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Banijay Asia Hires Ex-Disney Exec Jessica Kam-Engle In Southeast Asia Push

Disney APAC’s former content chief Jessica Kam-Engle has exited to launch a Banijay Asia venture in Southeast Asia.

The veteran exec has been named EVP & Business Head of CreAsia Studio, which will sit within Banijay Asia and focus on creating local originals and producing adaptations of Banijay formats.

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Kam-Engle will report to Dhar, and is responsible for driving business strategy and growth in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

The producer and studio exec is known for runs at HBO Asia, Warner Media Entertainment Networks, MTV Networks/Viacom, MGM Gold Network, Dow Jones Newswires, and Celestial Pictures.

Most recently, she was Head of Content and Development for Disney+ in APAC, during which time she commissioned more than 60 original series such as Korean dramas Moving, Big Bet and Connect; Japanese live action Gannibal; and Chinese-language series Taiwan Crime Stories and Delicacies Destiny. She left the business last year.

Between 2017 and 2021 Kam-Engle was Head of Original Production for HBO Asia, overseeing its original productions across Asia in 10 languages, including TV series such as Workers, Invisible Stories and The Talwars: Behind Closed Doors and feature film The Garden Of Evening Mists. Prior to HBO, she has been an independent film producer, based out of Beijing and Hong Kong from 2008 to 2016, during which time she produced 10 feature films including Zhang Meng’s The Piano in a Factory.

“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.” He further added, “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 South East Asian entertainment sector.”

“It’s my privilege to join the Banijay family, and I am excited to lead the strategic expansion in South East Asia,” added Kam-Engle. “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.”

The news is notable in light of recent developments, with the likes of Prime Video cutting its local originals team. Disney’s is reassessing its operations in Asia and set to sell most its Indian operation to Reliance Industries, but last year unveiled

Today’s news comes after Banijay Asia took full control of Endemol Shine India in July last year.

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