13, Dec 2023
Voices of Tomorrow: A Netflix and Kommune Initiative to Cultivate Diverse Voice Talent in the Dubbing Industry

Mumbai, India, December 13, 2023 – Kommune, India’s widely recognised cultural storytelling hub, is thrilled to announce the launch of the second edition of “Voices of Tomorrow,” an initiative aimed at discovering, cultivating, and nurturing voice talent within the LGBTQIA+ community and senior adults. In collaboration with Netflix India, this project seeks to enhance the diversity and authenticity of voices in the dubbing industry, providing a platform for those often underrepresented. Spanning from November 2023 to March 2024, the initiative will unfold in the vibrant city of Mumbai, India, collaborating with queer collectives, NGOs, artist organisations, and talent agencies to test the voices of around 500 individuals, shortlisting 200 for in-person auditions.

The first edition, the Voice Equity Project, successfully identified individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with professional training as dubbing artists. With the support of Netflix India, Kommune is back with the second edition, extending the opportunity to raw voice talents from the LGBTQIA+ communities and Senior Citizen cohorts. The heartbeat of Voices of Tomorrow lies in its commitment to providing extensive training to 25 carefully selected individuals, offering an 8-week immersive experience under the expert guidance of Voice, Accent & Dialect coach Hetal Varia and renowned Dubbing Artist Sanket Mhatre.

Multiple dubbing studios will also be involved in the training so that the trainees get hands-on experience with real dubbing work. This endeavour aims to transcend skill development; it aspires to create a safe, inclusive space, sparking conversations that resonate throughout the dubbing industry. The call is now open for aspiring voices aged 50 and above or from the LGBTQIA+ community to contribute to the rich tapestry of inclusivity that Voices of Tomorrow seeks to weave in the realm of dubbing.

Roshan Abbas, Founder of Kommune India, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We’re thrilled to have Netflix’s support for ‘Voices of Tomorrow.’ This initiative amplifies the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community and senior talents, nurturing diverse voices and experiences. It offers a platform for stories that resonate with everyone, showcasing the power of collaborative efforts in creating a more inclusive media landscape.”

Ashwini Kulkarni, Country Manager, International Dubbing, India, shares Netflix’s perspective: “At Netflix, we believe that great stories can come from anywhere and should be enjoyed everywhere irrespective of language. Dubbing is an accessibility function that connects global stories tellers with local voices. The diverse stories we tell call for diversity in the voices and art of voicing to ensure authentic representation of the creator’s intent. Voices of Tomorrow is an effort to add more diverse voices to the dubbing talent pipeline. Collaborating with Kommune is a significant step towards fostering a more inclusive dubbing community. ”

Hetal Varia, Trainer for Voices of Tomorrow, expresses her excitement: “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Kommune and Netflix on their program ‘Voice of Tomorrow.’ With this year’s cohort, I will be working on developing their voices, breath control, vocal character, agility, vibrancy, adaptability, and more. The program provides a safe space for diverse voices in the industry to receive training and bolster their careers as dubbing artists and voice actors. The team is working hard to ensure that training is accessible through inclusive representation.”

Sanket Mhatre, Trainer for Voices of Tomorrow, shares his perspective, saying, “As a Voice Artist, I’m thrilled to embark on this journey of empowerment through this upcoming Dubbing and Vocal training workshop. I’m truly thankful to Netflix and Kommune for creating this platform and deeming me worthy enough to be a part of it. This workshop, tailored for the LGBTQIA+ community and senior citizens, not only aims to hone participants’ dubbing skills but also to foster inclusivity, break stereotypes, and amplify unheard voices. Our singular aim is to create a safe space where diverse individuals, regardless of age or identity, can explore the art of dubbing and add their authentic voices to this beautiful craft.”

Reflecting on its rich history of nurturing diverse artistic communities, including spoken word artists, poets, podcasters, screenwriters, and theatre artists, Kommune aspires to shape the future by fostering a vibrant community of professional dubbing artists through this visionary project. This endeavor encapsulates the essence of Kommune’s commitment to storytelling, diversity, and creating narratives that resonate across generations.