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ALT Balaji announces Dhimaner Dinkaal – its first Bengali original

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MUMBAI: The clear message that came out of Indiantelevision.com’s second VIDNET was that you have to have exclusive or original programming. And delivering it in India’s regional languages – well that is something OTT players will have to do if they want to get granularity in their traction.

Almost as if taking it as a cue, The Balaji Telefilms promoted ALT Balaji has looked to the east of India while announcing the launch of its second regional show Dhimaner Dinkaal. The language you may have got it by now from the title is Bengali. The digital series has well known Bangla artistes like Saswata Chatterjee, Sreelekha Mitra, Khoraj Mukherjee and Sudipta Banerjee and has Saugata Nandi helming it.

Dhimaner Dinkaal is the story of an ordinary man (Dhiman played by Chatterjee) who lives a life of simplicity away from the madness of technology and internet. The show will explore how his life takes an unexpected turn when he is forced into embracing the new world of technology.

Dhiman is confined to his old habits; he still believes that internet and modern technology are just a farce in third world countries. Dhiman lives in a contrasting world where his wife’s and daughter’s lives are dominated by internet but he prefers to breathe in a space devoid of technology. What happens when he is forced into the digital world? When his life turns upside down because a stranger enters via social media, will he be able to maintain his sanity?

“ALTBalaji is the No 1 repository of exclusive and original digital content in Indian languages today. After launching with 6 Hindi and a Tamil show, we continue our commitment to Indian languages. We are confident that this will be a favourite for Bengalis in and out of India,” says ALT Balaji CEO Nachiket Pantvaidya.

At launch, ALT Balaji had stated that it would be gradually be rolling out 32 originals on its digital OTT service over the next few months. And the introduction of Dhimaner Dinkaal at this time could be the first of many other shows that could be at the entry gate just waiting to be revealed to its four million odd audience that has downloaded the app, say sources. They further indicate that the 15 part Bengali series is quite likely to have a second season and has a budget of about Rs 600,000 per episode.

Subscribers can only expect the slate of show launches to be spurred to a faster clip following the move by the Mukesh Ambani headed Reliance group to pick up a 24.92 per cent stake in Balaji Telefilms for Rs 413.28 crore.

Clearly, the action in the Indian OTT space has only just begun.

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