Netflix’s Bella Bajaria Expands Duties to Include Foreign Non-English Original TV Shows as Erik Barmack Departs

Rising Netflix executive Bella Bajaria has been tapped to spearhead international non-English language original TV shows, including scripted, non-scripted and comedy.

Bella Bajaria

Bajaria, who joined Netflix two years ago as VP of content, inherits some of the duties from Erik Barmack, VP, international originals for Latin America, EMEA and India, who is leaving to launch his own production company after eight years at Netflix.

Longtime executive Cindy Holland, VP Original Content, will now focus on all English-language original content.


“Bela Bajaria is an incredible creative talent — bringing global hits like You, Nailed It and Queer Eye to Netflix,” CCO Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “She is the perfect person to build on our international efforts, helping to bring the world’s stories to the world whatever the language”.

The management moves come as Netflix seeks greater exposure internationally, including generating the vast majority of new subscribers outside the United States.

Erik Barmack

Barmack helped drive global appeal for non-English, country-specific original series, including “Elite” in Spain, “Dark” in Germany, “Protector” in Turkey, India’s “Sacred Games,” and “Casa de las Flores” in Mexico.

“Erik has been transformational for Netflix,” Sarandos said. “Hits such as ‘Dark,’ ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Elite’ helped put us on the map and we wish him great success with his next chapter.”


Netflix Greenlights First South African Original Series

Netflix has announced its first original series in Africa, with South African series “Queen Sono.”

The series, which begins production next year, follows Queen Sono, the top spy in a South African agency with a mission to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life. The series will be created by director, Kagiso Lediga and executive producer Tamsin Andersson.

South African actress Pearl Thusi stars as Queen Sono, with the character having been created with her in mind. Thusi is also known for her performance in the romantic dramedy Catching Feelings, available on Netflix.

“We are excited to be working with Kagiso and Pearl, to bring the story of Queen Sono to life, and we expect it to be embraced by our South African users and global audiences alike,” Erik Barmack, VP of international original series at Netflix, said in a statement.

Director Lediga said he is pleased with Netflix’s willingness to take a homegrown South African story to a global audience.

“We believe Queen Sono will kick the door open for more awesome stories from this part of the world,” he said.