Thailand and Singapore-based content producer Coconuts is teaming with Raven Capital Management (Raven), the New York private equity firm that owns and just relaunched Open Road Films, to co-develop a slate of seven unscripted series pilots focusing on a wide range of subjects throughout Asia, including drag queens, influencers, and Thai food.
Raven is financing the Coconuts TV pilots, which are set to begin shooting in Thailand and Singapore, with Coconuts TV leading the production. Raven and Coconuts TV will partner on global licensing and distribution deals for the series with streamers, networks, and broadcasters around the world.
The seven pilots are:
A docu-drama starring Thailand’s leading drag queen Pangina Heals. She already dominates the drag queen scene of Bangkok, now she wants to conquer the world. But are her friends from the queer community going to be supportive or throw her under the bus?
On this reality competition show, aspiring young influencers compete for likes and free stuff on an idyllic paradise island.
Thai Food 101
A poetic and visually stunning ode to the sweet, sour, spicy, and salty deliciousness that is perfectly executed Thai food.
Sex Lives Thailand
This docu-series focuses on Thailand’s diverse sexualities, with each episode about a different person, sexual orientation, or sexual phenomenon.
This visionary travel series will celebrate exceptional women from around the world against the backdrop of food, fashion, and celebrity.
This docu-series hosted by Sebastian Perry will explore the growing cannabis culture and business in Thailand, the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana in 2019.
A true-crime docu-series telling the infamous tale of a high profile murder committed by a group of promotional models – called “pretties” in Thailand – that captivated the country and received global coverage.
Coconuts TV, which focuses on “weird and wondrous” untold stories from Asia, is the video production arm of Asian digital publisher Coconuts, founded and run by CEO Byron Perry. The company’s credits include marijuana docu-series Highland, sold to Netflix in 2017; the hard-hitting short-docu variety show Coconuts TV on IFLIX, commissioned by the Malaysian OTT in 2018; and the 48-minute adventure travel documentary Nagaland: Twilight of the Headhunters, sold to Discovery Asia in 2019.
“We’re excited to partner with Raven to bring these concepts to life. Our hope is that the slate of shows is a funny and fascinating window into the Southeast Asia region for a global audience,” said Byron Perry.
Production on the pilots will be led by Perry and Vim Shanmugam, Head of Content and Production with Coconuts TV whose experience includes working in television and film at NBCU and Paramount Pictures and producing Asia-wide digital video campaigns with major brands and agencies including Google, Facebook, Samsung, Ogilvy, Publicis, and GroupM.
Raven made waves in the entertainment space last month by relaunching Oscar®-winning studio Open Road Films (which Raven bought in December 2018 and will be led by James Masciello), and revealing it will release the Liam Neeson action/thriller Honest Thief later this summer.
James Masciello said, “Byron and his Coconuts TV team are uniquely adept at not only uncovering and capturing amazing stories from Southeast Asia but presenting them in an intelligent way that will appeal to global audiences. We believe there is a tremendous appetite for quality content that looks and feels distinct and we are excited to work with Byron to deliver this diversified slate to the market.”
In addition to financing and co-developing the Coconuts TV slate, Raven is ramping up its development, production, and financing of features and television through its association and financing of Sculptor Media. Since 2012, Raven has been quietly active in the development, production, and financing of features and television. Raven and Sculptor, in partnership with Zero Gravity Management, recently completed production on The Marksman also starring Liam Neeson, and directed by Rob Lorenz.
Over the last 18 months, Raven has been managing library licensing and monetization across all ancillary windows on Open Road legacy properties. Open Road was the second major film library acquisition for Raven, having acquired the 400+ title Exclusive Media Group library with Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi’s AMBI Distribution in 2015.