Netflix is entering Bollywood production with its first project titled Love Per Square Foot. The project is co-produced by the recently launched RSVP banner, backed by media veteran Ronnie Screwvala who founded the UTV group, which the Walt Disney Company acquired in 2012.
Following the acquisition, Screwvala served as Walt Disney Company India’s managing director and stepped down from that position in 2014.
Netflix will stream Love Per Square Foot worldwide, marking the first time an Indian film will be produced exclusively for streaming. Co-produced by Still and Still Pictures, the title is slated to premiere in early 2018.
The film is described as a quirky romantic comedy about a young couple who enter a marriage of convenience to buy a flat in Mumbai. It will star Vicky Kaushal and debutant actress Angira Dhar, with the project also marking the directorial debut of Anand Tiwari. The supporting cast includes veteran actresses Ratna Pathak and Supriya Pathak along with actor Raghuvir Yadav (whose credits include India’s Oscar entry Newton).
“How, where and when great stories are watched is changing every day,” said Screwvala adding, “Our younger audiences choose their mediums. We love to disrupt and innovate in this space and this is a first of its kind for South Asia.”
“We’re always looking for stories that bring joy to Netflix members, and Love Per Square Foot is a gem that we’re proud to have on the service,” said Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “RSVP is a visionary partner, and we want to continue working with them and the best of Bollywood to deliver compelling stories to consumers around the world.”
Netflix has been ramping up its Indian offerings by partnering with leading Bollywood entities such as superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, with which it will co-produce spy thriller Bard of Blood. The video giant’s first Indian original series, Sacred Games, is currently in production, starring top actor Saif Ali Khan and co-directed by Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Vikramaditya Motwane.