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Srishti Behl Arya on new Netflix releases: ‘We want to entertain people with amazing, authentic stories’

As Netflix announces its slate of 2021 releases, Srishti Behl Arya talks about facilitating the storytellers and how the streaming platform has “always been responsible” while selecting content

Written by Alaka Sahani | Mumbai |
March 5, 2021 12:53:13 pm
Netflix will release a mix of movies, web series, documentaries and reality shows this year. (Photo: Netflix, Srishti Behl Arya/Instagram)

With an impressive slate of Indian originals scheduled to release this year, Netflix is set to expand its ‘menu’ and embellish it with different flavours. “For this year, we have come up with an even more diverse slate of content than before. We wish to enable our storytellers to share the kind of stories they have in mind. We are committed to promoting diversity in stories, the format in which they are told and, also, different voices,” says Srishti Behl Arya, director-international original film, Netflix India.

Calling Netflix India’s unveiling of 40-odd new titles amidst elaborate social media campaigns an attempt to “amplify” Indian storytelling, Behl Arya says: “Certain things did take longer due to the pandemic. The teams, however, came up with innovative ways to work on these projects in spite of the challenges it posed.” Netflix will release a mix of movies, webseries, documentaries and reality shows this year. A bunch of comedy shows and stand-ups are also scheduled to release. “We are providing a home to content of different genres and formats. The idea is to provide our subscribers whatever they are in the mood to watch,” she says.

With the new OTT regulations coming in, is Netflix now being careful while selecting its content? Behl Arya says that they have “always been very responsible”. She adds: “Our intention has never been to hurt any person, group or religion. We just want to entertain people with amazing and authentic stories. We also want to showcase great talent.” The priority for the streaming service giant, she says, is to share a good mix of engrossing stories.

Netflix will stream two internationally-acclaimed Indian movies Ivan Ayr’s Milestone and Chaitanya Tamhane’s The DiscipleMilestone, which premiered in the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival last September, follows the story of a recently bereaved, middle-aged truck driver, Ghalib, who is facing the threat of losing his job to a young recruit. In The Disciple, Sharad Nerulkar (essayed by vocalist Aditya Modak) has devoted his life to becoming an Indian classical music vocalist. But as the years go by, he starts to wonder whether it’s really possible to achieve the excellence he’s striving for. Interestingly, debut features of Ayr titled Soni and Tamhane’s Court are also streaming on Netflix.

kartik aaryan Kartik Aaryan in Ram Madhvani’s Dhamaka. (Photo: Kartik Aaryan/Instagram)

Apart from these two movies, the streaming service’s list of upcoming movies includes Dharmatic Entertainment’s Ajeeb Daastaans; Reliance Entertainment’s Bulbul Tarang; Ram Madhvani-directed DhamakaHaseen Dillruba featuring Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey; Meenakshi Sundareshwar featuring Abhimanyu Dassani and Sanya Malhotra. Exciting Indian titles such as Mani Ratnam-produced Navarasafeaturing Revathy and Parvathy Thiruvothu; and writer-director Karthik Subbaraj’s Jagame Thandhiram featuring Dhanush will also be available on the platform.

With Aranyak, Raveena Tandon will make her web-series debut as a cop investigating the disappearance of a foreign teenage tourist in a misty Himalayan town. Among the web-shows ready for release is Bombay Begums, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and Bornila Chatterjee. The show follows the story of five women across generations who wrestle with desire, ethics, personal crises and vulnerabilities to own their ambition in contemporary urban India. This year, Netflix will also stream the second season of some of its most-talked about Indian shows including Delhi Crime, Jamtara — Sabka Number Ayega, Masaba Masaba, Mismatched and She. There will be new additions to the list of web-shows with Feels Like Ishq that explores different shades of love and Finding Anamika which features Madhuri Dixit Nene in the lead.

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