Amazon is betting big on Indian content. At its first Prime Video Presents India showcase in April, the streaming platform announced 41 new titles spanning several genres and Indian languages, to be launched over the next two years.
New Amazon Originals include Farzi, which will mark the small screen debut of Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor. It also stars South Indian superstar Vijay Sethupathi and is directed by acclaimed duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. Telugu heart-throb Naga Chaitanya will also make his streaming platform debut with Dhootha, a supernatural horror series. And Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra will front an action series titled Indian Police Force.
Modern Love Mumbai, the Hindi version of the American series Modern Love, inspired by a New York Times column of the same name, debuted in May 13. Two more localised versions, Modern Love Hyderabad in Telugu and Modern Love Chennai in Tamil, are also in the works.
Amazon also announced the return of its beloved series Made in Heaven, which was released in 2019, as well as popular shows Paatal Lok, Four More Shots Please! and The Family Man.
At the star-studded event — attended by many of the show's cast members, hosted by Bollywood director and producer Karan Johar — the company also launched its transactional video-on-demand movie rental service in India. Through it, customers can now rent the latest movies on the Prime Video App.
“Our mission has been to tell compelling, authentic and rooted stories that not just connect with audiences in India but resonate with audiences across the world," said Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals at Amazon Prime Video. "As we move forward, we are excited to partner with some of the most prolific creators to bring forth powerful stories across different formats, genres and languages for our customers."
Here are 17 new Indian shows to watch out for:
1. 'Farzi' (Hindi)
In this thriller marking the streaming platform debut of Bollywood star Kapoor, a small-time artist working out of his grandfather’s printing press designs the ultimate con job — printing money. But he soon gets pulled into the murky, high-stakes world of crime, while a fiery task force officer makes it his mission to rid the country of the menace.
South Indian star Sethupathi stars alongside Raashi Khanna and Kay Kay Menon, while Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, popularly known as Raj & DK, direct.
2. 'Dhootha' (Telugu)
Telugu superstar Chaitanya also makes his web series debut with this supernatural horror in which possessed inanimate objects wreak havoc on the lives of people who commit deadly sins. Prachi Desai and Parvathy Thiruvothu also star in the series.
3. 'Adhura' (Hindi)
Rasika Dugal leads this supernatural thriller set in an elite boarding school. When the school's dark and dreadful secrets are discovered, they threaten the lives of everyone connected to it.
4. 'Dahaad' (Hindi)
Reema Kagti, who wrote Made in Heaven, directs (and co-writes) this thriller along with Ruchika Oberoi. Set in a small town, the show stars Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha as a female inspector on the trail of a serial killer whose crimes shake her to her core.
5. 'Hush Hush' (Hindi)
Starring Juhi Chawla, Ayesha Jhulka, Soha Ali Khan, Karishma Tanna and Shahana Goswami in lead roles, this show follows five women whose lives intersect in unexpected ways when an unforeseen event unravels, threatening to reveal their deepest darkest secrets.
6. 'Indian Police Force' (Hindi)
Known for his bombastic police films, Bollywood director Rohit Shetty helms this action thriller about a young Delhi Police officer who will go to any length to track down and bring to justice the terrorist mastermind behind a series of deadly bomb blasts around the country. Sidharth Malhotra stars, alongside Shilpa Shetty, Vivek Oberoi and Isha Talwar.
7. 'Jubilee' (Hindi)
From the mind of acclaimed director Vikramaditya Motwane, the creator of hit Netflix series Sacred Games, this new show is set in newly independent India and unravels the stories that gave birth to what we now know as Bollywood.
Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee plays the lead alongside Aditi Rao Hydari and Aparshakti Khurana.
8. 'Sweet Kaaram Coffee' (Tamil)
Acclaimed South Indian director Bejoy Nambiar co-directs this Tamil series about three generations of women from the same family who brave the unknown and set off on an epic road trip. Actresses Lakshmi, Madhoo and Santhy Balachandran play the leads.
9. 'The Village' (Tamil)
India’s first show based on a graphic novel, The Village follows a family on a road trip that falls victim to a clan of mutants. The all-star cast includes Arya, Divya Pillai and Jayaprakash.
10. 'Neeyat' (Hindi)
Acclaimed Bollywood actress Vidya Balan reunites with her Shakuntala Devi director Anu Menon (who's also directed two episodes of Killing Eve) with this film, a thriller about a mysterious death at a billionaire's birthday getaway. Hoping to find an answer is detective Mira Rao who unravels devious motives as the suspects are all of the billionaire's close friends and family.
Balan leads an ensemble cast that includes Ram Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Mita Vashisht, Neeraj Kabi, Dipannita Sharma and Shashank Arora.
11. 'Maja Maa' (Hindi)
Veteran Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene stars in this comedy feature about a loving mother who unwittingly becomes a hurdle to her son’s marriage plans. Anand Tiwari, best known for his 2018 hit Love per Square Foot, directs.
12. 'Ram Setu' (Hindi)
Scheduled for release in cinemas on October 24, this Amazon Prime Video co-production will be available on the streaming platform soon after.
The long-delayed Bollywood film, named after the limestone shoals connecting India and Sri Lanka, stars Akshay Kumar as an archaeologist. An atheist-turned-believer, he must race against time to prove the true existence of the mythical Ram Setu bridge before evil forces destroy the pillar of India’s heritage. Jacqueline Fernandez and Nushrratt Bharuccha also star.
13. 'Jee Karda' (Hindi)
A coming-of-age series delving into the lives of a close knit group of seven childhood friends trying to steer their way through adulthood. The cast includes Tamannaah Bhatia, Suhail Nayyar, Aashim Gulati, Anya Singh, Hussain Dalal, Samvedna Suwalka and Sayan Banerjee.
14. 'PI Meena' (Hindi)
She was the breakout star of the Netflix and BBC series A Suitable Boy. Now, Tanya Maniktala fronts her own series, this time playing a private investigator who has to fight her own demons as she investigates a case.
15. 'Bambai Meri Jaan' (Hindi)
Another retro setting, this show follows an honest cop who puts everything on the line to clean up the streets of Bombay as organised crime rises in post-Independence India in the 1940s. Acclaimed actor Kay Kay Menon plays the lead along with Kritika Kamra, Avinash Tiwary and Amyra Dastur.
The series has no relation to the acclaimed 2008 film Mumbai Meri Jaan, which also starred Menon.
16. 'Gulkanda Tales' (Hindi)
Very little is known about this series also from Raj and DK, except that it will mark their third collaboration with actor Kunal Kemmu. Pankaj Tripathi and Patralekha also star in the series, which has, according to the show's creators, already wrapped.
For now, we'll just have to go with the show's tagline — "It's kinda epic" — which, going by Raj and DK's reputation, already promises a wild ride.
17. 'This is AP Dhillon' (Punjabi/English)
A breakout talent in Punjabi hip-hop, this all access reality documentary follows AP Dhillon's meteoric rise to stardom and takes viewers behind the scenes of his musical journey — a story that will celebrate Punjabi identity on a global scale.
Release dates are yet to be announced for all titles
— A version of this story was originally published on April 29, 2022