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Amazon Prime Video Doubles Down India Investment With 40-Strong Slate, Licensing Deals, TVOD Service

Sushant Sreeram and Gaurav Ghandi (Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video)

Amazon Prime Video India is betting big on India. At a marquee event in Mumbai the streamer announced that it will more than double its investment in Prime Video India over the next five years and revealed a 40-strong slate, its biggest to date in the country.

The titles are in the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages, across new and returning scripted and unscripted original series and co-productions, streaming over the next 24 months. The service has also revealed a foray into original films. Some 70% of the upcoming titles will feature new talent, both in front of and behind the camera.

In addition, the streamer has set licensing deals with leading Indian production houses Ajay Devgn FFilms, Dharma Productions, Excel Entertainment and Yash Raj Films.

Amazon has also launched Prime Video Store, its transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) movie rental service in India, available to both Prime members and non-members. Customers will get early rental access to the latest Indian and international films.

The event was attended by Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, Kelly Day, VP of international, Amazon Prime Video, James Farrell, head of local originals, Amazon Studios, Gaurav Gandhi, country head, Amazon Prime Video India, Aparna Purohit, head, India originals and Sushant Sreeram, director India SVOD. It was hosted by media personality Karan Johar and actors Abhishek Bachchan and Sumukhi Suresh.

The service recently completed half a decade in India. Gandhi said: “In the last five years, we have built a strong slate of locally-produced content across languages, super-serving the diverse entertainment needs of Indian customers. 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.”

“In tune with our vision to become the most-loved entertainment hub, we have steadily innovated in the way we offer movies to our consumers, from offering films in a post-theatrical early-window to direct-to-service premieres bringing the most anticipated movies to consumers’ living rooms and preferred devices. We are deeply committed to grow this segment further and are going bigger on our film licensing partnerships, expanding our co-production initiatives and are now excited to announce our foray into original movies,” Gandhi added.

Purohit said, “Our mission has been to tell compelling, authentic and rooted stories that not just connect with audiences in India but resonate with audiences across the world. We feel humbled that the characters of our shows and films have inspired new archetypes, blazed a new trail, and in fact, become a part of the cultural zeitgeist. As we move forward, we are excited to partner with some of the most prolific creators to bring forth powerful stories across different formats, genres and languages for our customers. We are confident that our upcoming slate of shows and films will transcend all barriers of language, nationality or formats.”

Upcoming Amazon Prime Video India Titles

Scripted Original Series

“Adhura” (Hindi) A supernatural thriller set in an elite boarding school which hides a secret so dark and dreadful, it will shake the very foundations of the school and the lives of everyone connected to it. Production company: Emmay Entertainment Creative producer – Nikkhil Advani Directors: Gauravv Chawla and Ananya Banerjee Writers: Ananya Banerjee and Anand Jain Cast: Ishwak Singh, Rasika Dugal

“Bambai Meri Jaan” (Hindi) In his quest to clean the mean streets of Bombay from the rise of organized crime in post-Independence India, an honest cop puts everything on the line including the thing he wants to protect the most, his family. Production company: Excel Media and Entertainment Creators: Rensil D’silva and Shujaat Saudagar Executive producers – Ritesh Sidhwani, Kassim Jagmagia and Farhan Akhtar Director: Shujaat Saudagar Writers: Story – Hussain Zaidi; Screenplay – Resnil d’Silva, Sammer Arora and Chaitanya Chopra; Dialogues and additional screenplay – Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Kritika Kamra, Avinash Tiwary, Amyra Dastur

“Call Me Bae” (Hindi) Bae, billionaire fashionista is disowned by her ultra-rich family, owing to a salacious scandal and for the first time in her life, has to fend for herself. On this journey, she overcomes stereotypes and discovers who she really is. Production company: Dharmatic Entertainment Writers: Ishita Moitra, Samina Motlekar, Rohit Nair

“Crash Course” (Hindi) A fictional account of two warring coaching institutes, and the effect it has on a group of young students who are preparing for their competitive exams, with dreams in their eyes and expectation of their families on their back. Production company: Owlet Films Creator: Manish Hariprasad Director: Vijay Maurya Writers: Manish Hariprasad, Raina Roy Cast: Annu Kapoor, Bhanu Uday, Udit Arora, Pranay Pachauri, Siddharth Kak, Chirag Vohra, Gaurav Sharma, Bidita Bag

