Interview: Soumya Mukherjee takes us through Hoichoi’s much-anticipated list of new content
Season 7 of the OTT platform will see 13 new shows and a few web debuts of veteran Bengali actors
As Bengal’s most popular regional web platform Hoichoi completes six circles around the sun today, we talk to the dashing COO of the venture, Soumya Mukherjee to know about their strategy for season 7 and the way ahead in terms of content.
Excerpts from the chat.
Tell us what to expect during season 7 of Hoichoi.
In season 7 we are having a whopping 24 shows comprising 11 seasons and 13 new stories. The seasons are of stories that are either critically acclaimed or have garnered high viewership on the platform and hence we are going ahead with season 2 or 3 for them. Also, another big thing for Hoichoi is that the cinematic value of certain stories is increasing, this time, we are taking Eken Babu to the forests but the story won’t centered around indoor crime-solving. The audience has fun and travel with Eken Babu and we are keeping that element intact in the upcoming stories too.
We will be seeing a lot many veteran actors debuting on the web platform this year including talented actress Debasree Roy, who will be playing the lead in Chemistry Mashi. It is a very powerful story and is about a housewife who gives tuition to students. But through this series we are holding a mirror to the Indian educational and cultural scape, showing how students are pressurised to achieve and the consequences that follow. So, it’s a holistic social dram touching upon a very palpable concern.
Also, Parambrata Chatterjee will be directing a horror series which is the second in this genre after 2017. The series is a screen adaptation of Parnashabarir Shaap and will see actor Chiranjit's debut on the web. The story has a high cinematic value and is a mythology-based hair-raising horror spiel. We will also see Mimi Chakraborty debuting on the web in the courtroom thriller drama based on a real event adapted from a city incident called Jaha Bolibo Shotto Bolibo.
Also, after a two-year gap we are coming back with another world classic called Talmar Romeo Juliet directed by actor Anirban Bhattacharya.
There is a distinct paradigm shift in terms of content tell us how Hoichoi has evolved over the years?
In 2017, when we started, the thought was to create content that people were not able to consume in films or television, so, they were slightly on the edgier side and intense. But the post-Covid scenario has seen an overnight change in viewership patterns with television consumption increasing markedly. We now make content for family viewing more than solo viewing and hence there is an evolution of content strategy. In the last two years we have created characters that people have loved and our social dramas have received some phenomenal feedback from the audience including shows like Noshtoneer, Sampurna, Bodhon and Uttoron among others. Season 7 too would see a few such conversation-starting social dramas. There’s Lojja, for example, starring actress Priyanka Sarkar which would delve into the subject of how verbal abuse can lead to gaslighting and shattering of a person’s self-confidence both at home and at workplace.
We have also seen some great Bangladeshi content on Hoichoi. What’s the plan?
Bangladesh is critical for us as a market and we have local businesses and local companies there and we charge in local currency there. We have so far created 15 content with the best creators and next year January 12 more shows will be announced.
Any plans around Hoichoi's original films?
There’s Badami Hynar Kobole that will have a theatre release soon and there will be 3-4 more original films that we will soon announce under the Hoichoi Studios banner. We want unique content for the theatrical experience and one or two popular characters from our hit series will be in the one or two films but the others will be very unique.