philmCGI celebrates ‘Ghost Stories’ with a Horror-themed party

Pune-based philmCGI has emerged as a go-to VFX and animation studio over the years, especially for OTT platforms. Having worked their magic upon India’s top-notch Netflix series’ like Sacred Games and Ghost Stories, philmCGI has gained a reputation for their craft of visual effects and animation.

Dressed as a bevy of spooky characters, they recently paid a tribute to their recent Netflix project Ghost Stories. philmCGI VFX artists donned Halloween-styled scary avatars in a nod to their recent project, celebrating six years of artistry across platforms.

philmCGi artists
Credits – philCGI
Credits – philmCGIp

Speaking about the spooky party, philmCGI public relations and communications head Shweta Chaugule shared, “philmCGI sixth year anniversary bash was a spooky one. As luck would have it, we celebrate the same towards the end of the year this time making it a perfect double celebration: our 6th anniversary and release of Ghost Stories in which one of the four stories has visual effects done by us. We had our team get creative and dress up in the scariest and spookiest costumes and I have to say their creativity flowed. We had our inhouse prizes, lots of food and merry making it a perfect way to end the year and bring in 2020.”

Set in what feels like 90’s Britain with a heavily desaturated look that borders on monochrome, the story revolves around a paranoid, pregnant woman Neha who babysits her late sister’s kid, Ansh. The obsessive affection of a kid and paranoia of a childless young woman assumes terrifying proportions. in the end, she seems to have had a miscarriage and eaten her own fetus, and her nephew is happy that his aunt will love only him from now on.

We can’t wait to hear philmCGI VFX folks bare their hearts about their VFX process of Ghost Stories. Stay tuned.

‘Ghost Stories’ to stream on 1 January, 2020 on Netflix

This New Year is going to be scary, as the streaming giant, Netflix has announced to be releasing Ghost Stories on 1 January, 2020. 

After the huge success of Lust Stories (2018), Netflix is bringing the next anthology movie from the same directors – Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Karan Johar, and Dibakar Banerjee. 

An announcement video released recently finds all the four noted filmmakers talking about what’s going to be in line for Ghost Stories alongside a first look of the same. 

Ghost Stories stars the likes of Sobhita Dhulipala, Janhvi Kapoor, Gulshan Devaiah , Vijay Varma, Mrunal Thakur, Raghubir Yadav, Avinash Tiwary, Surekha Sikri , Sukant Goel, and Internet star Kusha Kapila.

Produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s production banner RSVP and Ashi Dua Sara of Flying Unicorn Entertainment, Ghost Stories was announced as one of 10 new Netflix original movies from India in April. In an official statement, Screwvala said (as reported by Gadgets 360) : “The overwhelming success of Lust Stories — which still has people talking about it a year after it launched — made us want to repeat the magic with our second anthology called Ghost Stories. With Netflix, we have a partner who complements the strain in RSVP’s DNA — to lean into risk when it comes to bold content narratives and creative freedom.”

Netflix inks a deal with Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment

Netflix has announced a long-term partnership with Karan Johar’s digital arm Dharmatic Entertainment to create a broad range of new fiction and non-fiction series and films exclusively for its viewers.

Karan Johar

As the director of eight major films and host of a successful talk show, Johar has a proven track record of telling stories that resonate with audiences all around the world. Johar has an innate sense of what people care about and a unique way of telling stories that are universal but also authentically reflect Indian society. Johar, who first collaborated with Netflix in 2018 for Lust Stories, is directing Ghost Stories and producing Guilty for the streaming powerhouse. He also signed up in May to host dating format What The Love? for the OTT platform. 

Commenting on this deal, Netflix International Originals VP Bela Bajaria said, “I am incredibly excited about our partnership with Karan Johar – one of India’s greatest modern storytellers. Johar and Dharmatic Entertainment will have all the creative freedom and support they need to create pioneering dramas and unscripted series – as well as films – for our members all over the world.”

Johar’s brush with Netflix, the filmmaker informed, led to the setting up of Dharmatic. The reach of Lust Stories made the director of Kal Ho Naa Ho realise that “Sky is the limit” with such partnership. He added, “With its unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach, Netflix provides a fearless space for creators. I’m super excited about the projects we already have in development and the limitless possibilities ahead. To create universal stories from India that the world discovers is an incredible and unprecedented opportunity.”

