‘Phaijal’ to take Netflix by storm

Indian epic ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ to be converted into TV series for online-streaming service

News Desk November 26, 2015
Film expected to be available for streaming on Netflix by the first week of December. PHOTO: FILE

When Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur hit the cinemas back in 2012, it was lauded for its realism. Although not a commercial success, the two-part film series has gone on to establish a cult of its own. Three years down and the critically-acclaimed movie is still going strong. In a first, Netflix will stream the film and its sequel in the form of an eight-part series, reported the Hollywood Reporter.

The movie, which was screened at notable film festivals across the world, such as Cannes and Sundance, is going to be made into a television series for the popular online-streaming portal. Kashyap said this innovative attempt was proof of how change in programming can help reach out to larger audiences. “This reflects on how digital distribution can play a role in expanding a film’s audience after its theatrical release,” he said.

‘Gangs of Wasseypur 3’ set in motion

Speaking to aspiring filmmakers at the Film Bazaar in Goa, Kashyap spoke about the opportunities provided by digital distribution today. “The advantage of a web series is that we don’t need to deal with obnoxious censorship and we have creative freedom.”

Gangs of Wasseypur is expected to be available for streaming on Netflix by the first week of December with subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese. The film has been co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and its North American rights are held by Cinelicious, who have worked in collaboration with digital rights aggregator Film Karavan and the movie’s producer Guneet Monga to finalise the Netflix deal.

Walking the walk

“The fact that mainstream Bollywood films are being subtitled in various languages for global streaming indicates at the potential of Indian films seeking an audience beyond the diaspora,” said Film Karavan co-founder Pooja Kohli Taneja.

Other films that have made it to Netflix include Piku, which can be streamed on the service from January onwards. Also available for streaming on the portal would be alternative films, such as Fandry, Amal, Loins of Punjab, Kshay and Suleimani Keeda.

Gangs of Wasseypur 3 in the making

The decision to convert the film series into a TV show could be deemed timely by many, given that both Netflix and Amazon are expected to launch their streaming services in India by next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th,  2015.

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