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Lust Stories Makers Happy With Empowered Platform Like Netflix

"That is why there is more scope for the digital platforms to reach out to these urban pockets than cinema halls. The idea is not one versus the other... The approach is more inclusive."

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Netflix
Netflix is an empowered platform- Karan Johar. Pixabay

Four Indian filmmakers Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee — each known for their unique style — have come together for the anthology “Lust Stories”, which will be out on Netflix next month. They are happy to associate with an “empowered platform”, which allows their creativity to be showcased far and wide.

At the trailer launch of “Lust Stories” here on Friday, when asked if Netflix has given them extra freedom as there is no censorship on digital media, Karan said: “Look, we are not showing the film on Netflix because there is a lot of freedom (in terms of censorship). We are showing the film because of its reach.

“Netflix reaches 190 countries. For a filmmaker and storyteller, it is important to reach out to the widest audience with our story. There is no scene in the film that might get censored…Netflix is an empowered platform with a worldwide popularity.”

Karan’s short film features Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani and Neha Dhupia.

Ronnie Screwvala, one of the producers of the film, said: “Netflix is a global platform. We have been trying to do crossover cinema for 100 years, and now people will get a chance to do crossover cinema. Now we have an audience (through Netflix) that caters to a wider audience, not just to the South Asian (audience), but all over. That is a great opportunity.”

How are they planning to reach out to rural India where people may not necessarily have access to mobile phones, Screwvala said: “If we are talking about rural India, of course, it will take time to reach. But when we look at the footfall and box office collection, 60 per cent of it comes from metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

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Lust Stories will be out on Netflix from next month. Bollywood Country

“That is why there is more scope for the digital platforms to reach out to these urban pockets than cinema halls. The idea is not one versus the other… The approach is more inclusive.”

Actress Bhumi Pednekar, who features in Zoya’s short story, said: “As actors and filmmakers, we want our stories to reach as many people as possible, and Netflix is one of such platforms. I think the digital audience is braver and more accepting towards new content. They are looking for new stories.”

Asked if practising freedom of expression is easier on a digital platform, Zoya said: “Yes and no… I mean there is not something we are showing in the film that cannot be shown otherwise.”

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Talking about the given freedom on a digital platform for the filmmakers and viewers, Dibakar said: “You see, as filmmakers we will find our way even within the limited freedom we are given. But this platform has given freedom to the audience.

“I believe that freedom is about having a choice. If we do not have the choice, then freedom is a theoretical discussion. So I think with this platform, the audience should have the choice to experience an intimate experience with few people or with oneself… So this platform provides more freedom to the audience than filmmakers.”

The film “Lust Stories” will release on June 15. (BollywoodCountry)

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Netflix Adds More Subscribers, Braces for Higher Competition

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix exuded confidence of weathering the competition from Apple and Disney

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FILE - The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. VOA

Netflix added 6.8 million subscribers in the third quarter of this year internationally, compared to seven million it had forecast, even as the streaming giant braces for stiff competition as Apple and Disney prepare to launch similar services.

Netflix reported $5.2 billion in revenue in the third quarter, up 31 per cent over the prior year, and operating income doubled to $1 billion.

“In Q3, our guidance forecast was our most accurate in recent history,” Netflix said on Wednesday in a letter to shareholders.

The results cheered investors as shares of the streaming giant rose over five per cent in after hours trading.

“We have been moving increasingly to original content both because of the anticipated pullback of second run content from some studios and because our original content is working in the form of member viewing and engagement,” Netflix said, adding that its “Stranger Things Season 3” emerged as its most watched season to date with 64 million member households in its first four weeks.

Netflix said that it will continue to expand its non-English language original offerings because they help the company increase penetration in international markets.

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The new plans appearing on Netflix India’s website lists the weekly mobile-only plan for Rs 65, basic plan for Rs 125. Pixabay

“‘The Naked Director’ broke out as the biggest title launch for us in Japan and was also highly successful throughout Asia. Similarly, in India, we debuted the second season of ‘Sacred Games’, our most watched show in India,” the company said.

“To date, we have globally released 100 seasons of local language, original scripted series from 17 countries and have plans for over 130 more in 2020. We also plan to expand our investment in local language original films and unscripted series,” it added.

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix exuded confidence of weathering the competition from Apple and Disney.

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“The upcoming arrival of services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock is increased competition, but we are all small compared to linear TV,” Netflix said.

“The launch of these new services will be noisy. There may be some modest headwind to our near-term growth, and we have tried to factor that into our guidance. In the long-term, though, we expect we’ll continue to grow nicely given the strength of our service and the large market opportunity,” it said. (IANS)