Banijay Launch Winners Revealed


Banijay has unveiled that Amber Kane and Emily Wilson are the joint winners of its inaugural Banijay Launch program, designed to support women creators of unscripted formats.

Kane was awarded the prize for her high-octane variety talent concept Double Act. Wilson was selected for her original psychological dating format Can’t Buy My Love. They were selected out of four finalists.

The other two finalists were France’s Yasmina Salmandjee and Denmark’s Lisbet Winther. The four convened on March 6 to pitch their ideas to a jury featuring Sharon Levy, CEO of Endemol Shine North America; James Townley, chief content officer for development at Banijay; Fred Balmary, chief business officer at Banijay; Pilar Blasco, CEO of Banijay Iberia; and Abby Greensfelder, founder and CEO of Everywoman Studios.

The program was initially unveiled at MIPCOM 2023 and received more than 500 applications from over 30 territories. It was inspired by the Propelle program, a woman-focused accelerator initiative created and developed in 2020 by Everywoman Studios’ Greensfelder.

Both Kane and Wilson will now work with their ambassadors and Banijay’s Creative Networks to develop their ideas further.

Coinciding with the Banijay Launch program, Banijay Americas revealed the commission of a first-of-its-kind study with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, in partnership with Everywoman Studios. The findings, which investigates women’s inclusion in creative leadership roles in unscripted production across Brazil, the U.K., the U.S. and France, will be unveiled at an event in Los Angeles in May.

“Banijay Launch was envisioned as a bridge for women to gain access to our industry, and based on the sheer volume and quality of pitches we received, its time was long overdue,” Levy said. “Mirroring the global reach of Banijay, we heard from applicants far and wide, and I hope the result illustrates just how strong the four finalists were. The two fantastic women who share the winner title had unbelievably competitive ideas that were well-pitched, original and highly sellable. The ambassadors and Banijay at large feel fortunate to continue collaborating with them to bring their amazing concepts to life. We are all so proud to have played a role in opening the door to the next generation of talent, and with the study results from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media imminent, we hope to keep doing more to foster a wider community of women in non-scripted.”

Kane said, “I still can’t quite believe it. I had been working on Double Act for six years, and it always felt taking it to screen may be impossible given the continued challenges for women in the content industry. However, Banijay Launch truly opened the door for me. Working with the talented Amelia Fisk, I have not only strengthened my idea but also my confidence in pitching, and I look forward to continuing to partner with her and Banijay’s Creative Networks in hopefully landing my idea on-screen. I am hugely thankful for the opportunity and feel inspired to keep going with creating great formats for the world to enjoy.”

Wilson added, “As a huge reality TV fan, it was always my dream to create my very own unscripted format that could transcend audiences across the globe. In Can’t Buy My Love, I feel I have crafted an original show that I truly believe has all the elements for success, and with the help of Banijay and my brilliant mentor Claire O’Donohoe, could tap into the buyer demand for social experiments everywhere. I’m hugely grateful for this life-changing experience and look forward to seeing where this opportunity can take me in a career capacity.”