Slowly but surely, India and Indian-ness are foraying the world of showbiz in the West, and much of it has to do with the country’s growing presence in the OTT space. The success of Delhi Crime at the International Emmys is, as Shefali Shah rightly said, a cherry on the sundae, but Indian stories and Indian talent of the digital space have been making a strong impact the way Bollywood or our mainstream cinema never really did.
We draw up a list of notable Indian artistes and themes that are carving a space in the worldwide OTT space.
PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS
Her Hollywood debut and musical sojourns in the West had mixed responses, but her OTT foray in the international arena seems more assured. After “Isn’t It Romantic”, she will soon be seen in “We Can Be Heroes” and “The White Tiger”. The actress has also sealed a two-year multimillion-dollar, first-look television deal with the global streaming platform Amazon. “My Amazon television deal is a global deal, so I can do Hindi language, I can do English language, I can do whatever language I want,” she had said about the deal.
Presently, Priyanka is also collaborating with Amazon on two television projects. The first is “Sangeet”, an unscripted series co-produced with her husband, Nick Jonas, based on the Indian pre-wedding tradition in which the families of the bride and groom compete against each other in song and dance. The other project is “Citadel”, Anthony and Joe Russo’s spy series in which she will star with Richard Madden.
The global event series come from “Avengers” directors Joe and Anthony Russo. It will unite Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The show, described as an action-driven spy series, will feature interconnected, local-language versions of the story in several other countries. The show, which will be available on Amazon Prime Video, will feature interconnected, local-language versions of the story in several other countries, including India.
Mindy Kaling traced her relationship with Indian culture and used her “relationship with being Hindu” to narrate the story of a 15-year-old Devi, first-generation Indian American, and her desperation to feel that she belongs in the society in the delightful “Never Have I Ever”. The Netflix show was a big hit, and has been renewed for a second season.
THE WHITE TIGER
American-Iranian director Ramin Bahrani has brought his expertise to make India-centric “The White Tiger” for Netflix. The film stars Adarsh Gourav along with Priyanka Chopra and Rajkummar Rao. The director enjoyed working in India, and shared that he wants to make another film in the country soon.
The actress will be uniting with Charlie Hunnam in “Shantaram”. The show is based on Gregory David Roberts’ 2003 novel of the same name and tells the story of Lin (Hunnam), a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to hide in Mumbai. It is about how he finds a new life in the slums and the underworld of the megapolis.
It is reported that the Apple TV series might star megastar Amitabh Bachchan, and will be shot in India itself.
MA ANAND SHEELA
Ma Anand Sheela, who shot to global fame with Netflix’s documentary “Wild Wild Country” on controversial spiritual guru Rajneesh, will be getting her own version on the streaming platform. .The documentary is backed by filmmaker Karan Johar.
Huma Qureshi will soon be seen in American filmmaker Zack Snyder’s Netflix original film, “Army Of The Dead”. It follows a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas even as a man assembles a group of mercenaries to pull off the greatest heist ever.
Another Indian origin celebrity who arrived in the scene much before Mindy Kaling, the British actress has made her mark on the all-time blockbuster series “Game Of Thrones”, the Amazon show “Carnival Row” and the film “The One And Only Ivan”, which released on Disney+ Hotstar.
Indian origin American actor Utkarsh Ambudkar, who acted in “Pitch Perfect” and “Blindspotting”, will be seen in a Christmas comedy “Godmothered”, which will release on Disney+ Hotstar.
Canadian actor of Indian origin Rizwan Manji is known for playing the character of Ray Bhutani in Netflix’s “Schitt’s Creek”, which made history at the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards as it took home the majority of awards at the ceremony, which was held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic this year.
A SUITABLE BOY
Mira Nair’s latest is a web series adapted from the Vikram Seth novel of the same name, and it features Tabu, Ishaan Khatter and newcomer Tanya Maniktala. It is a story of two young lovers who dare to break tradition and stereotypes in newly independent India. The limited series was launched on Netflix globally, excluding the US and Canada. –ians/sug/vnc/rs