“Dahaad” (Hindi) A serial killer drama set in a small town, the show follows the investigations of a female inspector into a crime that shakes her core. Production company: Excel Media and Tiger Baby Creators: Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar Executive producers: Ritesh Sidhwani, Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Farhan Akhtar Directors: Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi Writers: Reema Kagti, Ritesh Shah, Mansi Jain , Sunayana Kumari, Karan Shah , Chaitanya Chopra; Dialogues – Sumit Arora Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Vijay Verma, Gulshan Devaiah, Sohum Shah

“Dhootha” (Telugu) In this supernatural horror, possessed inanimate objects wreak havoc on the lives of people who commit deadly sins. Production company: Northstar Entertainment Executive producer: Vikram K Kumar Director: Vikram K Kumar Writers: Vikram K Kumar, Dondapati Venkatesh, Poorna Prajna, Sripal Reddy, Naveen George Thomas Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Prachi Desai, Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam

“Farzi” (Hindi) A small-time artist working out of his grandfather’s printing press has designed the ultimate con job and gets pulled into the murky, high stakes world of all that it demands. A fiery, unorthodox task force officer has made it his mission to rid the country of the menace this poses. Production company: D2R Films Creators: Raj & DK Directors: Raj & DK Writers: Raj & DK, Suman Kumar, Sita R Menon; Dialogues – Hussain Dalal; Additional Dialogues – Raghav Dutt Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Vijay Sethupathi, Raashi Khanna, Kay Kay Menon, Regina Cassandra, Zakir Hussain, Bhuvan Arora, Amol Palekar, Kubbra Sait

“Gulkanda Tales” (Hindi) A new series from the house of Raj & DK. Production company: D2R Films Creator: Raj and DK Director: Rahi Anil Barve Writers: Mitesh Shah, Raj & DK, Rahi Anil Barve; Dialogues – Yogesh Damble Rahi, Anil Barve Cast: Kunal Khemu, Pankaj Tripathi, Patralekha

“Happy Family Conditions Apply” (Hindi) A light-hearted family comedy about a quirky but lovable joint family that is always at loggerheads with each other. Production company: Hats Off Productions Directors: Aatish Kapadia, Jamnadas Majethia (JD) Producers: Jamnadas Majethia (JD), Aatish Kapadia Cast: Raj Babbar, Ratna Pathak Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Ayesha Jhulka

“Hush Hush” (Hindi) The lives of five women intersect in unexpected ways when an unforeseen event unravels the façade of their lives. Production company: Abundantia Entertainment Directors: Tanuja Chandra, Ashish Pandey, Kopal Naithani Writers: story – Shikhaa Sharma, Ashish Mehta; Screenplay; Ashish Mehta; Dialogues – Juhi Chaturvedi Cast: Juhi Chawla, Ayesha Jhulka, Soha Ali Khan, Karishma Tanna, Shahana Goswami, Kritika Kamra

“Indian Police Force” (Hindi) An action thriller about a young Delhi Police officer who will go to any length to track down and bring to justice the terrorist mastermind behind a series of deadly bomb blasts around the country. Production company: Rohit Shetty Picturez and Reliance Entertainment Creator: Rohit Shetty Directors: Rohit Shetty and Sushwanth Prakash Writers: Screenplay – Rohit Shetty, Anusha Nandakumar, Sandeep Saket; Dialogues – Anusha Nandakumar, Sandeep Saket; Dialogues – Ayush Trivedi Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Shilpa Shetty, Vivek Oberoi, Isha Talwar

“Jee Karda” (Hindi) A coming-of-age series that delves into the lives of a close-knit group of seven childhood friends, trying to steer their way through adulthood. Production company: Maddock Films Director: Arunima Sharma Writers: Arunima Sharma, Hussain Dalal, Abbas Dalal Cast: Tamannaah, Suhail Nayyar, Aashim Gulati, Anya Singh, Hussain Dalal, Samvedna Suwalka, Sayan Banerjee

“Jubilee” (Hindi) Set in a newly independent India, Jubilee is a period drama that unveils the stories and dreams that gave birth to Bollywood, as we know it. Production company: Reliance Entertainment Studios Creators: Vikramaditya Motwane, Soumik Sen Director: Vikramaditya Motwane Writer: Atul Sabharwal Cast: Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aditi Rao Hyadri, Aparshakti Khurana, Wamiqa Gabi

