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Cannes: India’s GoQuest Media Launches Formats Division (EXCLUSIVE)

India is not known for originating international formats but Mumbai-based distributor GoQuest Media Ventures is seeking to change that and has launched its new GoQuest Formats unit ahead of MipTV.

Two of its main formats for the market in Cannes are talent series “Sing-a-Songwriter,” and “Dinner Karaoke.” In “Sing-a-Songwriter,” participants are tasked with creating new songs that will fit the tune of a pre-existing popular song. In “Dinner Karaoke,” celebrity hosts surprise unsuspecting restaurant diners in a search for a karaoke star.

Optimystix Entertainment, which has made Indian versions of “Idol” and “Rising Star,” has optioned both locally with broadcast partners not yet announced. GoQuest is looking to ink international format deals at MipTV.

GoQuest founder and managing director Vivek Lath said the company has moved into format sales, a move that has been two years in the offing, because of the need for localized programming. “A lot of channels have stopped buying readymade content and are relying on local production,” he said.

Lath accepts India is not known as a formats-exporter in the same way that the likes of the U.K. and the Netherlands are, but said GoQuest is working up formats designed with the international market in mind so they will not necessarily have an Indian flavor.

It is also picking up third-party fare from Europe and has taken worldwide right to “My Dance Crew,” which went out on TV2 Norway, the country’s largest free-TV broadcaster. In the show, celebrities join a dance crew and are trained up by its members.


GoQuest Formats plans to offer more cost-effective projects than some of the bigger format shops. “Not every channel can afford the biggest formats, but they still need content and formats to produce. We want to help them compete with the [broadcasters] that can afford ‘The Voice’ or an ‘Idol,'” Lath said.

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