Leading independent production company Banijay has launched a global accelerator program designed to support female creators in the non-scripted television space.
Sharon Levy, CEO of Endemol Shine North America, announced the new program along with Banijay Chief Content Officer James Townley at the MIPCOM Cannes international television conference on Tuesday.
The program, Banijay Launch, accepts pitches from female creators for non-scripted formats. Banijay will select the top three to five most promising pitches and pair the creatives with select women from Banijay’s global collective of established talent for mentorships to help them take their pitches from concept to pitch to sales. The competition concludes with a live pitch presentation before a jury led by Levy and Townley. Fellow judges include Marco Bassetti, CEO of Banijay; Pilar Blasco, CEO of Banijay Iberia; and Abby Greensfelder, founder and CEO of Everywoman Studios. A winner will be crowned at London Screenings 2024.
Registrations are now open on www.banijaylaunch.com.
Banijay Launch was inspired by the Propelle program, a women-focused accelerator initiative created and developed in 2020 by Everywoman Studios CEO Abby Greensfelder, who appeared on stage with Banijay executives in Cannes on Tuesday. In support of the program, Banijay Americas commissioned a first-of-its-kind study at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, in collaboration with Everywoman Studios, to collect concrete data on the inclusion of women in creative leadership roles in unscripted productions in four different territories: Brazil, Great Britain and the US, and one EU territory to be determined. Greensfelder noted that all gender representation studies to date have focused exclusively on the scripted TV business.
“We are proud that at Banijay, more than 50 percent of our management positions worldwide are filled by women,” said Marco Bassetti, CEO of Banijay. “However, we recognize that the landscape has not always supported this demographic of creators in breaking through. With Banijay Launch, we are leading the charge on a range of new, unscripted format ideas created by women, and in doing so we hope to bring new voices and talent to the market, with the potential to create the next one. Survivor, Chefor Big Brother.”
The initiative will leverage the infrastructure and expertise of Creative Networks, Banijay’s central unscripted content arm, co-led by Townley and Chief Content Officer, Operations Lucas Green.