“Modern Love Chennai” (Tamil) The Chennai chapter of the U.S. original anthology series, exploring six diverse yet universal stories of different facets, shades and moods of love, all set in the city’s many unique milieus. Production company: Tyler Durden and Kino Fist Creative producer: Thiagarajan Kumararaja Directors: Bharathi Raja, Balaji Sakthivel, Raju Murugan, Krishnakumar Ramakumar, Akshay Sundher Writers: Balaji Tharaneetharan, Rajumurugan, Reshma Ghatala, Pratheep Kumar, Thiagarajan Kumararaja Cast: Kishore, Ramya Nambeesan, Ashok Selvan, Ritu Varma, Vijayalakshmi, TJ Banu, Gouri Reddy, Samyuktha Vishwanathan, Vasudevan Murali, Chu Khoy Sheng, Sanjula S

“Modern Love Hyderabad (Telugu) The Hyderabad chapter of the U.S. original anthology series. Production company: SIC Productions (Films) Creative Producer: Nagesh Kukunoor Producer: Elahe Hiptoola Directors: Nagesh Kukunoor, Venkatesh Maha, Uday Gurrala, Devika Bahudanam Writers: Nagesh Kukunoor, Shashi Sudigala, Bahaish Kapoor Cast: Aadhi Pinisetty, Nithya Menen, Ritu Varma, Suhasini Maniratnam, Revathy, Naresh, Malavika Nair, Abijeet Duddala, Naresh Agastya, Komalee Prasad, Ulka Gupta

“Modern Love Mumbai” (Hindi) The Mumbai chapter of the U.S. original anthology series. Production company: Pritish Nandy Communications Executive Producer: Rangita Pritish Nandy Directors: Shonali Bose, Hansal Mehta, Vishal Bhardwaj, Alankrita Shrivastava, Dhruv Sehgal, Nupur Asthana Writers: Nilesh Maniyar, John Belanger, Hansal Mehta, Ankur Harish Pathak, Raghav Raj Kakkar, Kashyap Kapoor, Alankrita Srivastava, Jyotsna Hariharan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Dhruv Sehgal, Devika Bhagat, Nupur Asthana Cast: Fatima Sana Shaikh, Tanuja, Pratik Gandhi, Ranveer Brar, Naseeruddin Shah, Meiyang Chang, Yeo Yann Yann, Ritvik Bhowmik, Masaba Gupta, Sarika, Danesh Rizvi, Ahsaas Channa, Arshad Warsi, Chitrangda Singh

“P.I. Meena” (Hindi) A young, troubled, female private investigator gets thrown into a world, where she has to fathom the unfathomable and find her own self. Production company: QED Films Director: Debaloy Bhattacharya Writer: Arindam Mitra Cast: Tanya Maniktala, Jisshu Sengupta, Vinay Pathak, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Samir Soni

“Shehar – Lakhot” (Hindi) A neo-noir series about a man who reluctantly returns to his hometown where he not only battles his past demons, but also gets drawn into an even bigger cesspool of smoke and mirrors and must now prove his innocence. Production company: Offroad Films Creators: Navdeep Singh, Devika Bhagat Director: Navdeep Singh Writers: Navdeep Singh, Devika Bhagat Cast: Priyanshu Painyuli, Shruthy Menon, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Kubbra Sait, Manu Rishi Chadha and Kashyap Sanghari

“Suzhal – The Vortex” (Tamil) An investigation into a simple missing persons case unravels and rips the intricate social fabric of a small town. Production company: Wallwatcher Films Creators: Pushkar & Gayatri Directors: Bramma, Anucharan. M Writers: Pushkar and Gayatri Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh, Kathir, R. Parthiban, Sriya Reddy

“Sweet Kaaram Coffee” (Tamil) Braving the unknown, three generations of women from the same family set off on an epic road trip. Production Company: Lion Tooth Studios Creative producer: Reshma Ghatala Directors: Bejoy Nambiar, Krishna Marimuthu, Swathi Raghuraaman Writers: Reshma Ghatala, Swathi Raghuraaman, Vinithra Madhavan Menon, Krishnaswamy Ramkumar Cast: Lakshmi, Madhoo, Santhy Balachandran

“The Village” (Tamil) Based on a graphic novel, the show follows a family on a road trip that falls victim to a clan of mutants. Production Company: Studio Shakthi Creative producer: Milind Rau Director: Milind Rau Writers: Milind Rau, Deepthi Govindarajan, Deeraj Vaidy Cast: Arya, Divya Pillai, Aazhiya, Aadukalam Naren, Thalaivasal Vijay, Muthukumar, Kalai Raani, George M, John Kokken, Arjun Chidambaram, Pooja, Jayaprakash, P.N. Sunny

