MUMBAI — October 18, 2023— Prime Video, India’s most loved entertainment destination, successfully conducted a highly insightful masterclass on Creating Period Dramas for New Age Audiences at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. This is Prime Video’s second masterclass, following the maiden edition at FTII, Pune, and is a testament to Prime Video’s commitment to strengthening India’s creative economy as outlined in the Letter of Engagement (LoE) inked earlier this year between Amazon India and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Graced by Shri Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, MIB, this masterclass featured award-winning filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane and the highly versatile actor Sidhant Gupta, both representing the much-loved Amazon Originals series Jubilee, as well as Nikhil Madhok, Head of Hindi Originals, Prime Video, India.
Building on the global success of Amazon Original Series Jubilee, this masterclass explored the art of creating outstanding period dramas such as this acclaimed series. Panelists provided insights into the creative process behind conceptualizing historical narratives that resonate with contemporary audiences. The session underscored streaming’s transformative role in storytelling and filmmaking, offering diverse opportunities for creative and technical talent to experiment with various formats, themes, and genres.
Shri Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, MIB, said, “Incorporating the essence of our rich past and the legacy of our culture into contemporary storytelling not only enriches India’s soft power internationally but also provides a platform for the talent of tomorrow to take it even further. Shows like Jubilee speak volumes about our talent – not just the stars you see on- screen, but even those behind the camera, the directors, scriptwriters, musicians, and singers. By embracing our heritage and presenting it in a modern context, we’re crafting narratives that resonate with global audiences while nurturing the creative minds that will shape the future of our entertainment industry. This has been the collective vision and endeavor of Amazon India and MIB joining hands to enable creative ecosystems in India.”
The collaboration between Amazon and MIB seeks to establish channels for nurturing creative talent in India, enhance the capabilities of prestigious film and television institutions, and exhibit ‘Made in India’ creative content on a global scale.
“It’s vital for Prime Video to host these masterclasses and invest in India’s creative talent because we believe in the power of stories to inspire, educate, and entertain.” said Nikhil Madhok, head of Hindi Originals, Prime Video. “By providing a platform for emerging talent and seasoned industry professionals to come together, we are not just enriching the creative landscape but also fostering an environment where innovation and originality can thrive. Our commitment to such initiatives aligns with our mission to create exceptional content that resonates with diverse audiences globally, and these masterclasses are a testament to that vision.”
Vikramaditya Motwane, Creator and Director of the Amazon Original series Jubilee, shared his perspective on writing multi-genre stories, “In case of Jubilee, it was a conscious decision to merge the period drama with a murder mystery. Murder mystery as a genre has always been popular, it is one of my favourites. And I believe that if the story and characters resonate with the audience, the audience gets invested in what happens next – then episodic cliffhangers will get them to click on the next episode and encourage them to keep watching.”
Sidhant Gupta, who garnered immense popularity after his role in Jubilee as Jay Khanna, talked about the need for research to build a character in a period drama, “Research is everything in a period drama. I led with curiosity and responsibility which made me feel safe and kept the fun alive. Start slowly, start with small questions and the big questions will find us. It’s living the dream and the process demands some heavy lifting. Playing a character is an endless finding, I can only ever feel prepared enough to be able to surrender. I believe it is okay to ask as many questions as you want while researching – by the time we reach the set, we don’t feel dependent – which is an unnecessary burden on the director.”
Prime Video will be hosting additional masterclasses as part of its Letter of Engagement with MIB, at leading film institutions across the nation in the coming months.