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Banijay launches Italian studio headed by Endemol Shine exec

Banijay Group has launched Banijay Studios Italy, which will be led by former Endemol Shine exec Massimo Del Frate.

Based in Rome, the new wholly-owned operation will concentrate on innovative high-quality scripted content for local broadcasters and OTT platforms.

As a new scripted player in the Italian content market, Banijay Studios Italy will develop original IP for local broadcasters, while also looking at opportunities to locally adapt Banijay Group’s global content catalogue. Additionally, partnering with broadcasters across Italy and Banijay Group’s worldwide network of producers, Del Frate will look to generate co-production ventures.

Del Frate joins Banijay Group from Endemol Shine Italy, where he was head of drama, responsible for growing the scripted division from 2002 to 2018 and creating hit primetime series for leading national public broadcaster, Rai 1 and Canale 5. Previously, he was responsible for scripted operations at Mediaset’s Canal 5.

The launch of Banijay Studios Italy represents Banijay Group’s commitment to further growing its global scripted footprint. Earlier this year the producer and distributor also launched a studio in Germany.

Scripted hits from Banijay to date include Versailles (pictured) and Occupied.

Peter Langenberg, COO, Banijay Group said: “As a leading and well-respected talent in the Italian scripted market, Del Frate is the perfect partner to establish and drive Banijay Studios Italy.

“Furthering and diversifying our scripted position in the market, we are confident the business has what it takes to build an impressive portfolio and become a key player in the Italian drama ecosystem.”

Del Frate (pictured right) adds: “With such a range of global opportunities in scripted, this is a great time to be starting again. Our mission is to establish Banijay Studios Italy as an independent home and partner for leading Italian drama talent, as well as international authors and directors. Collaborating with the top storytellers in the market, we hope to generate a healthy scripted slate bursting with brilliant and distinctive drama.”