Netflix Cabinets Indian Movie ‘Tees’, Director Dibakar Banerjee Seeks New Purchaser

EXCLUSIVE: Indian director Dibakar Banerjee’s Tees has been shelved by Netflix and the auteur is now in search of a brand new residence for the function.

Netflix confirmed it has no plans to launch the function, however has not commented on the explanations for shelving it. 

Tees was introduced in 2019 as a Netflix authentic underneath its earlier title Freedom as “the story of an Indian household interwoven with the private, ideological and sexual historical past of India.”

Banerjee shot the Hindi-language movie in 2020 and delivered it to Netflix in Might 2022, nevertheless it remained in limbo for a number of months till the streamer confirmed that it has no plans to proceed with a launch. 

The Worldwide Movie Pageant of Rotterdam (IFFR) invited Tees to premiere within the Limelight part of this yr’s version, however Banerjee was unable to safe Netflix’s approval to display screen the movie. 

Netflix confirmed that it has given Banerjee permission to ship hyperlinks of the movie to potential consumers, however the streamer doesn’t seem to help competition screenings of movies it’s not planning to launch. Banerjee says this places him in a “chicken-and-egg state of affairs” as he doesn’t know the right way to attain consumers with out a competition or market screening. 

Banerjee additionally says he believes that the altering political local weather in India contributed to Netflix’s choice. 

“Netflix has given by no means given me some other motive besides they don’t know if that is the correct time to launch the movie,” Banerjee instructed Deadline. “Given what occurred with Tandav, the one conclusion to succeed in is that Netflix is reluctant to launch the movie out of worry of being equally focused. However the movie I’ve made could be very totally different to the online collection in query.”  

Tees is certainly one of a number of options and collection which have stalled or been put into turnaround by streaming platforms in an more and more illiberal political setting in India. Most notably, in 2021 prison prices had been filed in opposition to Prime Video executives and members of the solid and crew of its Hindi-language collection Tandav, following complaints from politicians in India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP) and their supporters. 

Set throughout three time intervals, Tees follows a middle-class Muslim household throughout three generations – the primary part is about in Kashmir throughout unrest in 1990; the second part follows the daughter of the household, who finds it tough to purchase an residence in modern-day Mumbai as a consequence of her faith; and the third part is about in a dystopian future and follows her son as he struggles to get his novel revealed. 

It options an ensemble solid of revered stars and actors, together with Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin, Huma Qureshi, Shashank Arora and Neeraj Kabi.

Indian OTT content material manufacturing is booming, however all of the streamers face complexities round self-censorship, an more and more authoritarian political setting, and an increase in spiritual intolerance and on-line trolling. Banerjee is thought for movies that contact on politics, social points and sexuality – together with Khosla Ka Ghosla, Shanghai and LSD: Love Intercourse Aur Dhoka – however says Tees is just not a confrontational movie. 

“It’s not about any incendiary incidents  – it’s in regards to the every day lifetime of a median middle-class city household over three generations. However now my story is changing into eerily just like one of many protagonists within the movie,” he says.

“I additionally imagine that is my greatest movie so far. Though it has common themes, it was made for an viewers that remembers my different movies, and is attuned to watching a movie made by me, so it saddens me that they gained’t be capable to see it.” 

Banerjee has began to contact distributors, traders, producers and different events, each in India and internationally, who could also be fascinated with buying the movie from Netflix. 

Within the wake of the Tandav incident, a number of net collection and movies have been delayed in India, together with Anurag Kashyap’s adaptation of Most Metropolis, a non-fiction novel about Mumbai written by Suketu Mehta, and Prime Video’s second season of crime drama Paatal LokTandav was lastly streamed after Prime Video made cuts and prison prices dropped when executives agreed to help in an investigation. 

Streaming platforms in India function underneath a system of self-censorship, with broad pointers supplied by the Ministry of Info & Broadcasting, via which they’re required to take part in a three-tier “grievance redressal mechanism” to take care of viewer complaints. Grievances which can be escalated to the third degree are handled immediately by the I&B Ministry. 


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