To achieve instant fame and fortune, how far would you go to reinvent your realities? Bringing a first-of-its-kind social thriller to India, Disney+ Hotstar launched the trailer of Hotstar Specials’ ESCAYPE LIVE which chronicles the realities of social media in today’s time. Set in the landscape of contemporary India, the series explores the different journeys of six regular Indians as they struggle to win, fame and fortune on a social media app called Escaype live which promises big money to the winning contestant. Will the lines between the real and virtual begin to blur as gear up for the contest?
Set to launch on 20th May, the highly-anticipated trailer for the show was unveiled by Creator – Director Siddharth Kumar Tewary, and its supremely talented cast, including Siddharth, Jaaved Jaaferi, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Swastika Mukherjee, Plabita Borthakur, Waluscha D Souza, Ritvik Sahore, Sumedh Mudgalkar, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Jagjeet Sandhu, Rohit Chandel and child actor Aadyaa Sharma amongst others.
The series is a fictional story, penned by Jaya Mishra and Siddharth Kumar Tewary, that is likely to seem very true and real. The story features a bunch of content creators, with different paths but one goal – to produce viral content to emerge victorious in a life-changing competition announced by the hottest new app in the country called Escaype Live.
Produced under Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s One Life Studios, the nine-episodic series heavily emphasizes the human tendency to be competitive and their drive to succeed. The essence of Escaype Live explores the lengths content creators and tech giants are willing to travel to achieve their aspirations. Set across different cities of India, the series leveraged different dialogue writers for each city to add regional authenticity.
Dance Rani’ story based in Jaisalmer saw her dialogues being penned by Vinod Sharma while Amcha’s lines were penned by Amol Surve. Similarly, Banaras-based characters of Meenakumari and Sunaina’s dialogues were written by Ranveer Pratap Singh while Darkie and Festish Girl’s dialogues were penned by Jaya Mishra and Siddharth Kumar Tewary.
Gaurav Banerjee, Head, Content Disney+ Hotstar and HSM Entertainment Network, Disney Star India, said, “We constantly strive to bring viewers content that redefines genre horizons and challenges conventions. As we expand our library of exciting thrillers, Escaype Live will also mark Disney+ Hotstar’s first-ever social-thriller that holds a mirror to our society. With Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s creative genius and the talented ensemble cast, we hope audiences enjoy the series’ unique storyline.”
Talking about what made him direct this one-of-a-kind series, director Siddharth Kumar Tewary said, “I wanted to tell a story of the world we live in today, where social media is not just a habit but has become a form of emotional expression. Life has moved beyond being liked and disliked or being followed and unfollowed. Whether social media as an entity is good or bad is subjective depending on whose story we are telling and what they actually want out of their lives – are their dreams real? Or are they merely trying to escaype their reality!”
He continued, “At its core Escaype Live gives us an insight into the minds of people living in the world of social media. Are we ready? Or are we already in it? For me, Gaurav and Nikhil along with the entire team at Disney + Hotstar has always displayed big ambition and it’s their desire to push boundaries with original content choices that made them my first and only choice to collaborate with on this series.“
Siddharth, who plays the series lead, said, “What drew me to Escaype Live was the script and my character. It excited me that it dealt with social media, and while one has the freedom to do as they please, sometimes with anonymity and sometimes without, it also always brings up the ethical question of what is right and what is wrong. That to me is what makes the show explosive, yet exciting.”
For Jaaved Jaaferi, this story about the technology climate impacting our lives is unique. He said, “The show is layered with intricately crafted characters, who have dual personas in reality and as content creators. Escaype Live is an intriguing tale that captures the majority of contemporary humankind’s desire to create a name, be remembered, and succeed; sometimes going to any length to achieve that. In this emerging digital era, the series is poignant as it recognises the beauty and the darker side of social media.”
Shweta Tripathi Sharma, who plays a pivotal role in the series said, “The rise of social media has taken the world by storm! While it comes with advantages, we have to evaluate a lot about its flip side as well. Escaype Live is one such story that talks about the same and its impact in today’s age and time! As soon as I read about the concept, I knew I had to tell this story because it was relevant and a much-needed conversation. The character I play is full of hope and love, someone I resonate with a lot. It is a surprise package! I am sure the audience will like her a lot.”
Disney+ Hotstar has once again expanded its library of hair-raising thrillers with Escaype Live. The thrilling saga has been shot across multiple unique locations across India, including Benaras, Bangalore, Delhi, Jaisalmer, Mumbai, and Gujarat, to bring cultural relevance and show how social media is affecting people, even at remote places.