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New Division of Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park to Champion Indian, Asian Creators

Hyde Park Entertainment Asia's initial slate includes a partnership with Paul Feig and the animated musical "Pashmina" for Netflix.

Ashok Amritraj

Ashok Amritraj

Courtesy of Hyde Park Entertainment Group

Hyde Park Entertainment Group is expanding its global reach, with the independent entertainment company setting up a new division to produce film and TV projects from Asian and Indian creators.

The Los Angeles-based company’s Hyde Park Entertainment Asia division aims to champion diverse and inclusive talent pools, and the division’s first slate of projects will focus on Indian stories for English and local-language audiences. The company, which also has a London office, will continue to produce and finance projects out of its Los Angeles headquarters, but will also expand its overseas productions with a base in Chennai, India.

Ashok Amritraj, Hyde Park Entertainment Group CEO and longtime producer and advocate for diversity in the entertainment industry, said his company’s new division is part of his goal to give creators outside traditional Hollywood spaces the tools and platform they need to bring their projects to a global audience.

“Now more than ever the Hollywood dream needs to be multicultural and all inclusive,” Amritraj said in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating with wonderful Indian and Asian talent long into the future to tell unique and authentic stories that reflect our global world.”

Hyde Park Entertainment Asia has six projects in its initial slate, including one in partnership with Paul Feig. Hyde Park is developing “Break the Room,” a 30-minute Indian-American comedy series, with Feig’s Diversity Initiative Powderkeg and ShivHans Pictures from writers Sameer Gardezi (“Modern Family”) and Jimy Shah.

Other projects include “Pashmina,” an animated musical feature that will debut on Netflix, and a franchise of films under the “Maximum City” banner that will explore the intersection of power, politics, and the criminal underworld of Mumbai.

Hyde Park will also work on “Paradise Towers,” a dramatic adaption of Shweta Bachchan-Nanda’s debut novel, which published last year. Other Hyde Park projects include “The Conch Bearer,” an adaption of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s trilogy of YA novels, and “Deb,” an 8-part TV thriller rooted in ancient Indian mythology.

Although film and TV distributors aren’t exactly jostling one another to secure rights to projects from creators outside the United States and Europe, entertainment companies have recently begun paying more mind to projects outside those regions. A recent example comes from Amazon’s “The Family Man,” an upcoming Indian action drama that stars Bollywood mainstay Manoj Bajpayee that will hit Prime Video in September. James Farrell, Amazon Studios’ head of international originals, discussed the project during Amazon’s recent TCA panel and noted that Amazon has enjoyed strong success with its prior Indian projects.

Prime Video also recently picked up “The Longest Day in Chang’an,” an action-oriented period drama that has become one of summer’s most successful TV series thanks to its massive popularity in China, despite the lack of American buzz.

As for Amritraj, Hyde Park Entertainment Asia hardly marks the first time he has worked on a diverse array of projects. Hyde Park has been behind various well-known projects, such as Sony’s “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the Dwayne Johnson action film “Walking Tall,” and “99 Homes,” which earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations.

Although release dates for Hyde Park Entertainment Asia’s upcoming projects are still under wraps, its diverse—casting, thematically, and otherwise—slate of initial projects suggest that the inclusion-focused division is off to a strong start.

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