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Lionsgate India Studios has announced Nausikhiye, a comedy directed by Santosh Singh starring Abhimanyu Dassani, Amol Parashar and Shreya Dhanwanthary. It will be produced by Ellipsis Entertainment, written by Chirag Garg and Avinash Dwivedi. This comes close on the heels of the company’s first announcement of a feature film, Letters to Mr. Khanna, starring Neetu Kapoor, Sunny Kaushal and Shraddha Srinath.

“Lionsgate India Studios is constantly investing in curated content for our dynamic audience in India. Staying true to this, we’re back with another feature film in the comedy genre that is urban, relatable, and fun – we believe this genre is the need of the hour, post-pandemic. We aim to explore new and exciting genres to diversify our slate of content to provide our audience with a holistic entertainment experience," Rohit Jain, managing director, emerging markets Asia, Lionsgate said in a statement.

Lionsgate Play, the video streaming app owned by Lionsgate, is targeting 60 premieres across the English and Hindi languages by the end of 2022. This will include foreign films and web series like Moonfall, Gaslit, Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?, The Serpent Queen as well as Indian shows like Feels like Home and Jugaadistan. Taking baby steps to produce local Indian content, the company said it will focus on the Hindi language for now though all the local originals will be dubbed and subtitled in regional languages. Gaining traction even in smaller towns, Lionsgate Play is not exploring advertising on its platform for now.

Critics argue against the premium, urban strategy that may be restricting Lionsgate Play’s reach. “Few people in India would sign up for a service that primarily offers international content when there are so many options. Any new player would need significant investment in local programming but with talent and production costs increasingly escalating, that is a never-ending game,“ a media analyst said declining to be named.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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