×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlinale: Mediapro Takes Stake in Burman Office, Creating TV Creation-Production Hub (EXCLUSIVE)

Mediapro, Burman Office set to unveil two series at Berlin, ‘Stroke’ and spy thriller based on book ‘IOSI El espía arrepentido’

BERLIN — Creating one of the biggest independent creation-production TV hubs in the Spanish-speaking markets which is aimed at making contents for the whole world, Spain’s Mediapro, a “The Young Pope” co-producer, has bought a substantial stake in Argentina’s Burman Office. Headed by Daniel Burman, a leading light of the New Argentine Cinema, Burman Office is set to produce “Edha,” Netflix’s first TV series in Argentina.

One of the key axes in a fast-emerging new independent production TV scene in Latin America and Spain, the alliance will be unveiled Feb. 16 in Berlin by Mediapro head Jaume Roures and Burman. It builds on a strategic co-development deal between Mediapro and Burman Office for high-end fiction TV series and formats that was announced last July.

Mediapro’s equity investment goes further, however, seeing Burman Office becoming part of the Mediapro, one of Southern Europe’s largest and most international of TV-film groups with production offices in 35 cities in 25 countries.

First projects announced are “Stroke,” from an original script by Daniel Burman, and an adaptation of ‘IOSI El espía arrepentido,’ a book by Miriam Lewin and Horacio Lutzky about a spy who infiltrated the Jewish community in Argentina paving the way for the terrorist attack on the building of the Israelite Argentine Mutual Association which killed 85 people in 1994.

“Stroke” is a 13-part comedy on a 40-year-old man rebooting his life after suffering a stroke. Together, Mediapro and Oficina Burman  have around 20 projects in development. All series will be three seasons long.

Though both companies have their H.Qs in the Spanish-speaking world, Roures said that the new partnership “is not focusing only or principally on the Latin American market.”

He added: “Based on the quality of the screenplay and product, these types of contents have a universal market.”

“With Mediapro’s presence, we will form a creative hub of enormous potential and strong production values, adding our joint capacity of contents creation, [Mediapro’s] enormous production capacity and its capacity to deliver to the market,” Burman added.

Burman Office’s incorporation into the Mediapro fold follows on the appointment last May as its head of international content development of Ran Telem, a Primetime Emmy Award-winning producer on “Homeland” and longtime V.P. of programming and content at Israel’s Keshet Broadcasting. Burman called Telem “one of the people who knows most about storytelling.”

Having launched a writers’ room in Buenos Aires, one of Oficina Burman’s distinguishing characteristics as a creator of high-end series has been its insistence on longterm development.That of course is highly costly. But it is now far more feasible with Mediapro as a partner-shareholder.

“We need the muscle and financial power which can create time for stories. Mediapro understands development, that it is a cornerstone,” Burman said.

Though aiming to make content for markets around the world,  Mediapro-Burman Office alliance comes as Latin America is in the throes of a TV revolution. For Burman, “consumers are accustomed to a level of sophistication and production values which they see on their platforms. We have to be at that level of sophistication.”

In this sense, high-end TV drama, whether made in English or Spanish, not only encourages take-up at new TV online services but unlocks the keys to the future for broadcasters who run multi-billion dollar businesses.

Tying down a deal with Burman Office, Mediapro has “associated with talent,” said Roures,  a policy, he added, that it has followed in its film production, making films with Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”) and Roman Polanski (“Carnage”), of international directors, and Spain’s Fernando Leon (“A Perfect Day”) and Isabel Coixet (“The Secret Life of Words”).

While there is a feeding-fever for upscale, ambitious TV drama around the world, the challenge is to find the talent that can create it. The Mediapro deal ties down Burman Office whose first series, “Supermax, which screened at the Berlinale’s Drama Series Days this week, was the first Spanish-language drama to be produced out of Brazilian TV giant Globo’s Rio studios.

Partnered with Mexico’s Televisa, ad media giant WPP and investor Torreal, Mediapro owns a 7% stake in Atresmedia Group, a Spanish broadcast giant. Their joint conglom, in which Mediapro holds a controlling 48% participation, posted revenues of €1.509 billion ($1.7 billion) in 2015, per company sources.

While Burman Office, now part of Mediapro, will focus on high-end TV drama as the core of contents produced, it does not rule out making entertainment formats and branded content.

More Film

  • Paul Feig Heads to Universal From

    Paul Feig's Feigco Entertainment Jumps From Fox to First-Look Deal at Universal

    Universal’s comedy constellation just added another star, welcoming Paul Feig from 20th Century Fox Film on Thursday. Universal has set a first-look production agreement with Feig’s Feigco Entertainment, bringing in the prolific producer, writer, and director known for hits like “Bridesmaids” and the recent “A Simple Favor.” News of Feig’s relocation shook out of a [...]

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    Disney Retiring Fox 2000 Label

    Disney will stop making films under the Fox 2000 label, a move that could mean that its head Elizabeth Gabler will not be making the move to the Magic Kingdom, Variety has learned. The decision is surprising because Disney had previously stated that Gabler would stay on board at the studio even after it was [...]

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Fox Layoffs: Distribution and Marketing Leaders Out

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content