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Race hots up: Netflix announces two India originals - 'Selection Day' & 'Again'

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MUMBAI: The race hots up. Close on the heels of Amazon Prime and vying with 30-odd other OTT / VoD players in India, Netflix too has announced two new original series from India -- Selection Day and Again.

The former is based on the book by the acclaimed author Aravind Adiga (White Tiger) and the latter, a supernatural, female-led detective series set in New Delhi and written by Marisha Mukerjee (of Quantico fame).

Amazon Prime recently launched its first original -- Inside Edge -- with all of its 10 episodes across 240 countries. Inside Edge has been produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment and the storyline brings together the world of cricket and entertainment.

Amazon's 17 more originals  are in various  stages of development.  "We are trying to get three to four originals beyond Inside Edge in a few months (this year) since there are different projects in various stages of development (casting or post-production, etc)," Amazon Prime country head Nitesh Kripalani had told Indiantelevision.com.

Netflix too is gung-ho. "We are excited to be expanding our slate of originals in India. These projects have specifically local subjects, but will be great for our global audience, and are supported by world class talent." said Erik Barmack, vice president of international original series at Netflix.

Selection Day, a compelling story of cricket and corruption, is based on Booker Prize-winning author Aravind Adiga’s novel of the same name. This coming of age tale depicts the glory and rivalry in the city of Mumbai.

Fourteen-year-old Manjunath Kumar knows he is good at cricket -- if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented sibling and is fascinated by the world of CSI and by curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things about himself and about the world that he doesn't know. When Manju begins to get to know Radha's great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju's world begins to change and he is faced with decisions that will change both his sense of self and of the world around him.

Selection Day will be produced in partnership with Seven Stories.

"When I first read Selection Day I was completely overwhelmed by the scale and ambition of Aravind’s vision - and moved to my core by its emotional power.…." said Anand Tucker, CEO of Seven Stories. “We are delighted to be working with Netflix on what feels like a new chapter in the age of global storytelling, and we are bowled over by Erik and his team’s passion for this story."

Seven Stories is the UK based production company of Directors Sharon Maguire and Anand Tucker, and is part of the ALL3Media group.

Set in the busy and colourful city of New Delhi, detective series Again tells the story of a female homicide detective who must put her career and life on the line when a recent murder connects to closed cases from her past, proving she has a serial killer on her hands. As she seeks justice, the answers she uncovers along the way not only affect her life, but also challenge the faith, beliefs, and relationships of everyone surrounding her.

“When it comes to telling groundbreaking evocative stories, I cannot think of a better partner than Netflix to bring this show to India and to audiences across the globe” said Marisha Mukerjee. “Again not only speaks to my own duality and cultural heritage, but also to the universal grey that exists between life and death, where religion intersects justice.”

All leading OTT / VoD players seem to be eyeing a significant share of the 70-million unique connected video viewers (F&S) in India.

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