Home / Industry / Media /  Netflix to stream Tamil Telugu bilingual ‘Vaathi’

Netflix, the American streaming platform, will premiere period action drama Vaathi, on 17 March. Directed by Venky Atluri, the film was shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu with the latter titled Sir. It stars Dhanush and Samyuktha in lead roles.

Video streaming platforms will increasingly dedicate 50-60% of their budgets to southern language content, with programming in these languages seeing much traction and 30% of current OTT viewership coming from southern films and series, said media and entertainment industry experts. Films like RRR, Beast, and Jana Gana Mana have been big hits on Netflix last year, for instance, while Amazon Prime Video has seen much traction for its Tamil original Suzhal.

Producers and platform executives say the other advantage is southern originals are easy to put together with talent costs not as high as Hindi. It is estimated that 50% of overall subscription growth in 2022 has come from the five southern markets.

Further, RRR has become the most popular film from India on Netflix globally. Within its first four weeks on the service, the film was viewed for over 73 million hours across the world with more than two-thirds of viewing coming from outside India. Vijay-starrer Beast featured in the weekly Top 10 in 13 countries on Netflix while Telugu film Shyam Singha Roy trended on the India Top 10 row for films for 9 weeks and in the Global Top 10 row for films for two weeks in 11 countries such as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Oman, Qatar, among others.

Media and entertainment industry experts said apart from large, tentpole films, smaller southern titles have also broken out, with Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey, Love Today and Rorschach standing out as examples.

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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