Karan Johar, one of India’s most successful filmmakers, is ready to take the digital plunge. Karan Johar is starting a digital content venture, Dharmatic. Dharmatic will be jointly headed by Karan Johar and Dharma Productions CEO Apoorva Mehta.
In past two years, Dharma Productions has produced blockbusters such as Raazi, Dhadak, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Kapoor and Sons, and distributed Hindi version of Bahubali2: The Conclusion, has already shot one of the segments in Lust Stories, on Netflix.
Dharmatic will exclusively create fiction, non-fiction and feature films for digital platforms. Dharmatic has roped in Somen Mishra and former journalist Aneesha Baig as heads of fiction and non-fiction, respectively.
Karan Johar took a serious look at the digital medium after Dharma Productions’ success, which has now resulted in the launch of a separate division, Dharmatic.
Talking about Dharmatic, Karan Johar told media, “I waited for two years before taking this leap. I strongly believe that there are many stories which cannot be told in a 2.5-3 hours feature film and need a longer duration. Digital, on the other hand, allows you to build the characters beautifully. And with so many Indian and international OTT platforms, I believe it’s the best time for us to be the content providers for this medium too.”
Apoorva Mehta said Dharma is known for its rich and quality content and Dharmatic is going to be an extension of that promise. He said, “The new division will bring content that will appeal to the sensibilities of the modern-day audience. With the burgeoning digital sphere that still has so much to offer, we wish to bring more value to the digital-first audience with content offerings that reflect our style of story-telling, which widely resonates with the masses.”
Karan Johar said he will overlook the creative end while Mehta will be driving the business side of Dharmatic.
On the content side, Karan Johar said, “The focus will be on creating differentiated and innovative content with the quintessential Dharma stamp for digital first audience. We will have the entire gamut of content — long-form, shortform, reality shows, travel, food, game shows, everything.”
Karan Johar said he is already working on original feature films and Dharmatic may actually kick off with a digital feature film with an OTT platform. When asked if Dharma would like to launch its own platform, Johar said, “No, I don’t want to have any platform and I want to provide content to multiple platforms. We will not have a platform of our own.”
When asked about whether digital will outgrow his films business, Johar said, “As a filmmaker, I would always want films to be the empowered vertical and hope and pray that film always supersedes digital. But the way things are going, I won’t be surprised, if in the next 10 years, the landscape could very well be a 50% divide.” Dharma Productions had earlier launched an advertising vertical Dharma 2.0.