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Banijay Asia Expands With CreAsia Studio, Taps Former Disney+, HBO Exec Jessica Kam-Engle as Business Head

Banijay Asia is expanding into Southeast Asia with the formation of new entity CreAsia Studio.

The outfit will focus on collaborations in the region to create local originals and produce localized Banijay IP adaptations. The move is in keeping with the Mumbai-headquartered company’s plans to grow in the Southeast Asian market, which Deepak Dhar, founder and group CEO, Banijay Asia and EndemolShine India, had revealed to Variety in 2023.

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Asian industry veteran Jessica Kam-Engle has been appointed as the executive VP and business head of CreAsia Studio, reporting into Dhar. Kam-Engle will be responsible for driving business strategy and growth in the key markets of Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. The executive has more than 20 years of experience working in the region, with brands like Disney+, HBO Asia, Warner Media Entertainment Networks, MTV Networks/Viacom, MGM Gold Network, Dow Jones Newswires and Celestial Pictures.

The formation of CreAsia Studio is encouraging for the Southeast Asian media industry after the news in January that Amazon-owned Prime Video is changing its content strategy in the region from a model based on original productions to one focused instead on licensing, resulting in layoffs.

Dhar said: “Given Jessica’s unparalleled experience in the Asian market, Banijay’s global IPs and marquee concepts, exciting local collaborations and a focus on India as a production hub for the region, CreAsia Studio is our next growth engine. We’re confident of Jessica’s leadership to steer us towards a leading presence in the region. Her appointment is also a testament to our commitment to tapping into newer markets and diversifying our portfolio in the vibrant Southeast Asian entertainment sector.”

Kam-Engle added: “It’s my privilege to join the  Banijay family, and I am excited to lead the strategic expansion in Southeast Asia. There are vast opportunities to develop local and global IPs with the pool of creative talent from this region, leveraging Banijay’s world-class content production expertise and its global distribution clout.  I am looking forward to exciting collaborations with key players in the region.”

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