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Will 2021 be the Year Netflix-like Platforms Take off in Pakistan?

With around 650 million estimated subscribers worldwide, internet VOD (Video on demand) services constitute one of the fastest-growing consumer segment in electronic media worldwide. However, locally, the penetration of popular streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime has been on the lower end, which can at least be partly attributed to the absence of engaging local content to entice the audience.

That might be just about to change though, for the second half of 2021 has some interesting surprises in store for connoisseurs of Pakistani entertainment looking for click-worthy shows to binge on.

Setting the ball rolling will be action thriller Karachi Division will be kick-starting its promotions shortly. The series deals with the intersection of international espionage, local crime and politics in the Arabian sea metropolis and seems to be unique in that rarely has content of this intensity been produced for the small screen. Written, directed and produced by Shamoon Abbasi, Karachi Division will be available for streaming on Starz Play.

Mind Games starring Emmad Irfani, Shamoon Abbasi and Sana Fakhar, among others, has been another show on our radars over the past few years ever since some of its slick stills made their way to the social media. The Farhan Tajammul directed show deals with the issue of money laundering carried out through mules (i.e. human carriers) and is also expected to make its way to digital screens soon, although the VOD platform is yet to be finalized.

The other show that has grapevine abuzz is of course, Barwaan Khilari. The series is a coming-of-age sports drama starring relative newbies Danial Zafar and Shahveer Jaffrey among its motley ensemble of actors. Notably, it has been produced by Mahira Khan and Nina Kashif and directed by Shah director Adnan Sarwar. Its promotions were launched in February and the series should release sometime this year on TapMad TV.


Lastly, we have the Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir starrer Dhoop Ki Deewar. This Zee5 show is set to release this month and revolves around two cross-border families that are united by their father’s death – one is that of an Indian soldier and the other, a Pakistani. It has been written by Umera Ahmad.

 

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Which show are you looking forward to watch? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Faisal Ali H

I work as an economist and maintain an active interest in Pakistani cinema.

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