Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and [Guneet Monga Kapoor’s Sikhya Entertainment have reportedly entered a strategic alliance to produce content across theatrical and digital formats. As per Deadline, the parties would reveal details in the next couple of months, and aim to set new benchmarks within the industry. The two production companies previously worked together on 2013’s Irrfan Khan-led The Lunchbox, which was co-distributed in India by Dharma, following its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. More recently, Sikhya Entertainment won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for The Elephant Whisperers.
“We are extremely excited to collaborate with Sikhya Entertainment. As a filmmaker, I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire, entertain, and challenge audiences,” Johar said in a prepared statement to Deadline. “With this alliance, we have the opportunity to bring together our shared passion for creating innovative content and telling stories that resonate with people from all walks of life.” Dharma Productions is one of Bollywood’s biggest and most mainstream studios, known for producing absolute classics such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai — Karan’s directorial debut — to something more blockbuster like Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva.
Its subsidiary, Dharmatic Entertainment was focused solely on digital content, ranging from Netflix’s Guilty to reality shows like Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives. For now, it’s unclear how this new collaboration with Sikhya Entertainment would change the course for digital content. Whether Dharmatic and Sikhya continue to co-exist and function as two separate studios for their respective projects or begin to collaborate, only time will tell.
Meanwhile, Monga Kapoor’s Sikhya Entertainment is known for smaller, independent productions, grabbing its first Oscar for 2018’s ‘Period. End of the Sentence’, directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, followed by The Elephant Whisperers, which marked Kartiki Gonsalves’ directorial debut. The latter followed an indigenous couple in Southern India, as they devote their lives to caring for an orphaned baby elephant. Both documentary shorts are now available to watch on Netflix. The studio pivoted to digital formats in 2020 with Zindagi in Shorts, the anthology film portraying seven unique stories, highlighting subjects such as online romance, infidelity, marital rape, and more. It was released in partnership with Flipkart.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Dharma Productions, India’s leading production house, and bring together our experience and expertise to create impactful and unforgettable cinema,” Monga Kapoor said in a prepared statement. “This partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between two distinct and unique brands in the industry, and we are excited to work together to create content that resonates with a wider audience.”