Netflix recently hosted a conversation between its Co-CEO Ted Sarandos and award-winning Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to celebrate Indian storytelling, examine how diverse stories have evolved the tastes of audiences, and recognize the impact on worldwide viewing habits. Throughout this dialogue, this industry leader and creative visionary touched upon innovation, creative collaboration, and the importance of nurturing creativity. The event culminated with the early look at Bhansali’s first global drama series, Heeramandi.
The series will explore the culture of the district of Heeramandi through the stories of courtesans and their patrons, set against the Indian freedom struggle of the 1940s. Expect love, betrayal, succession, and politics in the house of courtesans, as Heeramandi will bring Bhansali’s signature blend of larger-than-life styles, intricate and soulful characters, and rippling dynamics of a world rife with conflict during a defining time for India.
“Audiences want stories that help them escape and connect, and Sanjay is an exceptional storyteller who does both. Heeramandi, like all of Sanjay’s stories, is not style over substance but style and substance together,” Sarandos said. “At Netflix, our responsibility to creators is to give them the tools to do their life’s work and empower them to bring their vision alive. We’re thrilled to collaborate with a visionary like Sanjay and bring the world of Heeramandi to a global audience.”
“Heeramandi has a special place in my heart as it has stayed with me for 14 years. The most compelling aspect of storytelling for me is the opportunity to represent real characters, especially women, and portray their emotions with interesting nuances,” Bhansali said. “The women of Heeramandi are queens in their own right, and my effort with this story is to bring these historic characters to life with a modern approach. Netflix made this possible for us by nurturing and making an artist like me feel at home.”
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