Having grown up in the lap of mainstream cinema, Johar said, he will always have a strong and romantic relationship with celluloid. But the partnership with Netflix offered him freedom from the fear of the Friday box office.

“There is one aspect, which is very daunting in all our existence, is the pressure of the Friday box office performance and then the general performance of your film, which looms large on us filmmakers. But when you have a platform where you can showcase your creativity and your content and you don’t have the pressure of the box office, then you are given wings to fly. What we have decided to do is basically come together to create content to empower not only ourselves, but also the consumer, and to make sure that we can create diverse content across genres, and engage not just an Indian or diaspora audience but an Asian audience,” Johar told PTI in an interview.

Dharma Productions CEO Apoorva Mehta noted, “We’re excited about the immense storytelling possibilities ahead. With Netflix as the new storytelling home for Dharmatic Entertainment, I have the highest hopes for what we can do together. Our vision is to create differentiated stories across diverse genres and we can’t wait to craft and usher many more remarkable series and films into the world with Netflix.”

Monika Shergill

According to Netflix India head, Series, International Originals Monika Shergill, they were looking forward to Johar’s take on series, which is a relatively new format of storytelling in India.

“It will be a brand new sort of storytelling – long format, multi-seasons, across scripted and unscripted. We have seen Karan in a lot of unscripted avatars on linear TV but his version of unscripted on streaming will be something to watch out for. Same goes for scripted, the way he immerses you in characters in his films, to have those characters come to you season after season is what we are most excited about that at Netflix,” Shergill told PTI


Netflix adds 10 new original films to its Indian slate

Netflix has expanded its India slate with 10 new original films from some of Bollywood’s leading players, spanning multiple genres. By the end of 2020, a total of 15 new original Indian films, including previously announced titles such as Music Teacher, Cobalt Blue, Chopsticks, Upstarts and Bulbul, will be available on the service.

Netflix director international original film India Srishti Behl Arya said, “Given our diversity, history and culture, India is home to powerful stories waiting to be told to audiences around the world. We want to be a home for India’s finest filmmakers where their stories travel to more people than ever before.”

Ghost Stories reunites directors Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap after they delivered the earlier Love Stories. Ghost Stories will be produced by RSVP and co-produced by Ashi Dua.

Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and directed by Atul Sabharwal, Class of ‘83 explores the story of an upright policeman-turned-trainer whose students grapple with the complexities of honour, morals and devotion to the nation.

Directed and produced by Banerjee, Freedom is the story of an Indian family interwoven with the personal, ideological and sexual history of India and how desire plays a common role in each.

Dharma Productions’ recently launched digital arm Dharmatic will produce Guilty, directed by Ruchi Narain, which explores the versions of truth that emerge when a small town girl accuses the college heartthrob of rape.

When her husband is framed and imprisoned for serial murders, a doting wife must perform a murder exactly like the serial killer, to prove her husband innocent. The thriller Mrs. Serial Killer is directed by Shirish Kunder and produced by Farah Khan.

Writer-director Sooni Taraporevala and produced by Roy Kapur Films, Yeh Ballet revolves around two Mumbai boys from poor families who discover ballet and use that as a way of escaping their challenging circumstances.

Directed by Shashanka Ghosh and Samit Basu, written by Basu and produced by India Stories, House Arrest is the story of a man – trapped in his own fears – who locks himself at home, only to find that while he can restrict his interaction with the world, he can’t keep the world from entering his domain.

Kaali Khuhi is directed by Terrie Samundra and produced by Manomay Motion Pictures. It will touch upon female infanticide and mysterious deaths in a village in Punjab state.

Maska is about a confused millennial who sets out to fulfill his fantasy of becoming a movie star, until a summer romance with a clear-headed girl helps him discover the fine line between dreams and delusions. The film is directed by Neeraj Udhwani and produced by Seher Aly Latif and Shivani Saran’s Mutant Films.

Veteran film-maker Sudhir Mishra will direct Serious Men, a film based on Manu Joseph’s book. Produced by Bombay Fables and Cineraas Entertainment, the film is about a wily slum dweller, who cons the country into believing his dim-witted 10-year-old son is a genius, to realise that the only victim of his dangerous game is his son.

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