EXCLUSIVE: Comedian, actor and host Hasan Minhaj today announced the launch of his production company, 186K Films, as well as For the Culture, a new film he’s set to produce and star in for Amazon Studios, which he’s scripting with long-time collaborator Prashanth Venkataramanujam.
Minhaj founded 186K Films with Venkataramanujam and will serve as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, with Venkataramanujam serving as Chief Content Officer, and Tyler Babin as Chief Digital Officer.
186K’s first feature, For the Culture, landed with Amazon Studios following an eight-studio bidding war. It’s billed as a raucous comedy set in the cut-throat world of collegiate Bollywood dance competitions—a vibrant, joyful celebration of Indian-American culture that bridges the gap between Western audiences and those who grew up watching Bollywood films in the U.S. and India.
Rideback’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich will produce alongside 186K.
“When we first started our careers, the industry wasn’t looking for people like us,” said Minhaj and Venkataramanujam in a joint statement. “We were comedians on the fringes playing characters on the margins. But now, our only goal is to bring the margins to the mainstream.
“In launching our production company, we want to focus on finding and producing stories that have been deemed culturally irrelevant, but in reality, have massive, universal appeal,” added the 186K Films founders. “There’s a huge audience out there that’s not seeing their experiences, their lives, and their stories on screen in prestige television or studio films. Those are the stories we want to champion.”
Minhaj is a two-time Peabody Award winner currently on a 52-city, nationwide tour with his new one-man show, The King’s Jester. He’s best known for his breakout Netflix comedy special Homecoming King and his critically acclaimed political satire show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which ran on Netflix for six seasons, winning a Peabody, an Emmy, and a Television Academy Honor. He previously served as a senior correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and headlined the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Venkataramanujam is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning writer and producer who currently serves as the director and executive producer of Hasan Minhaj’s one-man show, The King’s Jester. He’s best known as the co-creator, head writer, and showrunner of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, previously serving as a staff writer for the Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World, the head writer for the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and a producer on Netflix’s The Fix with Jimmy Carr.
Babin is an award-winning visual artist and former Adobe Creative Fellow in Filmmaking who now heads up all digital branding and advertising for 186K Films. He previously was part of the founding creative team for Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal brand as well as the creative branding agency, Vayner Media.
Minhaj is represented by WME, Hansen, Jacobson, Teller and Imprint. Venkataramanujam is repped by AF Entertainment and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
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