Netflix Adds to India Slate With Anil Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap Projects 

Netflix India has announced three new original feature films, and the cast for its previously announced film “Freedom.”

As revealed by Variety in December, the latest from prolific auteur Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur”) will be “Choked,” where a bank cashier’s life changes when she finds an almost unlimited source of money in her kitchen. Saiyami Kher (“Breathe 2”) and Roshan Mathew (“The Elder One”) star.

Vikramaditya Motwane (“Sacred Games”) directs “AK vs AK” in which a filmmaker kidnaps the daughter of a movie star, and while the star searches for his daughter the director films the desperate search in real time for his next blockbuster movie. Anil Kapoor (“Slumdog Millionaire”) stars alongside Kashyap.

Part of producer Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment’s deal with Netflix is “The Other,” a four-part anthology on complex relationships. The directors are being finalized. The cast includes Shefali Shah (“Delhi Crime”), Manav Kaul (“Music Teacher”), Nusrat Bharucha (“Dream Girl”), Fatima Sana Shaikh (“Dangal”) and Jaideep Ahlawat (“Bard of Blood”).

“Freedom” by Dibakar Banerjee (“Shanghai”) begins 25 years in the future and traces the history of a family in three stories that are intertwined with the personal and ideological histories of India. The cast includes Naseeruddin Shah (“The Hungry”), Manisha Koirala (“Lust Stories”), Huma Qureshi (“Leila”), Kalki Koechlin (“Sacred Games”) and Neeraj Kabi (“The Wayfarers”).

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Netflix’s revenues in India soared in 2019 to $65.8 million, with a net profit of $720,000, compared to revenues of $8.2 million and profit of $28,000 in 2018. The company is investing $400 million in Indian content over 2019 and 2020. “We want to be a home for India’s finest filmmakers and their unique, universal and personal stories.” Srishti Behl Arya, director, international original films, India, Netflix, told Variety.

Nine of the top ten most popular series and films on Netflix India in 2019 were Indian content, with the lone exception of Michael Bay’s “6 Underground.”

  • “Vir Das: For India”, a stand-up show, will stream on Netflix from Jan. 26. This will be comedian Vir Das’ third stand-up special for the streamer after 2017’s “Abroad Understanding” and 2018’s “Losing It”.
  • Two Assamese-language films by auteur Rima Das have been picked up by Netflix. Her “Bulbul Can Sing” is available globally. Her previous “Village Rockstars” can be viewed on Netflix in the Indian sub-continent and on Amazon Prime in other territories.

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