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International Newswire: South Korea’s ‘My Husband Got a Family’ Embraced by Mexico

In today’s International Newswire, Korean format ‘My Husband Got a Family’ scores in Mexico; Sola boards Latino hit animated movie “Space Chicken”; Sony Pictures Television produces ‘Atrapada’ for Mexico’s Imagen TV; and Karlovy Vary extends scope of its East of the West section to include the Middle East.

Which are the most successful format exporting countries in international TV? Few would include South Korea, but just weeks after “The Good Doctor,” based on a Korean format, bowed on ABC to spectacular ratings, another Korean re-version, “Mi marido tiene familia” (My Husband Got a Family), has just slayed the opposition as it bowed out on Mexican giant Televisa’s main Las Estrellas channel. Playing in a 5.30 P.M. time-slot on Sunday, the drama’s average share of 28.7% rated 364% above the competition.

A romantic family comedy, “Mi marido tiene familia” obviously touched a national nerve. Its plot — a thoroughly-modern woman butts heads with her husband’s rediscovered birth family — allowed the series to drill into the vast generational differences in a modern Mexico. That scenario also resonates in much of the emerging world.

The success of “Mi marido tiene marido” will encourage Televisa to continue to look abroad for inspiration. “Wild Lands,” its second biggest summer hit, was based on scripts from “Velvet” producers Bambú Producciones in Spain.

Korean drama has something of hallmark style: “a kind of soft realistic fantasy,” said Bertrand Villegas of TV consultancy The Wit. The show further raises Korea’s cachet following the success of “The Good Doctor,” about which Villegas said: “This could be a turning point. More and more buyers will be on the lookout for the Korean style.”

SOLA BOARDS LATIN AMERICA HIT ANIMATED MOVIE ‘SPACE CHICKEN’
Sola Media has come aboard to handle the international distribution rights to animated feature film “Space Chicken,” excluding Latin America and the U.S.

20th Century Fox released the film theatrically in Latin America on Oct. 12, and it went straight to the top of the box office in Chile, Peru and Colombia with more than 1.6 million admissions after the second weekend. Lionsgate will roll out the pic theatrically in the U.S. from Jan. 12.

The film, which is based on “Condorito,” one of Latin America’s best-loved comic strips, centers on Condorito, the love of his life, Yayita, his romantic rival Pepe Cortisona, and his nephew Chicky. Just as Condorito is about to propose to Yayita, his disapproving mother-in-law to be, Tremebunda, is abducted by an alien emperor. Condorito and his nephew must embark on an adventure to save her, as well as Planet Earth.

The film is directed by animation veterans Alex Orelle and Eduardo Schuldt, and was produced by Pajarraco Films and Aronnax Animation Studios.

SONY PICTURES TELEVISION ROLLS ON ‘ATRAPADA’
They’re at it again. Eight days after confirming a high-end drama production alliance with Dopamine, a new TV label set up by Grupo Salinas, Sony Pictures Television has gone into production on “Atrapada,” produced for Mexican network startup Imagen TV.

The story turns, very typically now for Latino fiction, on a woman taking on a predominantly man’s world, as Mariana, a “beautiful, cunning and magnetic young woman,” as the synopsis runs, becomes a white-collar thief in order to raise her brothers after her parents die. That sparks the wrath of a local crime boss, Carlos Alberto Herrera.

“Atrapada” marks Imagen’s fifth original series, of which three have been co-produced with Hollywood studios, “Paquita la del barrio” with SPT, and “Perseguidos” with Fox-owned Estudios TeleMéxico – a mark of Hollywood’s ever-deeper involvement in Mexico’s TV business.

KARLOVY VARY ADDS MIDDLE EAST TO EAST OF THE WEST SECTION
Czech Rep.’s Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival is looking further east to cover new film territories for its East of the West competition section. This section, which focuses on first and second films from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet states, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, will now be open to films from the Middle East.

Artistic director Karel Och said: “We see significant potential among young filmmakers from the Middle East and would like to offer them a helping hand at the beginning of their careers. It is also about time to abandon the political definition of the ‘East of the West’ countries and to switch to a more geographical definition. Boundaries in film should be practical, not ideological.”

The festival’s industry section is rebranding itself and will be known as Eastern Promises @KVIFF. The projects in post-production presented in Eastern Promises will now reflect the new territorial definition within its Works in Progress section. Additional pitching forums, added as part of an expanded industry program, will continue to focus predominantly on the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

KVIFF recently joined forces with the Trieste Film Festival’s Eastweek and When East Meets West industry platforms, and with the Midpoint script development program to provide market opportunities for nine projects that have undergone workshops on development, financing and co-production opportunities. These projects will be showcased in Karlovy Vary for the first time. Emerging film professionals who are working on their first or second feature film can submit their scripts via Midpoint’s website until Thursday.

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