Stories set towards the heartland of India isn’t a brand new pattern for Bollywood. And now, OTT platforms have additionally taken to this template, which has given rise to a bevy of reveals and movies like Jamtara, Mirzapur, Gullak, Paatal Lok, Haseen Dillruba (2021), Panchayat and the lately launched Love Hostel, amongst others. And most of the time, the viewers, each Indian and worldwide, is lapping them up.

“Some of the best filmmakers will tell you that the more local you go, the more universal you will get,” says Hardik Mehta, the author of Paatal Lok, the primary sequence shot in Chitrakoot, a small district in Uttar Pradesh. He provides, “We noticed Medellin (Colombia) in Narcos, Albuquerque (USA) in Breaking Bad or a fictional town called Hawkins in Stranger Things. Similarly, if we make a great series that breaks the clutter, our stories from our hinterland will also travel globally.”

Actor Rajesh Tailang, who obtained praises throughout borders for his initiatives Mirzapur and Bandish Bandits, believes that since a significant chunk of the Indian viewers lives in tier two and three cities, tales will even should be made on them. Agreeing with Mehta, he says, “I’m an arts student and I’ve been taught that the more specific you’re, the more universal you will be. It applies here too. We’re exposed to Iranian films set against the back of rural towns, but we connect with the human emotion. It’s the same reason why the global audience is identifying with our stories.”

A spokesperson from Netflix notes that there’s “an inherent curiosity about understanding the inner dynamics” of small cities. Talking concerning the worldwide publicity that tales primarily based in hinterlands obtain, the spokesperson explains, “Our noir thriller Aranyak, set in a small quaint hill town, presented us with the opportunity to delve into folklores that are a rich part of our culture. Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein (YKKA), set in Uttar Pradesh opened up a possibility of exploring a quirky idea of subverting the gender dynamic in a romance. And our superhero film Minal Murali (2021) set in Kerala, took not just the country but the world by storm when it trended in the top 10 across 30 countries.”

Writer and director of YKKA, Siddharth Sengupta, feels that the widespread bond between completely different cultures internationally is primary human feelings, and the magic comes from “rooted form of storytelling”. “YKKA has featured in the top 10 row in countries like Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Pakistan. Global players are present in over 190 nations, making it possible for storytellers like us to reach out to wider audiences. And this is just the beginning,” he ends.

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