“Vadhandhi: The fable of Velonie” (Tamil) A noir thriller about the murder of a beautiful young girl, seen from the ‘Rashomon’-esque perspectives of an unrelenting obsessed cop, a novelist captivated by her grace and an opportunistic news editor. Production company: Wallwatcher Films Creator: Andrew Louis Creative producers: Pushkar & Gayatri Director: Andrew Louis Writer: Andrew Louis Cast: S.J. Suryah, Laila, M. Nasser, Sanjana

Unscripted Original Series

“This is AP Dhillon” An all-access reality documentary based on AP Dhillon – the breakout star of the global Punjabi hip hop scene. Production company: Wild Sheep Content & Brown Munde Inc. Executive producers: Erik Barmack & Kevin Buttar Executive Ppoducer: AP Dhillon

“Cinema… Marte Dum Tak” (Hindi) A docuseries that explores the lives and times of four cult filmmakers from the world of camp-cinema, as they set out to make a film they’ve always dreamt of. Production company: Vice Media Executive Producer: Vasan Bala Cast: J Neelam, Kishan Shah, Dilip Gulati, Vinod Talwar

“Dancing on The Grave” (Hindi) A true crime investigative series that tells the story of a sensational crime with access to exclusive interviews, shocking footage and the perpetrator himself. Production company: India Today Productions Director: Patrick Graham Writers: Patrick Graham & Kanishka Deo

“India Love Project” (Hindi) A docuseries that shares the inspiring love stories of real people from across the country where each episode tells an unusual yet hopeful story through the eyes of the real couples. Production company: Dharmatic Entertainment

Returning Series

“Breathe: Into The Shadows” (Hindi) J’s existence and ideology re-emerge as he sets out to finish what he started leading Avinash to confront his merging dual-identity. Kabir Sawant must now fight the battle of his life as he protects the society that has become a victim in the endgame of this crazed saga. Production company: Abundantia Entertainment Director: Mayank Sharma Writers: story – Mayank Sharma, Arshad Syed & Vikram Tuli; screenplay – Arshad Syed, Vikram Tuli, Mayank Sharma & Priya Saggi; Dialogues – Abhijeet Deshpande Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Nithya Menen, Naveen Kasturia, Saiyami Kher

“Comicstaan” (Hindi) New comics, fresh laughs and more in the new season of Comicstaan. Production company: Only Much Louder Director: Angshuman Ghosh Creative Director: Kreeti Gogia Cast: Sumukhi Suresh, Kenny Sebastian, Zakir Khan, Neeti Palta, Abish Matthew & Kusha Kapila

“Four More Shots Please!” (Hindi) The four girls are coming back to live, love, blunder and discover what really makes them tick through friendship. Production company: Pritish Nandy Communications Creators: Pritish Nandy Communications Director: Joyeeta Patpatia Writers: Devika Bhagat; Dialogues – Ishita Moitra Cast: Sayani Gupta, Bani J, Kirti Kulhari, Maanvi Gagroo, Prateik Babbar, Jim Sarbh, Rajeev Siddhartha, Lisa Ray, Simone Singh, Rohan Mehra, Shilpa Shukla and Sushant Singh

“Made in Heaven” (Hindi) The wedding planning team is back to plan new weddings, face fresh challenges and in the process, chart the journey of their own lives. Production company: Excel Media and Tiger Baby Creators: Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. Executive producers: Ritesh Sidhwani, Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Farhan Akhtar Directors: Zoya Akhtar, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Shrivastava, Neeraj Ghaywan Writers: Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Alankrita Srivastava Cast: Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora, Kalki Koechlin, Shivani Raghuvanshi

“Mirzapur” (Hindi) The rivalry between Kaleen Bhaiyaa and Guddu grows more intense. Production company: Excel Media and Entertainment Directors: Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer Writers: story – Puneet Krishna and Vineet Krishna; screenplay and dialogue – Apurva Dhar Badgaiyan , Avinash Singh, Vijay Verma and Avinash Singh Tomar Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rasika Dugal, Vijay Verma, Harshita Gaur, Anjum Sharma, Priyanshu Painyuli, Sheeba Chadha, Rajesh Tailang

“Mumbai Diaries” (Hindi) Nine months later, the crew at Bombay General Hospital is back doing what they do best – saving lives. This season the doctors and residents grapple with an unprecedented natural calamity that brings the city to a standstill, whilst also fighting their own personal battles. Production company: Emmay Entertainment Director: Nikkhil Advani Writers: Yash Chettija and Persis Sodawaterwala Cast: Konkana Sen Sharma, Mohit Raina, Natasha Bhardwaj, Satyajit Dubey, Mrunmayee Deshpande and Prakash Belawadi

