Headlined by the exclusive world premiere of the Amazon Original Movie, Chhorii, along with masterclasses with the cast and creators of The Family Man and Sardar Udham, and a showcase of Satyajit Ray’s iconic films on the Prime Video service
Amazon Prime Video, India’s most loved entertainment destination, successfully concluded its maiden stint at the prestigious 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held in Goa. This was the first time since its inception that the prestigious festival invited video streaming services, signifying the valuable contribution of the sector to India’s creative economy and their role in fulfilling the consumers’ entertainment needs. Amazon Prime Video’s participation at IFFI was marked with high-impact events including the exclusive world premiere of the Amazon Original horror movie, Chhorii, two special masterclass sessions led by the creators and cast of Amazon Original Series The Family Man as well as Amazon Original Movie Sardar Udham. The line-up also featured a special showcase of Satyajit Ray’s evergreen films on Prime Video’s homepage between 20th and 28th November to celebrate the legendary filmmaker’s birth centenary.
At the closing ceremony of the festival, Guest of Honour, Madhuri Dixit Nene acknowledged the importance of video streaming services and the significant role they have played in transforming content creation and consumption. Meanwhile, ‘The Family Man’, Manoj Bajpayee was felicitated by the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant and Shri Prasoon Joshi, renowned lyricist and Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification.
“At Prime Video, we believe in providing a strong global platform to local storytellers that helps them transcend linguistic and geographical barriers,” said Gaurav Gandhi, Country Head, Amazon Prime Video, India. “This makes our participation at IFFI even more meaningful because both, IFFI and Prime Video share a common vision of promoting excellence in cinematic art and shining a spotlight on the creative economy of India. I would like to thank Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Shri Chaitnaya Prasad, IFFI Director, and the entire team at IFFI for graciously inviting us, and curating an opportunity for us to share our stories with such an eminent audience.”
As the world-renowned film festival draws to a close, it has not only recognized the pivotal role that video streaming services are playing in delivering entertainment across India, it has also initiated many new dialogues between talent, film makers, creative partners and the entertainment community that are sure to give a fillip to India’s creative economy.
Snapshots of Amazon Prime Video’s participation at the 52nd IFFI
I – Masterclass on Creating Cult Icons
The Masterclass on ‘Creating Cult Icons: India’s own James Bond (007)’ had Aparna Purohit, Head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video, along with the creators and talent of the award-winning Amazon Original Series The Family Man present. The show has been a catalyst in giving birth to a multi-faceted genre that has equal amounts of action, family drama, suspense, emotions, comedy, and more, all rolled into one. The global appreciation garnered by this series proves that viewers have an insatiable hunger for unique and unconventional, yet authentic and relatable entertainment that resonates deeply with their own culture and traditions while taking them on a flight of thrill and adventure. The hour-long session highlighted the power of authentic storytelling portrayed through realistic incidents, humour, multi-layered and well-developed characters. It also brought to the fore the in-depth research and creative process that went into bringing to life a powerful narrative making The Family Man, Amazon Prime Video’s most viewed Indian Original Series both in and outside India. Besides the ingredients for creating cult icons, the Masterclass had many takeaways for budding creators and talent attending IFFI, as they turn to streaming services with their story ideas and passion projects, with the dream of showcasing their work to the world.
II – Masterclass on Sardar Udham
The Masterclass on Sardar Udham brought together National Award recipient, Shoojit Sircar, the Director of the much-appreciated Amazon Original Movie, along with Producer Ronnie Lahiri, well-known for making movies with unconventional storylines. Moderated by Smriti Kiran, the highly informative and interesting interaction on one of this year’s most successful and celebrated movies, Sardar Udham, focussed on the secret formula that turned the story of the titular lesser-known revolutionary freedom fighter into a cinematic success. The masterclass answered a multitude of questions on what goes into making a period drama, and the extensive research and hard work that goes into creating a hard-hitting, powerful narrative that engages the mind and captures the hearts of the viewers. The dynamic duo spoke about the process of building a character sketch that reflected the indomitable spirit and unflinching courage of this extraordinary hero in India’s independence movement and made viewers worldwide feel connected with him at a personal level.
III – World Premiere of the highly anticipated Amazon Original horror movie Chhorii
A Hindi remake of the critically-acclaimed Marathi horror film, Lapachhapi, Chhorii is a haunting story of a young couple based in the heartland of India. The film takes the viewers to a deserted house located deep within a sugarcane field as the couple takes refuge in it. However, once in the house, deeply buried secrets of the past begin to resurface and the protagonist’s quest to find the answers to all the questions takes the viewers on a journey that’s got horror, thrills and chills, all in equal proportions.
The film was presented by Gaurav Gandhi, Country Head, Amazon Prime Video India, and in a prelude to the screening, an interactive session had Manish Menghani, Head, Content Licensing, Amazon Prime Video India, the creators of the movie – Director Vishal Furia, Producers Vikram Malhotra of Abundantia Entertainment and Jack Davis of Crypt TV, along with the lead actor, Nushrratt Bharuccha
talk about the making of Chhorii and the growth of the horror genre in India. Chhorii is now available on Amazon Prime Video for viewers across 240 territories and countries.
IV- A Showcase of Satyajit Ray’s Most Iconic Films
Celebrating the life and works of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray, Amazon Prime Video curated a special showcase of his movies on the service to commemorate his birth centenary. This included films such as Aparajito, Ashani Sanket, Chiriakhana, Hirak Rajar Deshe, Pather Panchali, Seemabaddha, Sonar Kella, Shatranj Ke Khilari and Jalsaghar. This special tribute also included ‘Satyajit Ray Through His Films’, a documentary presented by Soumitra Chatterjee, giving Prime members a chance to deep-dive into the world of a true visionary, a highly versatile and talented motion-picture director, writer, and illustrator, who redefined Indian cinema with his diverse gamut of work, ranging from feature films, shorts, to documentaries.