Viacom’s India Unit Launches Digital Content Arm Tipping Point

Viacom Signage - H 2016
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Viacom Signage - H 2016

It will produce short films and web programming, such as a series based on short stories by iconic author and filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

Viacom18 Motion Pictures has launched a content production arm, Tipping Point, which will create digital content, including short films and web series for various platforms.

Tipping Point’s launch slate includes X Ray – Selected Satyajit Shorts, a 12-part web series based on short stories by the late iconic author and filmmaker Satyajit Ray, which will be directed by award-winning filmmaker Srijit Mukherji. Well-known Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali, whose credits include such hits as Rockstar, will create an as-yet untitled crime-thriller.

Tipping Point’s slate also includes Jamtara, directed by Soumendra Padhi, which revolves around a small town that is considered India’s phishing capital, and Best Days, a psychological thriller by Abhishek Sengupta.

It is not yet clear on which digital platforms Tipping Point’s content will be made available. Viacom18 Motion Pictures is owned by Viacom18 Media, a joint venture between Viacom and leading Indian broadcasting and media group Network18. The company also runs its own digital platform Voot,which competes with other players such as Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar from 21st Century Fox’s Star India unit, among others.

Tipping Point's launch comes on the heels of Viacom recently unveiling its digital content unit in the U.S., Viacom Digital Studios, which will focus on developing original digital programming and branded content across Viacom's portfolio of brands. The initiative is part of an effort to help BET, Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central reach mobile-first viewers.

As a film studio Viacom18 Motion Pictures has some major hits to its credit, such as its recent controversial epic Padmaavat, which was a major box-office hit collecting more than an estimated $46 million (3 billion rupees).

Viacom18 Motion Pictures CEO Ajit Andhare said that through Tipping Point the company “will evolve from being a film studio into a holistic content studio, reaching beyond theatrical offerings into millions of screens on mobile and personal devices with its unique storytelling.”

Meanwhile, Viacom18’s next release is biopic Manto, based on the late acclaimed writer Saadat Hasan Manto and directed by actress Nandita Das, which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.