Crime writer Hussain Zaidi teams up with GoQuest for joint venture Golden Pen
Golden Pen will solely focus on the crime & thriller genre, bringing true dark stories from the streets to the screen
Renowned crime write Hussain Zaidi, known for his gritty and no-holds-barred representation of the criminal underbelly in books such as Black Friday, Dongri to Dubai: Six decades of the Mumbai Mafia and Headley and I, has teamed up with GoQuest Productions to launch a joint venture called 'Golden Pen Productions’. The venture will solely focus on the crime & thriller genre, bringing true dark stories from the streets to the screen. What’s more, Zaidi will also be mentoring talent.
A ‘writers first’ venture, Golden Pen will focus on creating high-value content in collaboration with writers, both established as well as upcoming. The content will focus fully on the crime thriller genre and will be completely media/platform agnostic. It will be available across platforms such as TV, web, films and podcasts.
Commenting on the need for such a venture, Zaidi said, “My years of experience engaging with the criminal world has left me with a wealth of untold stories, even after so many of them found their ultimate expression in books or silver screen scripts. And I believe it to be the case with many writers emerging from the hinterlands, who have seen and experienced so much during their normal growing up years that they have developed a bank of absolutely dark yet vehemently true stories which deserve to be tapped into.”
“Golden Pen, being one of the few ‘writers-first’ entertainment labels in India, aims to bring such stories in front of audiences by developing content that pushes the boundaries on every page or in every frame, while being deeply rooted in reality,” he added.
Vivek Lath, MD, GoQuest Media Ventures, said, “The emergence of new media has resulted in audiences looking for edgy and thrilling content, and the success of series such as ‘Narcos’ or ‘Sacred Games’ has shown the potential of such content.”
“Through Golden Pen, our core focus will be to develop a diverse body of content in the crime-thriller genre. These projects will be developed with their roots in India but with a strong eye for distribution in international markets as well. In this initiative, we aim to tap into the abundant material developed by Hussain Zaidi and a dynamic group of writers mentored by him, who have a unique perspective and thrilling anecdotes accumulated over years of interacting with people on both sides of the law,” Lath added.
Jaspinder Kang, Partner, GoQuest Productions, said, “Viewership today has gone beyond just TV and films. New media is allowing creative talent to push the boundaries. Also, viewers today are spoilt for choices. So creators of content have to factor in the fact that they are now competing with international content when it comes to audiences’ share of mind. At Golden Pen Productions, while the content will be local, we will ensure that the appeal will be universal.”
“This is the right time to invest resources in developing high-quality content in the genre, and we aim to be known as the ‘go-to’ company doing all the ground-breaking work in the domain. While we have started our operations in Mumbai and are currently looking at developing content for the Indian market (TV & web), we will eventually be looking at supplying versions of our original content to overseas producers and channels too. At Golden Pen, we truly believe that crime is one genre that has the potential to attract audiences across boundaries, in a sustained manner,” Kang added.
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