Netflix has acquired the rights to screen the film Brahman Naman, an indie movie made by the maverick Bengali director Quashik Mukherjee (popularly known as Q) whose films Gandu, Tasher Desh and X have created something of a cult following. The deal, which was announced in January, found a mention in the company’s earnings report that came out on Monday. Netflix has positioned this as one of its top content acquisitions, right alongside heavy-hitters like The Ranch, starring Ashton Kutcher.
“We will also premiere the original films The DoOver, Adam Sandler’s second film for Netflix, Special Correspondents featuring Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana, The Fundamentals of Caring, starring Paul Rudd and Brahman Naman from the maverick Indian director Q,” Netflix said in its announcement.
The Times of India reported that the deal is over a million dollars, underscoring Netflix’s ambitions to be a serious player in the Indian streaming market. Netflix launched its services in India and 129 other countries at the same time in January.
Brahman Naman, which stars Vijay Mallya’s son Siddhartha Mallya among others, is a coming-of-age comedy set in Bengaluru in the 1980s, and follows the adventures of a bunch of nerdy boys who travel to Kolkata to try and ace a quiz contest.
Most Netflix viewers and subscribers in India complain of feeling shortchanged by the entertainment streaming site because the content available in India is a drop in the ocean compared to what’s on Netflix in more mature markets such as the US and the UK. But Netflix has been steadily adding new content to its Indian roster of movies and TV shows, and in its quarterly earnings report released yesterday, it announced the first made-in-India Netflix original.
The Indo-British co-production, which did very well at the Sundance festival last year, has been written by Naman Ramachandran, the author of a scintillating biography of superstar Rajnikanth, and along with Mallya, stars young actors Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania, Chaitanya Varad, and Subholina Sen.
Most Netflix viewers and subscribers in India complain of feeling shortchanged by the entertainment streaming site because the content available in India is a drop in the ocean compared to what’s on Netflix in more mature markets such as the US and the UK.
Netflix original content has given viewers around the world some outstanding shows such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Narcos and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Although Netflix subscribers in India have been heard complaining that the content available in India isn’t quite up there, the streaming site is clearly on a mission to woo more Indian viewers. “We are off to a great start in 2016, expanding the Netflix service to 130 new countries in January and finishing Q1 with over 81 million members on the strength of our fast growing slate of original content,” Netflix announced Monday in its earnings report.
Correction: This post originally stated Brahman Naman was a Netflix original. This is not the case. Netflix has acquired the streaming rights to Q’s movie.
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