Amritraj’s production company will focus on bringing stories from India on streaming services for global audiences.
Stories coming out of India are not just a new entertainment fad but are indicative of the changing times and how the world cannot any longer ignore the people in the subcontinent and how they may be changing the world.
After the success of many indigenous Indian series on streaming services that were liked by audiences across the globe, a growing number of big production houses are looking eastward to bring great narratives.
No wonder then that Indian American Hollywood filmmaker Ashok Amritraj recently decided to expand his production to bring stories emerging out of the country of his birth. With that in mind, Los Angeles-based production company Hyde Park Entertainment launched an Asia subdivision, Hyde Park Entertainment Asia, based in Chennai, India.
The main aim of the new unit is to bring out stories from South Asia. The initial line up indicates that Amritraj may already have struck gold with his India-centric stories.
The film and TV projects in the pipeline not only bring stories from across the continents but also provide a window of opportunity for an ever-growing list of Indian and Asian filmmakers with outstanding story prowess.
Already on the slate is Pashmina, an animated musical feature for Netflix by Gurinder Chadha. Based on a popular novel by Nidhi Chanani, the feature talks about families and relationships, and pretty much brings the essence of sub-continental households. Its music will be composed by none other than A.R. Rahman.
But it is not just the sappy, household stories that will dominate this new story bank. There is a franchisee of films based on Pulitzer Prize nominee Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, which will be helmed by Anurag Kashyap of Sacred Games and Gangs of Wasseypur fame.
Zoya Akhtar, who delivered a streaming service hit show, Made in Heaven, on Amazon Prime, will be directing Paradise Towers, based on a Shweta Bachchan novel that gives a peep into the lives of the Mumbai glitterati living high lives in high rises.
An Indian mythology thriller, Deb, by critically acclaimed writer-director Nagesh Kukunoor, and a fantasy series titled The Conch Bearers, based on a trilogy by Indian American author Chitra Banerjee Divakurni are some of the other promising projects slated to be coming out of the acclaimed production company.
One can safely assume that both the Indian American community and the storytellers must be ecstatic about the project by Amritraj, who is one of the first to make it big in Hollywood.
Amritraj, one of the most successful Indian names in Hollywood, has to his credit over a hundred films during a career spanning more than three decades. He has worked with biggies such as Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis, Sandra Bullock and many more.
Amritraj, brother of Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, was appointed as the first United Nations India Goodwill Ambassador in 2016.
Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Ashok Amritraj began his tennis career in the shadows of his brothers Vijay and Anand. He has played in a number of tournaments across the world, including the Wimbledon and the French Open. Upon retirement from the game, he took to Hollywood film production. His biggest hits include Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Bringing Down the House and many more.