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Banijay makes Fearless drama move

Banijay Group has linked up with UK producer Jolyon Symonds (Thorne, Complicit) to launch its latest scripted production company as part of its push into the genre.

Jolyon Symonds

Fearless Minds has been formed as a joint venture with Symonds, who becomes MD, and will develop and produce “distinctive, original stories” for the UK and international markets.

It is the second scripted production company to be added to the UK division of Banijay this year following the launch of BlackLight TV in the spring.

Symonds previously ran On The Corner Entertainment, which was launched in 2014 with producer James Gay Rees, actor David Morrissey and director Asif Kapadia. The company had a first-look deal with BBC Worldwide and is best known for Oscar- and Bafta-winning movie Amy.

His credits also include the Thorne series for Sky1, Bafta-winning drama Complicit for Channel 4 and Danny Brocklehurst’s The Driver for BBC1.

Peter Langenberg, chief operating officer at Banijay Group, said the joint venture “again shows our ambition to grow our global scripted business.”

Symonds added that Banijay had “impressed me with the level of its ambition and commitment to having a significant presence in the scripted arena.”

Takis Candilis, head of fiction at Banijay Group, said Fearless Minds’ creation showed the prodco giant’s “desire to strengthen its position in the scripted genre in the UK, and in each of the 11 countries where our companies produce fiction.”

BlackLight was founded by drama producing and writing pair Phil Trethowan and Ben Bickerton in May and will also develop ideas for the UK and international markets.

Trethowan and Bickerton are known for shows including Being Human, The Curse of Steptoe and, most recently, Ellen for Channel 4.

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