India’s Jio Studios Starts Opium Smuggling Saga ‘Paan Parda Zarda’



Principal photography has commenced on “Paan Parda Zarda,” a high-end series that unites some of India’s top talents.

“Paan Parda Zarda” is a gangster drama series set against the backdrop of illegal opium smuggling in central India. It is produced by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Studios in association with Reliance Entertainment and Dreamer and Doers Co.

The series is a collaboration between showrunner and co-directors Gurmmeet Singh (Prime Video series “Mirzapur”) and Shilpi Dasgupta (film “Khandaani Shafakhana”), showrunner Mrighdeep Singh Lamba (the “Fukrey” film franchise) and writers Suparn S. Varma (Prime Video series “The Family Man”), Hussain Dalal (Prime Video series “Bambai Meri Jaan”), Abbas Dalal (Disney+ Hotstar series “The Trial”), Radhika Anand (Toronto film “Thank You for Coming”) and Vibha Singh (film “Mardaani”).

The cast includes Mona Singh (Prime Video series “Made in Heaven”), Tanvi Azmi (Netflix film “Tribhanga”), Tanya Maniktala (BBC/Netflix series “A Suitable Boy”), Priyanshu Painyuli (SonyLIV series “Charlie Chopra”), Sushant Singh (Disney+ Hotstar series “The Freelancer”), Rajesh Tailang (“Mirzapur”) and Manu Rishi (“Fukrey 3”).

Earlier this year, Jio Studios unveiled a 100-title film and TV slate. 2023 releases include “Avinash,” “UP65,” “Rafoochakkar” and “Bajaao.” A platform for “Paan Parda Zarda” has not been revealed yet.

Singh said: “We are excited about starting a brand-new journey with ‘Paan Parda Zarda’ in collaboration with Jio Studios. The series has a unique color and texture, it is page turning entertainment with elements of love story, action, family drama set against the backdrop of illegal opium smuggling in central India. Developed from an original story created by showrunner and co-director Shilpi Dasgupta, the interwoven relationships are the key to this series, nuanced by a fantastic writing room.”

Lamba added: “’Paan Parda Zarda’ is a labor of love that has been created after years of research and writing prep. The audience will relish watching the story unfold in a previously unexplored milieu. This is a beautiful moment for Gurmmeet Singh, Shilpi Dasgupta and myself as it has been a long-standing dream to take this story to the audience.”

Varma said: “Creating the romantic and violent world of ‘Paan Parda Zarda’ was liberating. Our imagination gave wings to characters and situations which break the usual cinematic norm. The series also gave me the opportunity to collaborate with old friends and new which was an added advantage,  making the process deeply satisfying.”


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