Instep Today

Nashpati Prime set for online expansion

By Buraq Shabbir
Mon, 03, 20

The world is moving at a rapid pace and so are people. With innovation in every field, one sees how the digital arena is also shaping up; things are picking up speed and there is no looking back. Pakistan may have been late but it is trying to keep up with changing trends in shifting towards the digital.

Like every sector, the entertainment industry is also putting in efforts to provide interesting content online to today’s generation. In present time, everyone has a smart phone in their hands, which is the ultimate source of consumption, whether it is information or entertainment.

Considering this, Nashpati Prime – a one-stop entertainment shop on YouTube – was founded by Muhammad Rahimtoola, Qaiser Ali and Kazim Bhojani, a couple of years ago. The trio has been associated with the world of entertainment for over a decade and, with insights in the digital landscape of Pakistan, they launched Pakistan’s first original content platform, Binjee, last year.

Having launched Nashpati Prime channel on YouTube, they’ve decided to expand further and aim to provide a separate website, that will offer diverse and engaging content to consumers online. They have been involved in creating talk shows, stand-up comedy shows, horror and action web series, sit-coms, etc. that have been shot and will be available on the site - later this year.

“ will not only be limited to series and shows, we will also have a separate segment for news and PR as we have a lot of exclusive content,” the founders revealed to Instep in an exclusive conversation. “Writers and directors, who are onboard with us, want to experiment and they feel relieved given that they cannot talk about everything on TV. Though there is more mileage on television and one cannot completely jump on to a different medium all of a sudden.”

Explaining their plans for the future of the upcoming platform, they informed that they will implement the free-to-air model, an advertising driven model without any subscription fee. “There will also be a collaborative model under which we have partnered with other content creators while we will have simulcast transmission as well, in collaboration with TV channels,” co-founder Muhammad Rahimtoola added.

Moving on, the site will feature a variety of content including a horror web series, titled Arpita, with Sarwat Gilani and Zain Afzal playing the protagonists. Sarwat, who has shot for the series, informed Instep that she had a wonderful experience working for the platform.

“It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to work with people who are not afraid of creating new content rather than indulging in telling safe stories; it’s encouraging to work with people who know the value of creativity over quantity, and most importantly dare to stand alone and make a unique difference in this time of regressive rather than progressive television,” Sarwat shared.

Other narratives on the site include an action series, called Parindey featuring Yasra Rizvi, as well as a series named Corporate Snakes that revolves around the subject of office politics.

“They are the first ones to actually get into the hardcore of short-form web series,” Yasra, who has written, directed and acted in a few projects for the portal, shared about the team. “It is a visionary platform, which is all about digital. It is a team that’s trying to understand how digital works, the distribution and what kind of content needs to be produced for digital. They are people who are learning, improving and will probably be the key players of digital in Pakistan.”

An interesting addition to the list is a solo talk of sorts, Khanabadosh, featuring acclaimed writer Zafar Mairaj. With a considerable following and demand, the artist has managed to pull viewers with his organic monologues around the subject of marriage, relationships and other key themes.

Speaking of diversity, one of the series is titled Pillow Talk that follows the lives of three couples from different age groups – thirties, forties and sixties. It highlights the intricacies of the relationship at various stages and how it builds up despite differences. Shamim Hilaly and Khaled Anam feature as one of the married couples.

One artist who has gained a lot of traction from the platform is Syed Atif. He has carved a niche for himself with portrayals of prominent Indian figures, Ashleel Tiwari (Ashleel Family) and Abhinandan.

Some leading directors onboard with the platform include Mehreen Jabbar, Haseeb Hasan and Kashif Nisar, whose web series we will find on the site.

We are intrigued to see if the content created for the site resonates with viewers and what is the future of digital ‘entertainment’ content in Pakistan.