Jio Studios, the content arm of Reliance Industries Limited, has unveiled a huge slate of 100 new films and TV shows that will play on Reliance’s streaming platforms.
They range from the previously-announced Shah Rukh Khan-starring Bollywood movie project “Dunki,” through Adil Hussain’s Bengali-language art-house picture “The Storyteller,” which appeared at the Busan Film Festival last year, to a range of web originals and mini-series.
Contents are made as originals in a range of local languages including Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and Bhojpuri. Genres range from action, drama, thriller and romance to horror and musicals.
The company called the lineup “the single largest slate ever produced by an Indian studio in a given year” while also calling it a “game changer” and “explosive.”
The hype may be justified as Mukesh Ambani’s RIL pushes its way further into the entertainment and streaming spaces, having already powered its way to domination of the mobile telecoms and broadband internet markets. RIL controls the Viacom18 TV joint venture and operates Jio TV, one of the five most downloaded streaming apps in the fast-growing India market. The Indian streaming scene is currently dominated by companies including Disney+ Hotstar, MX Player, Zee5, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV and Netflix.
Jyoti Deshpande, president of RIL Media and content business, said: “We are in the most exciting and eventful phase of Indian entertainment, with storytelling taking centre stage in an era of explosive digital disruption. Since its inception five years ago, Jio Studios has worked very hard to lay solid foundations in scaling what is traditionally a very fragmented industry. We have actively partnered with some of the best names in the business and newcomers alike to reach this day, when a staggering and exciting 100 content assets have been produced, ready to be showcased to the world”.
Its JioCinema streaming operation is currently carrying the Indian Premier League cricket tournament free of charge, having won the digital rights to five seasons in a bid battle with Disney (owner of the Disney+ Hotstar streamer and the Star TV pay-TV operation). On Wednesday, JioCinema claimed 22 million concurrent viewers during part of the match between The Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals TATA.
JioCinema, which aggregates content from suppliers including AltBalaji, Eros Now, Paramount, Shemaroo Entertainment and Viacom18, currently operates as an ad-supported operation. It is tipped to start charging subscription fees later this year.
Jio Studios’ new century-scoring slate includes films: “Bloody Daddy” (Shahid Kapoor), “Bhediya 2” (Varun Dhawan), “Bhul Chuk Maaf” (Kartik Aryan & Shraddha Kapoor), “Untitled” (Shahid Kapoor & Kriti Sanon), “Stree 2” (Rajkummar Rao & Shraddha Kapoor), “Section 84” (Amitabh Bachchan), “Hisaab Barabar” (R Madhavan), “Zara Hatke Zara Bachke” (Vicky Kaushal & Sara Ali Khan), “BlackOut” (Vikrant Massey & Mouni Roy), “Mumbaikar” (Vijay Sethupathi), “Dhoom Dhaam” (Pratik Gandhi & Yami Gautam) and “Empire” (Taapsee Pannu & Arvind Swamy).
Web originals include: “Laal Batti,” a political thriller directed by Prakash Jha (marking Nana Patekar’s debut in OTT & Sanjay Kapoor); “Union: The Making of India” (Kay Kay Menon, Ashutosh Rana & a stellar ensemble cast); “Inspector Avinash” (Randeep Hooda & Urvashi Rautela); “Rafuchakkar”; “Bajao” (rapper Raftaar’s OTT debut); “The Magic of Shiri” (Divyanka Tripathi); “Doctors” (Sharad Kelkar); and “A Legal Affair” (Barkha Singh & Angad Bedi).
A line-up of shows described as “mini-originals showcasing slice-of-life content,” includes: “Ishq Next Door” (Abhay Mahajan & Natasha Bharadwaj); “Do Gubbare” (Mohan Agashe & Siddharth Shaw); and Hajamat (Sanjay Mishra & Anshumaan Pushkar).
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