“Paatal Lok” (Hindi) Hathi Ram faces grave mortal dangers in a new pursuit that takes him back to the netherworld. Production company: Clean Slate Filmz Creator: Sudip Sharma

“Panchayat” (Hindi) An engineering graduate, Abhishek, is unable to find a job of his caliber. So, he ends up working for a panchayat in a remote Indian village and deals with several mundane challenges. As Abhishek settles, the village sees the rise of an opponent against Pradhan Ji and village politics of Phulera heats up. Production Company – TVF Producer: Arunabh Kumar Director: Deepak Kumar Mishra Writer: Chandan Kumar Cast: Jitendra Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, Neena Gupta, Chandan Roy, Faisal Malik and Sanvikaa

“The Family Man” (Hindi) Srikant Tiwari sets off on another roller coaster ride, trying to balance life as a common man and a top-secret agent battling terrorists, rebels and moral dilemmas. Production company: D2R Films Creators: Raj & DK

Amazon Original Movies

“Ammu” (Telugu) In an attempt to get her abusive husband suspended from police duty, Ammu does the unthinkable. Production Company: Stone Bench Director: Charukesh Sekar Writers: Charukesh Sekar, Padmavathy Cast: Aishwarya Lekshmi, Naveen Chandra, Bobby Simha

“Aye Watan…Mere Watan” (Hindi) Inspired by true events, it is the story of young girl who became uniquely instrumental to the freedom fight of Indian independence. Production company: Dharmatic Entertainment Director: Kannan Iyer Writer: Darab Farooqui

“Maja Maa” (Hindi) A warm, funny story set in Baroda about a loving mother who unwittingly becomes a hurdle to her son’s marriage plans and contests societal norms. Production company: Leo Media Collective, Amritpal Singh Bindra Director: Anand Tiwari Writer: Sumit Batheja Cast: Madhuri Dixit Nene, Gajraj Rao, Ritwik Bhowmik, Barkha Singh, Srishti Shrivastava, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajit Kapur and Simone Singh

Special Collaboration

“Tiku Weds Sheru” (Hindi) Tiku wed Sheru is a roller coaster love story of two survivors who in spite of overwhelming odds have a great zest to live and celebrate life. Production company: Manikarnika Films Director: Sai Kabir Writers: Amit Tiwari, Sai Kabir Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Avneet Kaur


“Neeyat” (Hindi) When guests start dropping dead at exiled billionaire Ashish Kapoor’s birthday getaway, detective Mira Rao must unravel devious motives as the suspects are Kapoor’s close friends and family. Producers: Vikram Malhotra (Abundantia Entertainment) and Amazon Prime Video Director: Anu Menon Story: Anu Menon, Advaita Kala and Girvani Dhyani Screenplay: Anu Menon, Priya Venkataraman, Advaita Kala and Girvani Dhyani Dialogues: Kausar Munir Cast: Vidya Balan, Ram Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Mita Vasishth, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami, Amrita Puri, Dipannita Sharma, Shashank Arora, Prajakta Koli, Danish Razvi

“Ram Setu” (Hindi) An atheist archaeologist turned believer must race against time to prove the true existence of the legendary Ram Setu before evil forces destroy the pillar of India’s heritage. Producers: Aruna Bhatia (Cape of Good Films), Vikram Malhotra (Abundantia Entertainment), Amazon Prime Video, Subaskaran, Mahaveer Jain and Aashish Singh (Lyca) Writer & director: Abhishek Sharma Creative producer: Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi Cast: Akshay Kumar, Jacqueline Fernandes, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Satyadev Kancharana

Licensing Associations

Ajay Devgn FFilms Upcoming films include “Runway 34,” “Thank God,” “Drishyam 2” and “Bhola.”

Dharma Productions Upcoming films include “Jug Jug Jeeyo,” “Govinda Naam Mera” and “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.”

Excel Entertainment Upcoming films include “Phone Bhoot,” “Yudra,” “Fukrey 3,” “Jee Le Zara” and “Kho Gaye Hain Hum Kahan.”

Yash Raj Films Upcoming films include “Jayeshbhai Jordaar,” “Prithviraj,” “Shamshera,” “Tiger 3” and “Pathan.”

Variety's Naman Ramachandran contributed to this post.


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