Banijay Asia Sets India Scripted Original ‘The Donkey Route’



The combined Banijay Asia and Endemol Shine India entity has ambitious plans in both the scripted and unscripted spaces, founder and group CEO Deepak Dhar has revealed.

Coming up is “The Donkey Route,” “a cross-border immigration story that is locally based out of Punjab,” Dhar told Variety. “It is about people who think they can travel all the way to the U.S. on foot and it’s inspired by a true story.”

Alongside Indian adaptations of international IP like “Call My Agent,” “The Night Manager,” “Hostages,” “The Good Wife” (“The Trial”) and “Fall” (“Vertige”), Banijay’s Indian scripted originals include “Rani,” “Shrikant Bashir” and “Dahan.” There are four more scripted originals that have been commissioned by streamers.

Banijay Asia recently signed with CAA for representation. “We are really getting ourselves organized to tell Indian stories globally. So we want good and strong representation in the U.S. to pick up the stories, mounted with the right showrunners creators from that market, to now take it to a global stage. So that’s the aim and ambition with CAA,” Dhar said.

On the unscripted side, there are four original formats coming up from Banijay Asia labels, starting with a stand up comedy show, Dhar said.

Banijay Asia also has plans underway for India to be the international production hub for global reality formats “Survivor” and “Temptation Island,” with the country serving as the hub for both Asian and international versions of the shows. “Very good progress has been made,” Dhar said. First up will be the Polish version of “Temptation Island” that will be shot in India, followed by one of the international versions of “Survivor.” The Poland “Temptation Island” team is currently in India finalizing modalities.

“The massive push is really going to for us to make the global hub in India,” Dhar said.

Dhar was speaking with Variety at the recently concluded Film Bazaar in Goa.


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