organised crime, corruption and politics in Mumbai through the opposing lives of its two main characters, a Hindu gangster and a Sikh policeman. The author worked on the book for seven years, interviewing numerous gangsters as part of research and using local Mumbai slang in his writing.

“Over the last few years, I’ve watched with great excitement and pleasure as Netflix has transformed narrative television with its ground-breaking, genre-bending shows,” Chandra said. “I’m confident that all the colour and vitality and music of the fictional world I’ve lived with for so long will come fully alive on the large-scale canvas provided by Netflix."

Netflix officially launched in India in January, and soon acquired the exclusive rights of its first Indian film Brahman Naman The network had picked up the coming-of-age comedy Brahman Naman for a seven-figure deal after its international premiere at Sundance festival. Made by indie filmmaker Q on a low budge, it will premiere on the platform on July 7 and is described by Netflix as "Indian cinema at its boldest".

The American streaming platform's initial decisions in India suggest that like in the US, it could be a major shot in the arm for independent creators looking for funds or distribution support for their films.

For instance, Netflix's Indian partner Phantom Films was founded by four Indian indie filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl in 2011. In December, just prior to its India launch, Netflix streamed a six-part version of Kashyap's cult Indian film Gangs of Wasseypur. 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Captcha image