APRIL 28: Amazon Prime Video India unveiled a bumper crop of original series and films across multiple Indian languages at an event in Mumbai’s JW Marriott Sahar hotel, attended by Amazon top brass including Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke. Hindi-language scripted series include Adhura with Emmay Entertainment, Call Me Bae with Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment and four series from Excel Media, including Bambai Meri Jaan, Dahaad and new seasons of Made In Heaven and Mirzapur. Deadline has the full list of 40 productions here. Amazon has also launched a transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) service in India, Prime Video Store, which will offer early rental access to the latest Indian and international films.
Earlier in the week, Amazon Prime Video India had separately announced the filmmakers involved in Modern Love Mumbai, the first of three Indian versions of the international anthology franchise inspired by a New York Times column, which is scheduled to start streaming globally from May 13, 2022. Produced by Pritish Nandy Communications, the film will include segments directed by Shonali Bose (entitled Raat Rani), Hansal Mehta (Baai), Vishal Bhardwaj (Mumbai Dragon), Alankrita Shrivastava (My Beautiful Wrinkles), Dhruv Sehgal (I Love Thane) and Nupur Asthana (Cutting Chai). Award-winning Singapore actress Yeo Yann Yann stars in Bhardwaj’s segment.
APRIL 27: Korea’s total paid SVOD subscriptions reached 14.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to a report from Media Partners Asia (MPA), with five platforms – Netflix, Disney+, Wavve, TVing and Coupang Play – together accounting for an 85% share of subscriptions and 83% of SVOD streaming minutes. The report also found that nearly 70% of premium video consumption in Korea is driven by Korean dramas, movies and variety shows, which are also reaching audiences outside of Korea, while US series and movies capture just 14%.
APRIL 26: Netflix is working with India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on a series of short videos, entitled Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan, celebrating extraordinary and inspiring individuals to mark 75 years of Indian independence. Narrated by Indian actress Neena Gupta, the videos focus on people like India’s first female firefighter, Harshini Kanheker; environmentalist Basanti Devi, and Anshu Jamsenpa, the first woman in the world to summit Mount Everest twice in five days.
APRIL 26: Netflix announced a collaboration with Japanese animation producer Studio Colorido to produce three features, starting with Drifting Home, which is scheduled to stream from September 16. One of the other two projects will be directed by Tomotaka Shibayama and launch on Netflix in 2024. Netflix and Studio Colorido previously worked together on A Whisker Away, which premiered on the streamer in 2020 after its theatrical release was delayed by the pandemic.
APRIL 20: Amazon Prime Video India ordered an eight-part police series from director-producer Rohit Shetty, Indian Police Force, set to star Sidharth Malhotra (Shershaah) who will play a Delhi cop. Shetty’s credits include cop films including Singham, Simmba and most recently Sooryavanshi.
APRIL 14: AppleTV+ series Metropolis, loosely adapted by Sam Esmail (Mr Robot) from Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic film, will be produced in the Australian state of Victoria, using the state’s virtual production infrastructure and creating around 4,000 jobs.
APRIL 12: Indian filmmaker Vetrimaaran (Visaaranai, Vada Chennai) is making his first original series, Nilamellam Ratham, for Indian streamer ZEE5, which unveiled a large slate of Tamil titles this week.
APRIL 12: Dubai-based broadcaster and streamer MBC also unveiled a new slate, including Rise Of The Witches, described as Saudi Arabia’s biggest series to date, which is written by the UK’s Charlie Higson with two female Saudi writers.
APRIL 13: Endeavor Content announced that the UK’s BBC has acquired second window rights to HBO Max’s Tokyo Vice, which has already been sold to a string of international territories. The series will go out on HBO Max across the streamer’s territories in Europe, Latin America and Asia, but the service is not scheduled to launch in the UK for a few years. Produced by HBO and Japan’s Wowow, Tokyo Vice was created and written by J.T. Rogers and has a pilot episode directed by Michael Mann.
APRIL 12: Malaysia’s Astro and All3Media International are teaming on a Malaysian adaptation of UK thriller series Liar, to be produced by Malaysian production outfit Double Vision (The Bridge). The original series was produced by Two Brothers Pictures for ITV and Sundance TV in 2017. Astro is also working on a Malaysian adaptation of French series Call My Agent!, which has already spawned local versions in India, UK, Canada and Turkey, with further adaptations planned in South Korea, Indonesia, the Middle East, Philippines and Poland. The Malaysian adaptations of Liar and Call My Agent! are expected to air towards the end of the year across Astro’s linear and on-demand channels.
APRIL 7: Endeavor Content has sold eight-part crime drama Tokyo Vice to Starzplay for the UK, Ireland and German-speaking Europe, OSN Plus for the Middle East and North Africa, Crave for Canada, Canal Plus for France and Paramount+ for Australia. Produced by HBO and Japan’s Wowow, the series was created and written by J.T. Rogers and has a pilot episode directed by Michael Mann. The cast includes Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuchi. It will go out on HBO Max across the streamer’s territories in Latin America and Europe, and HBO Go in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
APRIL 5: Korea’s CJ ENM is launching a new production venture, CJ ENM Studios, specialising in content production for OTT platforms in Korea and worldwide. Yong Soo Ha, former executive vice president of CJ ENM’s business development & investment team, has been appointed CEO of the venture, which will produce a wide spectrum of genres across series and films. CJ ENM’s production stable also includes leading drama producer Studio Dragon (Crash Landing On You) and Endeavor Content.
APRIL 5: India’s Zee5 Global will premiere feature film Forensic, a psychological thriller directed by Vishal Furia (Criminal Justice) and starring Radhika Apte and Vikrant Massey. Produced by Mini Films and Soham Rockstar Entertainment, the film is a Hindi-language remake of the 2020 Malayalam-language film of the same name.
APRIL 4: Hollywood Reporter had an exclusive on an as-yet-untitled crime series that Thai Filmmaker Banjong Pisanthanakun (The Medium, Pee Mak) is writing and directing for Amazon Prime Video. Inspired by the hunt for one of Thailand’s most notorious serial killers, the eight-hour series will be executive produced by Banjong and Conor Zorn through production company Little River Entertainment.
APRIL 4: Paramount+ has ordered Australian drama Paper Dolls, about a fictional girl band Indigo, which Australia’s Helium Pictures will produce for Paramount+ Australia and Network 10. Inspired by the true-life story of Australian girl group Bardot, the eight-hour series is created and written by Ainslie Clouston (Amazing Grace), who developed the show with Claire Phillips (Playing For Keeps). Production is expected to start in Sydney later this year.
APRIL 4: Two of Malaysia’s leading film producers, Astro Shaw and Skop Productions, announced what they described as “their debut into premium series”, Kuasa, about an entertainment mogul and the three children who are in line to inherit his legacy. Directed by Kroll Azry (Black), the series premieres on April 11 on Astro Citra and will also be streamed on Astro Go and On Demand.