Manzar Studios is an entertainment company based out of Mumbai that acquires foreign high-concept IP for adaptation and trans-creation in India along with developing and producing original content. It also curates and distributes compelling foreign IP for India and the sub-continent. Manzar Studios is a joint venture between Sunil Doshi, a creative entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Alliance Media, and Rainshine Entertainment which creates, nurtures, and develops content studios for Indian and global audiences.
Sunil Doshi – Director at Manzar Studios in an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U speaks on the collaboration with Rainshine Entertainment and more.
You have had a dynamic career. Can you please share some lines on the same?
I have been fortunate to have some extraordinary opportunities. Right from founding ABCL, NDTV Lumiere, The Adaptation Company, Alliance – India’s first talent management company, packaging KaunBanegaCrorepati with Amitabh Bachchan, SatyamevJayate with Aamir Khan, Koffee with Karan Johar to being an advisor to many media and entertainment companies to now starting Manzar Studios, I have had great opportunities after my earlier stint with Tata Telecom in the sunrise industry of media and entertainment.
You have now launched Manzar Studios in collaboration with Rainshine Entertainment. Can you please share some insights on this new venture of yours?
It is a collaboration that I am looking forward to nurturing as we have a great synergy of creating differentiating content. It consists of original as well as adaptation of riveting stories that are backed by immense research and development.
Today content has become King for the audiences. How are you going to curate/ produce content for this TG?
I believe we are a “Storysmith”! We see a huge opportunity to foster an idea that stories are the next big talent rather than the renowned talent and celebrities! In my opinion, we will see a paradigm shift soon where creative outfits and talent agencies will represent stories rather than individuals. At Manzar, we are in a vantage position because our content is our currency! We have access to great stories from around the world and their possibilities in adaptation, keeping our socio-cultural fabric and specific contextual nuances in mind.
We will research, identify, adapt and develop stories for multi-hyphenated approaches and work with various collaborators to bring them to over 700 million screens in India and various globally! “Local for Global” and “Global for Local” will be the essence of our story curation and development journey. We will also work with various partners on co-productions, licensing, and distribution arrangements in different Indian languages.
Other than producing content you are also going to venture into distribution, any reasons for this move?
Yes, we are currently distributing few marquee titles like ‘I am Greta’ – a documentary on Greta Thunberg which premiered at the Venice Film festival a few months ago, ‘Hillary’ which is on SONY Liv, and some other award-winning titles like Yalda, Persian Lessons, SuperNovaamong others from Europe and North America. Since we are a story-first company, we want to bring the stories that resonate with the ethos of Manzar to India – out of which a few them we would like to adapt for productions while the rest, we would like to curate and distribute.
There has been a surge in OTT viewing with theatres closing, any plans to create content for OTT? Also, will you be venturing into TV Production?
As mentioned above, we are screen agnostic and we would create differentiating content for consumption across multiple screens including linear and non-linear platforms!
There are also plans to get IP’s of acclaimed foreign content, can you elaborate on this?
That’s correct – IPs of foreign content are going to be in great demand because of various reasons. We feel that post-pandemic, there will be a dearth of content and the supply to various screens will be limited due to the ongoing fear and various restrictions amongst the talent stakeholders. Secondly, such IPs drastically reduce the lead time of creating and producing content as there is already an idea/story, script, and reference material available to contextualize into our traditional story-telling. Moreover, it makes it easier to rope in talent as there is an already existing successful IP. Not just that, but it also increases the speed to market. Lastly, it provides the sought after ability to tell global stories in the new porous world.