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Executives behind hit show Delhi Crime say Hollywood is no longer the epicentre of creativity

John Penotti says that now Hollywood budgets are going to smaller studios in emerging markets, allowing filmmakers to tell their stories on a global stage.

Written by Mira Patel | Mumbai |
November 15, 2021 6:52:30 pm
Charlie Corwin and John PenottiCharlie Corwin and John Penotti have backed projects like Crazy Rich Asians and Delhi Crime. (Photo:

Charlie Corwin and John Penotti, the two co-CEOs of SK Entertainment, spoke at a panel hosted by the Milken Institute on Monday. The pair, who are responsible for productions like Crazy Rich Asians and Delhi Crime, spoke about how the future of entertainment is changing, levelling the playing field, and allowing overlooked stories to shine.

Citing the example of Squid Games, Penotti asserts that the media landscape has fundamentally changed following the success of streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. He praises Netflix’s overdub algorithm in particular, stating that it allows people to consume foreign language content without compromising on quality of dialogue.

Penotti also asserts that Hollywood is no longer the epicentre of creativity, saying that now Hollywood budgets are going to smaller studios in emerging markets, allowing filmmakers to tell their stories on a global stage.

The duo, who are set to produce a TV show on the famous Thailand cave rescue, are no strangers to foreign language films. Talking about the success of Delhi Crime, Penotti explains that people around the world want to hear stories that they can relate to while still being transported to a new and unknown place. According to him, global audiences were able to resonate with the treatment of women depicted in Delhi Crime and were therefore able to share the “commonalities of different experiences.” At the same time, Delhi Crime, like Crazy Rich Asians, was culturally unique. According to Corwin, people want to “see common emotions play out in different settings” and that is why stories that focus on class differences against a unique cultural backdrop, like Parasite, have been especially popular.

Corwin also points to the financial viability of emerging markets. He says that in countries like America, most of the population already subscribe to streaming services so if value is measured in the number of new subscriptions, countries like India and South Korea are where the money is to be made. In order to appeal to those demographics, shows need to feature their perspectives. “You don’t see ads for Netflix and Amazon. You see ads for shows like Delhi Crime that people need to subscribe to a streaming service to watch,” argues Corwin.

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