Amazon Prime Video hosted its maiden ‘Prime Video Presents India’ showcase event in Mumbai last week that announced over 40 new titles, in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, across original series, original movies and co-productions that it plans to launch over the next 24 months. The upcoming Amazon Originals will keep viewers hooked with a gamut of genres — thriller to action, drama to comedy and romances. The service is augmenting its original programming for Young Adult audiences, and also exploring genres like supernatural and horror for the first time in its India journey. The streaming platform also announced the launch of its unscripted series catalogue to explore genres like biographies, true-crime and investigative docudramas.
New multi-year licensing deals and co-productions with some of India’s biggest studios, exploring original movie production in India with films in Hindi and Telugu, to be released directly on the service and launch of Prime Video Store, its transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) movie rental service in India, were also announced.
“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 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. Prime Video India today sees viewership from 99 per cent of the country’s pin-codes,” said Gaurav Gandhi, country head, Amazon Prime Video India.
The Telegraph was in attendance at the event that was hosted by Karan Johar in Mumbai and we pick the titles we can’t wait to watch!
Scripted New Series
Shahid Kapoor (at the launch above) is all set to make his digital debut in this web series that will see the actor as a small-time artist working out of his grandfather’s printing press that has designed the ultimate con job, and how he gets pulled into the murky, high-stakes world of all that it demands. But a fiery task force officer, played by Vijay Sethupathi, embarks on a mission to put paid to his plans. Directed by The Family Man duo Raj & DK, Farzi also stars Raashii Khanna, Kay Kay Menon, Regina Cassandra, Zakir Hussain, Bhuvan Arora, Amol Palekar and Kubbra Sait.
Indian Police Force
Making a grand entry on the stage in a police jeep, typical Rohit Shetty-style, the director and actor Sidharth Malhotra (left) spoke about their upcoming project that takes Shetty’s cop universe forward. The series revolves around a young Delhi Police officer, played by Sidharth, who is hell-bent on capturing the terrorist mastermind behind a series of deadly bomb blasts around the country.
Sonakshi Sinha, making her OTT debut, plays a cop in this serial killer drama set in a small town that is directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi, and was originally titled ‘Fallen’. Vijay Varma, Gulshan Devaiah and Sohum Shah co-star. “The character that I am playing is one of the best in my entire career. I also learnt how to ride a bike for this show and it’s my new hobby now,” said Sonakshi, who was present at the launch with her team.
Jubilee is a fictional period drama that unveils the stories and dreams that gave birth to Bollywood, as we know it. Set against the backdrop of newly independent India, it stars our very own Prosenjit, along with Aditi Rao Hydari, Aparshakti Khurana and Wamiqa Gabbi. The series is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane.
Directed by Kolkata boy Debaloy Bhattacharya and starring Tanya Maniktala, Jisshu Sengupta, Vinay Pathak, Parambrata Chattopadhyay and Samir Soni, this is a story about a young, troubled, female private investigator who deals with an unfathomable world and discovers herself in the process.
Breathe: Into The Shadows
Season 2 ended on a cryptic note and Team Breathe — comprising Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Nithya Menen, Naveen Kasturia and Saiyami Kher — is back for another thriling ride. The teaser is gripping, with J (played by Abhishek) setting out to finish what he started, leading Avinash (also played by Abhishek) to confront J’s merging dual identity.
Made in Heaven
It’s been quite a long wait to see Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur) since the first season of the show dropped in 2019, and became a runaway hit. In Season 2, the duo and their team are back to plan new weddings, face fresh challenges and in the process, chart the journey of their own lives. The show brings back Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora, Kalki Koechlin and Shivani Raghuvanshi.
Four More Shots Please!
After two successful seasons, the girls are back to live, love, make mistakes and discover what really makes them tick as pals. Frontlined by Sayani Gupta, Bani J, Kirti Kulhari and Maanvi Gagroo, and also starring Prateik Babbar, Jim Sarbh and Lisa Ray, among others, we can’t wait to raise a toast to Season 3!
Season 3 of the smash-hit show — starring Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rasika Dugal, Vijay Varma, Harshita Gaur, and others — will be back with a lot more bad blood between Kaleen Bhaiya (played by Pankaj Tripathi) and Guddu (played by Ali Fazal). We can’t wait!
