IFFI: Netflix to Make Series And Films Splash In Goa

Netflix is poised to unveil several of its series and two of its movies at the International Film Festival of India. The festival gets underway on Sunday and runs to Nov. 28.

Streaming platforms and film festivals can have uneasy relationships – due to its relationship with French cinemas, Cannes refuses to program Netflix films in premiere slots, and in India streamers were accused of taking advantage of pandemic conditions to license movies that could not access theaters – but increasingly they are finding common ground. IFFI will hold panel discussions after screening some of the Netflix content.

Monday will witness the global premiere of “Khakee: The Bihar Chapter,” a crime thriller series that Netflix describes as “pulpy.” Directed by Neeraj Pandey, it navigates the birth of a super cop and a super villain and their epic clash in Bihar. Panelists will include Shital Bhatia, Bhav Dhulia, Karan Tacker, Avinash Tiwary, Jatin Sarna, Abhimanyu Singh and Netflix VP of content Monika Shergill.

“Qala,” a psychological drama film showcasing a mother-daughter relationship juxtaposed with stunning visuals, music and powerful performances by Triptii Dimri, Swastika Mukherjee and Babil Khan, has its premiere on Thursday. The film is directed by Anvitaa Dutt and produced by Karnesh Ssharma, Cleanslate Filmz.

On the festival’s penultimate day, Israeli filmmakers Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff, Indian actor Rajkummar Rao and Shergill will join an IFFI panel discussion on storytelling in the era of global entertainment. It will be followed by the Asian premiere of episode 1 of season 4 of Israeli political-thriller “Fauda,” one of the most popular series on Netflix. (Separately, “Tanaav,” an Indian adaptation of “Fauda” produced by Applause Entertainment bowed on Indian streamer Sony Liv a week ago.)

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” a stop motion retelling of the classic Italian children’s tale made at Netflix Animation, will get its Indian premiere at the festival on Nov. 25. The film had its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October and is playing at a handful of festivals before enjoying a limited theatrical career next month.

On the first day of IFFI, Netflix and India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will launch a second round of short films. Earlier this year they partnered to launch an initiative called ‘Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan’ to celebrate the country’s 75 years of Independence through a set of short inspirational films. Narrated by Manoj Bajpayee, the films highlight the stories of India’s freedom fighters.

Netflix is also participating in IFFI’s Nov. 22 panel discussion, From Manuscript to Screenplays, which will provide guidelines on the art of adapting a book for screen across different formats and tips on how to identify a manuscript adaptable for screen. Netflix has previously made book-to-screen adaptations including “Monica, O My Darling,” “Khakee: The Bihar Chapter,” “Mismatched,” and “Sacred Games.” The panelists include Ramin Bahrami, Preeti Vyas, Amar Chitra Katha, Sunitha Tati, Meghna Gulzar, Vikram Sahay and Tanya Bami.