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After success of ‘Lust Stories’ & ‘Love Per Square Feet’, Netflix to make more Indian movies

Netflix, which announced 10 new films last month from India, has already released nine titles.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 26, 2019, 07.24 AM IST
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MUMBAI: Success of original Netflix films like ‘Lust Stories,’ ‘Love Per Square Feet’ and ‘Chopsticks,’ along with audiences’ hunger for films in India, has made Netflix accelerate plans to invest heavily in Indian movies, a top company executive said.

The video streaming service, which announced 10 new original films last month from India, has already released nine titles and has 13 films in the different stages of production. In terms of web series, it has released six and has five more in production.

“Indian subscribers are watching far more movies than most regions, globally. In fact, 70% of our Indian consumers are watching at least one film per week. So now we know that there's a furious appetite that Indians have for watching films and it is super encouraging,” Srishti Arya, director - International Original Film, India, told ET.

She added that the company has learned a lot in terms of audience behaviour and their likings, although it is present in India for about two years as a service. “Indian viewers have been very generous to us with their time,” she said.

Ted Sarandos, company’s chief content officer had told ET in an earlier interaction that India is one of Netflix’ fastest-growing markets in the world and the streaming service has made its fastest investments.

“We're just like taking baby steps in a very big pool,” Arya added. “We are incredibly excited about India. Our country is home to powerful stories waiting to be told to audiences around the world. The depth of talent and vision of our creators is enabling us to create films our members will love. We want to be a home for India’s finest filmmakers enabling their stories to travel to more people than ever before.”

Netflix had faced tough competition from rival Amazon Prime Video, which acquired movies of majority of Indian studios. Netflix, however, signed deals with the two Khans – Aamir and Shah Rukh – to get all their movies on the platform.

And now, with an estimated base of close to 1.1 million subscribers in India out of a total of 140 million (Netflix doesn’t share country-wise subscribers), the company is stepping on the gas by exploring a plethora of options -acquisition, production, co-production - to generate more movie content from India.

“We are open to all models. The idea is to find a great story with a great creative voice attached. If somebody is already gone to a certain point with it, we're happy to look at it. We are in a unique position to support people making their films without a lot of the constraints,” Arya added. “We are going to make sure that creators come to us first and they feel confident enough. Globally, our team has managed to create that kind of synergy with the creative community where they trust us, and they want to be part of it. We want to build the same trust here in India as well.”

Arya said that Netflix as a platform gives a tremendous opportunity for filmmakers and content creators as the platform doesn't box content in any way or form.

“It's not like if it's an Indian piece of content it will not be put somewhere else. Anybody who likes anything in that space will be served, which goes across languages and across geographies. Our creators really like this about us. So an Indian filmmaker’s content is also at the same place where you have Martin Scorsese’,” she added.
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