After working on the Shabana Azmi starrer The Black Prince and TV show Ray Donovan, screenwriter-director Pradeep Katasani is now launching his web series “Silk Road”.

“Silk Road” is a crime thriller about how an Indian student, struggling to make ends meet in the USA, gets involved in the underbelly of the cyber-crime world.

“Suspense and thrillers are one of my favorite genres. I studied these genres extensively for years and researched in this area through my thesis on ‘How do you create suspense in Fiction?’ My short film ‘Escape’ explored the concepts that I researched in my thesis. “Silk Road” explores the themes of Deep Web, crime, drugs, student experience, the immigrant experience, and loneliness,” says Pradeep.

While elaborating on how he went about developing the idea, the filmmaker explained, “I really like to weave fictional stories around real life incidents. Around 2012 there was this big story about FBI taking down Silk Road, the most popular ‘Deep web’ marketplace at that time, created a frenzy among all the drug dealers that operated there. I wanted to write a story from one such dealer’s point of view.  For my research, I interacted on various online forums to figure out how they operated. Also, I wanted to weave in experiences of a Telugu students who come to the USA and their struggles as an immigrant. I also wanted to explore how lots of immigrants are forced to get involved in illegal jobs and means of making money. I think young Indian diaspora in the USA would relate a lot to this story.

The pilot episode “LSD” has already been released on YouTube and received very well. Pradeep is currently in the process of shooting the next six episodes. The cast of the series includes Rakesh Galebhe who has been part of several indie Telugu films, Rajive Khilnani and Mathew Fuentes.

Along with this web series, Pradeep is also writing his first feature film – a police procedural thriller set in Hyderabad.

Watch the pilot episode here –