Some of the other popular series that will return are Paatal Lok, Mumbai Diaries, The Family Man and Panchayat.
Amazon Original Movies
Directed by Anand Tiwari and starring Madhuri Dixit Nene, Gajraj Rao, Ritwik Bhowmik, Barkha Singh, Srishti Shrivastava and more, Maja Maa is Amazon Prime Videos’ first Original film. It’s described as “a warm, funny story” set in Baroda about a loving mother who unwittingly becomes a hurdle to her son’s marriage plans. Madhuri’s experience of working on Maja Maa? “Bahut saras! I think every movie I work on has something for me to learn. It’s been a fantastic journey and the cast was so talented, in terms of charm, craft, enthusiasm, and every day I learnt something from them,” said Madhuri after a scintillating dance performance.
Tiku Weds Sheru
On behalf of the cast, comprising Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Avneet Kaur, Kangana Ranaut was present as the producer of the film. “Sixteen years ago, Gangster released and I started my journey as an actor. Today, while celebrating Prime Video India’s fifth anniversary, we have launched Manikarnika Films’ first production Tiku Weds Sheru, and I officially start my journey as a producer,” said Kangana.
Tiku Weds Sheru is billed as a rollercoaster love story of two survivors who in spite of overwhelming odds have a great zest to live and celebrate life.
Modern Love Mumbai
The Mumbai chapter of the widely loved US original anthology series explores six diverse and universal stories of love from the city of dreams, Mumbai. Directed by Shonali Bose, Hansal Mehta, Vishal Bhardwaj, Alankrita Shrivastava, Dhruv Sehgal and Nupur Asthana, the staggering cast includes Fatima Sana Shaikh, Tanuja, Pratik Gandhi, Ranveer Brar, Naseeruddin Shah, Meiyang Chang, Yeo Yann Yann, Ritwik Bhowmik, Masaba Gupta, Sarika, Danesh Rizvi, Ahsaas Channa, Arshad Warsi and Chitrangda Singh. Modern Love Hyderabad and Modern Love Chennai are the other two chapters.
Tamil & Telegu series
Naga Chaitanya forays into streaming with this Telugu supernatural horror series that focuses on possessed inanimate objects that wreak havoc in the lives of people who commit sins. Directed by Vikram K. Kumar, the cast includes Parvathy Thiruvothu, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Prachi Desai and Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam.
Suzhal — The Vortex
With Aishwarya Rajesh, Kathir, R. Parthiban, Sriya Reddy as the key cast, this series revolves around an investigation that rips the intricate social fabric of a small town.
With a stellar cast of Vidya Balan, Ram Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Mita Vasishth, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami, Amrita Puri, Dipannita Sharma, Shashank Arora, Prajakta Koli and Danish Rizvi, Neeyat is an intense and gripping story of an exiled billionaire Ashish Kapoor’s birthday getawaywhere guests start dropping dead. With Kapoor’s close friends and family being the suspects, detective Mira Rao gears up to solve the mystery.
Amazon Prime Video has co-produced this film, frontlined by Akshay Kumar. Written and directed by Abhishek Sharma, Ram Setu has Akshay as an atheist archaeologist-turned-believer who races against time to prove the existence of the legendary Ram Setu. The film, set for a theatrical release on Diwali this year, also stars Jacqueline Fernandez, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Satyadev Kancharana.
Amazon Prime Video has gone big with acquiring the rights to stream films produced by Bollywood’s prime production houses after their theatrical run.
Ajay Devgn FFilms
Runway 34, Thank God, Drishyam 2 and Bholaa
Jug Jug Jeeyo, Govinda Naam Mera and Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani
Excel Media and Entertainment
Phone Bhoot, Yudhra, Fukrey 3, Jee Le Zaraa and Kho Gaye Hain Hum Kahan
Yash Raj Films
Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Prithviraj, Shamshera, Tiger 3 and Pathan
Unscripted Original Series
This is AP Dhillon
AP Dhillon — the breakout star of the global Punjabi hip-hop scene — has bagged an all-access reality documentary series that “celebrates brown identity like no other”.
Cinema... Marte Dum Tak, Dancing on The Grave and India Love Project are some other unscripted original series on the Amazon Prime Video slate.