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Amazon gets Excel Entertainment on board for its first original show in India

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Amazon is leap frogging and getting more and more local production houses on board for the launch of its premium video service — Prime Video — in the country. After getting Vishal Bhardwaj and Vidhu Vinod Chopra on board, Amazon has now managed to rope in Excel Entertainment to make its first show — Power Play.

Excel Entertainment is a production house formed by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. By getting top directors and production houses on its side, it seems that the company is making sure that its show encourages people to subscribe to its service.

A report from ETTech says that Excel Entertainment’s director Ritesh Sidhwani confirmed that they are working on a series but has not revealed anything about Amazon’s involvement or other details. He said,

We have set up an independent team for it [Power Play]. We have worked on these shows for the last eight-nine months.

Power Play is a show based on cricket and showbiz-theme. It’s filming is set to start in a couple weeks, on August 16. No further details are available at the moment. A person aware of the matter has suggested that Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti are also involved in the making of Power Play.

This move from Excel is also tied to its move into the digital space. The company has recently acquired a 10 per cent stake in mobile application Flickbay.

Earlier, it was reported that Amazon has roped in Vishal Bhardwaj and Vidhu Vinod Chopra to produce a show for Prime Video. Another crime-based show is also said to be in the works. It is a gangster epic set in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. The production for the same will start in December.

It is said to be loosely based on Narcos, a series produced by Netflix. It will also be in Hindi and English and the producers will get a presence on Amazon’s global platform, including some degree of branding and promotion.

Amazon recently launched Amazon Prime service in India. It promised that its Prime Video service will be launched later. Several reports have suggested that the digital platform will be launched in November.

Amazon has set aside around $300 million from Jeff Bezos’ recently announced $3 billion additional investment. The amount will be used to produce original content as well as acquire rights of the local content.

The company has already hired Nitesh Kripalani to head Amazon Prime in India and Aparna Purohit as head for creative development.

Netflix, which launched in India last year, has also announced its first Indian original series – Sacred Games. The series will be based on Indian Author Vikram Chandra’s critically acclaimed best-selling novel of the same name. For this, it has partnered with Phantom Films to produce and shoot the Hindi-English series in multiple locations of India.


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