On 22 February 2020, India’s largest digital literature platform Pratilipi announced a groundbreaking partnership with Yali DreamWorks to develop and co-produce a web series based on a book trilogy in the supernatural thriller genre by Varsha Srivastava, one of Pratilipi’s leading writers.
The web series will be adapted from Srivastava’s trilogy Murdo Ki Train, Shaitan Se Samjhauta and Niya that tells the story of police sub-inspector Vinay who finds himself mixed up with the occult whilst investigating a series of mysterious happenings involving a young girl with supernatural abilities.
The partnership marks a major milestone for Pratilipi in their efforts to develop commercial licensing deals that create access to high-quality stories by upcoming writers from across India. The partnership brings together Pratilipi’s pool of homegrown literary talent with Yali DreamWorks’ expertise in creating cutting-edge content adapted from comics and graphic novels.
The genre of supernatural thriller has found immense popularity for both Pratilipi and Yali DreamWorks, who have quickly developed a niche as one of India’s most dynamic entertainment companies, recently securing a deal with renowned director Sanjay Gupta for a film adaptation of their book Rakshak. This collaboration is a particularly exciting chapter for the emergence of supernatural/horror thrillers in the video and web content space.
Whilst Yali DreamWorks bring their expertise from the entertainment space, Pratilipi comes with a deep reach into a pan-India audience of over 25 million monthly readers, over three lakh writers and 30 Lakh stories in several languages. Both Yali DreamWorks and Pratilipi believe that Pattilipi’s online community allows them to discover exciting new trends and develop content with a proven audience demand.
Speaking about the partnership,Yali Dreamworks founder Vivek Rangachari said, “Pratilipi is at the cutting edge of content creation and curation where the reader is an active participant in the story. This democratic process of content validation provides us with added confidence to create audio/visual adaptation of the written word.Yali believes that this is the future of content creation. To be able to amplify the talent of writers in India through our partnership with Pratilipi is a truly exciting prospect.”
Adding to this sentiment, Pratilipi’s head of IP Acquisitions Shubham Sharma said, “We are super excited to announce this partnership with Yali DreamWorks. It is a perfect match. Genres like Horror, Supernatural, Fantasy and Thrillers, have a huge popularity on Pratilipi Literature as well as Pratilipi Comics and Pratilipi FM. From the local horror stories we grew up with, to the rich mythological narratives that have survived the test of time, we as a country have always had an appetite for stories of these genres. Across all international markets too, these genres have proven the best ROI on feature films and shows, at scale. But even then, in India, this particular niche is yet to be cracked successfully. With India’s content ecosystem going through a phase of hypergrowth, we believe there will be infinite new niches up for grabs in the coming decade and we are doubling down on this one. With Vivek and Asvin at Yali, we share this vision of the future of entertainment and are thrilled to share some timeless stories to the Indian audience”
Murdo Ki Train has been read by over 250,000 readers on Pratilipi Literature and has also been adapted into a hit comic series on Pratilipi Comics, with over 330,000 readers. While the eight-part suspense series Shaitan Se Samjhauta by Varsha Srivastava has been read over 100,000 times on the platform, Niya is the third part of her suspense-horror trilogy with a 14 hour total read time and 21 episodes.
Murdo Ki Train follows the mystery of a train which seemingly never arrives at the next station or stops at the previous, but every night, stops at a station in a remote hill town. Diya, a young college girl who recently moved to the hill town, loses her sister to this haunted station. With the help of police sub-inspector Vinay she sets out to discover the mystery behind the station, the train and its passengers.
Shaitan Se Samjhauta is the story of Vinay, a police inspector who finds himself mixed up with an occult community whilst investigating the case of Lilliana, a seven-year-old girl who has been linked to several mysterious accidents. As Vinay continues to investigate the case, truths about his own family’s involvement with the cult are revealed.
Niya is a regular school girl, preoccupied with all the things that make up a child’s world – toys, friends, her parents. But Niya has a strange, dark past buried within her. Her father Vinay discovers this about this child. What is a father to do? Will his child Niya be able to overcome the dark forces and let her human side win?
The partnership with Yali Dreamworks is part of Pratilipi’s efforts to support and foster the writing community across India to develop long term sustainable careers. Through their efforts to develop licensing deals with established publishers, content producers, and studios Pratilipi is offering new opportunities to both their community and the licensing partners.