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New Delhi: Yoodlee Films, the movie production arm of Saregama, will produce a Hindi language web show with Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran directing it and playing the lead. The show will be based on the life of businessman Rajan Pillai known as India’s ‘Biscuit King’ whose death in police custody led to jail reforms.

“This story has it all: ambition, success, a jet-setting lifestyle and then a hubris-induced fall. It will be very interesting to discover what made this charismatic personality tick and to relive his intriguing, complex life," Sukumaran said in a statement.

Vikram Mehra, managing director, Saregama said the story of Rajan Pillai serves as a cautionary tale to the times we live in and is a compelling story that must be told. “This project is a proud addition to our diverse portfolio of Yoodlee Films – that ranges from Hindi cinema to regional cinema to now web-series," Mehra added.

To be sure, over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms are following the tried and tested Bollywood model of finding appeal in stories based on real people and incidents with biopics and documentaries.

While Netflix saw traction for its film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, the real-life story of an Indian Air Force officer, Bad Boy Billionaires —a four-part documentary on Indian businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Subrato Roy and Ramalinga Raju was appreciated. While Searching for Sheela, a documentary on Ma Anand Sheela a former associate of the controversial spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh was launched on 22 April on Netflix, SonyLIV’s Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story remains one of the most popular shows in the web space.

Incidentally, The Big Bull, a more fictionalized take on Mehta proved to be the biggest opener of the year so far for platform Disney+ Hotstar after its premiere this April. Several platform owners and content creators say while purchasing rights to document someone’s life or to a book on them may be expensive, the charm of real-life stories lies in their complex and layered structure.

 

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