London-based Mubi, which bills itself as a “hand-curated” cinema service offering a select 30 titles per month covering world cinema, art house, film classics and other prestige genres, has launched in India. The service unveiled its inaugural subscription offer at $2.8 for three months after which a regular monthly price of $7 will be charged.
Mubi will offer both its international channel, Mubi World, and a specially curated channel, Mubi India, which will feature a hand-picked selection of Indian films across genres. Like its international channel, the Indian channel will also offer 30 titles per month where each day, a new film is added, while the oldest one is removed.
Mubi India offers an eclectic mix with such titles as 1988 cult classic Om-Dar-Ba-Dar by Kamal Swaroop, Duvidha from Indian art house master Mani Kaul, Gurvinder Singh’s Anhey Ghohrey Da Daan, acclaimed director Shyam Benegal’s Mammo, Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning Gandhi, Bollywood comedy Andaz Apna Apna and even short films such as Kanu Behl’s Binnu Ka Sapna, which premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.
Mubi World includes such titles as Asif Kapadia’s Oscar-winning biopic Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton, among others.
“I can’t wait to see people enjoying the incredible lineup of films we have, and I’m delighted that we can now spotlight local filmmakers and cinema through Mubi India every single day,” said Mubi CEO Efe Cakarel in a statement.
In September Mubi had appointed producer Guneet Monga, whose credits include Oscar winning short film Period. End of Sentence, as content advisor. “I’m thrilled we have launched a dedicated channel for Indian cinema as it means that film lovers can now watch amazing films like Salaam Bombay and Andaz Apna Apna, alongside globally renowned gems like Moonlight,” said Monga.
Cakarel had expressed the company’s intentions of launching in India during this year’s Mumbai Film Festival in October. Given that the Indian market is already dominated by majors like Netflix, Amazon and Disney’s Hotstar, Cakarel had told THR, “We are not in a price war against Amazon or others as we offer a completely different experience, which has a significant cost.”
Mubi’s regular monthly price is the same as Netflix’s starting monthly plan of $7 though Netflix also recently launched a mobile-only subscription plan at $2.80 (199 rupees) per month. Amazon and Hotstar both offer annual plans at $14 (999 rupees).
Like its rivals, Mubi is also available on various platforms including the web, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon FireTV, PlayStation and smart television sets.
At last year’s Mumbai festival, Mubi had first shared its India plans after the company pacted with Times Bridge, the investment arm of one of India’s leading media companies, the Times Group. In January 2018, Times Bridge took an unspecified ownership stake in Mubi.