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Zee TV revives Fear Files with more Horror

Following the remarkable success of the first season of Fear Files, the first-of-its-kind drama-documentary horror series, ZEE TV brings fear back on television as it returns with the next edition of the franchise ‘Fear Files – Har Mod Pe Darr’. The first season uncovered the truth behind some of the most intriguing, unfathomable events that have taken place across different parts of India. The second season approaches fear from an interesting perspective - You can run … But you cannot hide... it is closer to you than you think … because fear can haunt you every step of the way! It’s not just about ghosts, gore and bloodshed but stories that keep you on the edge of your seats, simply because they tap into fears of the sub-conscious mind that can grip you just about anywhere, anytime!

In a country where horror is represented by voodoo dolls, lemons and chillies, Fear Files will take the road less travelled and explore the psychology of fear. Putting together these spine-chilling tales is not one but multiple production houses such as Zee’s content engine - Essel Vision, BBC India, Bodhi Tree Productions, Shri Jagganaath Productions and a few others.

While this season is based on four themes, one theme for each production house, Essel Vision will explore the theme of possessed objects from our everyday lives, BBC India will introduce an all-new genre of chronicles of love with a twist of horror. On the other hand Shri Jagganaath Entertainment’s stories will investigate the dark truth behind haunted places, and lastly, Bodhi Tree Productions will present episodes that will demystify myths and superstitions, delve into the occult and other mysterious phenomena. Through these unique routes, the latest season of Fear Files will let the audience experience the myriad facets of fear.

At the launch of the event we at Adgully caught up with Pradeep Hejmadi, Business Head, ZEE TV to know more about what this season will bring to audiences.

On asking why Fear Files was revived, Hejmadi said, “The success of the first season was one aspect. The other was to strengthen our weekend programming and also ensure that the whole family watches the television together. And the only thing that was missing was a thriller during the weekend slot so that’s why we revived fear files.”

He went on to add about how this season is different from the first one. He said, “The first season was based only on real stories. This is based on various things where the common thread is relatable. So there will be objects that we use every day, and the thought behind it is the object might be cursed, haunted or possessed then how your mind might play games with that. ‘Har Mod Pe Darr’ is the theme under which we are building this season.”

He adds, “The stories have four themes. One is relationships, second is haunted places, third is haunted/curse objects and the fourth one is myths.”

The show will initially start with 52 episodes. The show will extend depending on the response and how the channel is able to refresh the stories. The channel currently plans to use print, television, radio and digital to promote the show.

On asking about the sponsors and advertiser’s response for the show Hejmadi said, “The advertiser’s response has been good. Quite a few have expressed interest and closer to the date we will come to know about the same. We don’t have a main sponsor at the moment.”

Hejmadi explains on why they have four production houses for one show. He said, “In a genre like fiction, one needs to make sure that there is no monotony in the story. So instead of working with one production house and then struggle in writing, we felt if you give them four different stands to work on, they can keep building interesting stories on each of the streams. And that’s why we got into four production houses and all four are really good in their own spaces.”

Bodhi Tree Production’s Sukesh Motwani was overwhelmed to be associated with Zee for this show. He said, “It’s wonderful to be associated with Zee again. I was very grateful to the fact that the first producers who were called were us. So for us it was homecoming. Secondly, the first season was made by me and Mautik when he was the format head and I only told him to create it because I know he was good at it. So this time when we were told that you will produce it so it was amazing for us. “

On asking Motwani about the changes this season will have he said, “You have to keep upping the levels of how you can visually create newer motives, how you can use ordinary things and scare people out of it. And moreover what is important is how you innovate within the treatment. Can you take a lift, a flickering light or a car door which is not opening, can you take ordinary things also and scare them. Also the second thing is, can we go deeper and find real germs/incidents to the story. The stories are close to real life. It should evoke a debate.”

Akash Chawla, Business Head, Essel Vision Productions Ltd. said, “Essel Vision, the content engine of ZEEL, drove the first season of the immensely successful franchise ‘Fear Files’ – It was not only a new format that we jointly pioneered with Zee but a show that set new benchmarks in the way horror stories were narrated on television. The theme we are exploring in the new season is - Haunted Objects. The first episode from our stable looks at a bride’s traumatic experience with a possessed lehenga. As our show caters to mass audiences, we steer clear of explicit gore. The objective is to scale up the production values and deliver impactful episodes that keep the viewers on the edge of their seats!”

Myleeta Aga of BBC Productions said, “In our conversations with ZeeTV, we understood their plans to re-launch Fear Files with a fresh approach to fear. We tapped into our strength at BBC India as producers of romance and action driven reality shows and proposed telling stories of what happens when love turns into terror. This is the foundation of our first few stories for Fear Files. This is our first horror series and the stories have come out brilliantly.”

Mautik Tolia of Bodhi Tree Productions said, “The Core theme of the episodes is supernatural elements, inspired by real life incidents & urban legends. It is about fear that can come to you in the confines of everyday lives of ordinary individuals. How these individuals cope with their fears, overcome it and triumph over all odds forms the core of the episodes that we are doing. The presentation of the episodes is cutting edge in terms of treatment, which will be a complete paradigm shift over anything that has ever been attempted in television horror genre before.”

Producer Aditya Singh of Shri Jagganaath Entertainment said, “We have had a long association with Zee TV and Horror. We have earlier produced Rooh for Zee TV in 2005. Fear Files is an extremely strong brand on Zee and has offered a new dimension to horror. Fear of the unknown, as a concept, has universal appeal. Our pitch is that fear is lurking just around the corner. It can grip you anywhere, anytime … To bring alive this proposition, we are shooting across the country at reportedly haunted places and hope to deliver episodes that send a chill down your spine.”

So, hold on to your seats and allow yourself to get totally immersed in the suspense of these captivating stories coming right up on your television screens. 'Fear Files …Har Mod Pe Darr’ will be aired from 25th April, every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 PM! By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit

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