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Abundantia Entertainment, Crypt TV partner to drive Indian horror content in 2020

The partners will focus on creating new scary intellectual properties in India


MUMBAI: If there is an unexplored genre in the Indian content space, it is definitely the horror genre. While movies like Stree and shows like Ghost Stories have attempted to change the space, there is room for more.

Vikram Malhotra-headed Abundantia Entertainment is now focusing on the gap by forging a partnership with US-based Crypt TV. Under the collaboration, the partners will focus on creating new intellectual properties (IP) in India along with exporting Crypt TV’s international shows to be remade in local languages.

Crypt TV CEO Jack Davis depicts the partnership as a goal to bring Crypt’s understanding of the genre in the country and mix it with Malhotra’s expertise of storytelling in different formats. For Abundantia, the partnership drives content strategy for 2020 and beyond.                                                         

There is an active pipeline of digital content creation at Abundantia. Malhotra said, “We have our main feature film business, we have our streaming TV business that we are already creating content in but now the strategy is to focus on our new vertical ‘Psych’ and our largest manifestation of that in terms of the alliance with Crypt is our big drive moving forward. There is work already under development for both under feature and TV. One of the things that both the companies are aligned on is for stories to find their ways and platforms. Rather than force-fitting their content we will go where our audience is.”

Crypt is known internationally for creating short-form horror videos such as SunnyFamily Cult, Ghosted, The Birch, and The Look-See for Facebook and YouTube. Crypt’s entry into the Indian market will be driven by creating feature films and long-form streaming content. Abundantia has made superhit movies like Airlift and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and also web shows like Breathe in India.

“Abundantia has always been paramount to understanding the progressive evolving Indian audience. We identify this genre containing significant native demand where the young audience is considered. We reciprocate Crypt’s understanding of this genre, their expertise in it and their belief in India and its size. So, the whole idea is taking our local context, our experience in telling stories out of India and match and marry that with the expertise that Crypt TV brings in of telling scary stories and to create locally relevant and contextually heavy insight-driven stories,” says Abundantia Entertainment CEO Vikram Malhotra.

Davis who is ecstatic to partner with Abundantia hopes to create local stories and local versions of the characters and new stories that usually start local but end up becoming so successful that they become international themselves.

“In India, there is an unbelievably rich tradition and passion for telling stories and there is a long history of unbelievable respect for storytellers, fantastic actors and directors. Earlier there was a barrier in the media industry. It was fragmented. That has changed now because of the streamers. It means new opportunity here in India. Also, combine the internet connectivity with the rich history and there is ample space for scary,” states Davis.

While there is a surge of horror content in India, the challenge is to make it mainstream entertainment medium. Malhotra, who holds a track record of success and telling stories in TV and movies, believes that the best way to command the attention of potential and existing audience is to create stories that people relate to. They should able to see themselves or the people around them in that story. Today it’s not only about 2 hours or 10 minutes of consumption it’s also about what people take back and talk amongst themselves.

“Nothing is driving my interest in the region besides respect for the stories here and the fact that I have found the right partner in Vikram. I am sure more people would want to invest in Crypt by seeing what we are doing in India. Our decision to come here is not at all based in the investors but because of the stories we can create,” Davis sums up.

When asked about the change from creating content for movies to now creating it for web, Malhotra said, “Fundamentally what every Indian is looking for is entertainment that is intellectually stimulating. It could be scary entertainment or it could be a slice of life entertainment, but one of the things that we have seen consistently is that irrespective of the duration and manner of that story, what connects is the character and the emotion. When you are doing long format episodic content your ability to connect is that much higher. Therefore, the pressure to deliver is also higher.”

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