Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s highly anticipated Netflix series Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar has announced its premiere date: May 1. The date was announced at an event on Wednesday in Mumbai. where hundreds of drones formed words connected to the show’s themes, such as ghungroo (anklets) and adaab (greeting).

Bhansali makes his streaming debut with the eight-episode series, which is set in 1940s Lahore. The principal cast consists of Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Shaikh and Sharmin Segal. Also in the cast are Farida Jalal, Indresh Malik, Shekhar Suman and Fardeen Khan.

Bhansali has created and directed the costume drama, which is based on a concept by Moin Beg. According to an official synopsis, “The series explores the cultural reality of Heeramandi, a dazzling district, through the stories of courtesans and their patrons set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle of the 1940s. A mix of love, betrayal, succession, and politics in the kothas (house of courtesans), Heeramandi promises Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s signature style of larger-than-life stories, intricate and soulful characters, and rippling dynamics of a world rife with conflict during a defining time period for India.”

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar (2024).

In a previous event to mark the show’s announcement, Bhansali described Heeramandi as a tribute to “great courtesans who lived like queens”, a homage to women who “fight softly for dignity”.

Heeramandi is one of Netflix’s most lavish Indian titles. The production design is by Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty, who worked on Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022). The music is by Bhansali.

Sakal Ban, Heeramandi (2024).

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali: Netflix show ‘Heeramandi’ is a tribute to ‘courtesans who lived like queens’