Argentina’s Daniel Burman, a leading light of the New Argentine Cinema and creator of “Edha,” Argentina’s first Netflix Original Series, has been appointed as head of content, U.S, Mexico and Central America at Spain’s Mediapro Group, one of Southern Europe’s biggest and most international of independent film-TV groups.
Burman will report to the head of Mediapro in the U.S. and the international content directorate in Madrid. He will be based out of Miami.
Running offices in 45 cities in 26 countries, and announcing a 2016 turnover of €1.6 billion ($2.0 billion), in 2017 Mediapro bought a substantial stake in Buenos Aires-based Burman Office, founded by Burman, having signed a co-development deal in 2016.
Burman’s appointment cones less than two months after Orient Hontai Capital, a Beijing-based investment company, bought a 53.5% stake in Imagina media Audiovisual, Medicare’s holding company, valuing Mediopro at €1.9 billion ($2.4 billion). Burma’s new position will see him create and implement Mediapro’s growth strategy in the U.S,. in both the Hispanic and overall American market.
“There is a huge opportunity in the U.S. Latino market, which is going through enormous transformation,” said Burman.
He added: “Like Latin America, the U.S. Latino public is ever more demanding, with a large capacity of consumption, and certain fictional stereotypes no longer function.”
In two ways at least, Mediapro can fill a market breach.
“New generations of Latinos are ever more integrated in American society. But the social divide, while closing, isn’t sufficiently reflected in fiction,” Burman said.
One of Mediapro’s challenges will be to capture social change in fiction, he went on.
While high-end content is a mantra in the Latino U.S., little 13-episode-or-under drama content has actually got made outside Netflix. Natpe saw Telemundo International Studios unveil its first drama series production, 13-episode prison thriller “The Inmate.” Mediapro looks set to team with operators to meet that demand.
Burman’s new role also comes as Mediapro Group consolidates its position as a creative partner of both top over-the-top platforms and traditional players. Over the last years, it has produced with Netflix (movie “Fe de Etarras,” “Edha”), Amazon Prime Video (soccer doc series on Manchester City and LaLiga) and HBO (“The Young Pope”).
“These platforms’ demand across-the-board quality of the highest order,” says Mediapro Group partner Jaume Roures. “You don’t get anywhere with low-cost product. It simply isn’t competitive,” he added.
Mediapro is also producing with Fox Networks Group in Spain (“Vis-a-Vis,” Season 3), DirecTV Latin America (“El futbol no es así”), Finland’s pubcaster YLE (“The Paradise”) and Sweden’s DramaCorp (“The Head”), co-owned by Beta.
“It’s important for Mediapro to have profile, be recognized, for people to trust you,” Roures added saying that Mediapro aimed to create “a talent and creation hub” in Miami.
One important question is what kind of big partner deals Mediapro may go on to seal from Miami. Its goal is not to make content only, nor even principally, for Latino markets but rather the whole world, Roures has always insisted.
Burma will continue to run Burman Office and is now also charged with consolidating Mediapro Argentina within the Mediapro Group.
Recognized for the quality of its writers, showrunner and movie talent disembarking in TV, Argentina is the Latin American country where international-length TV series have seen most success, thanks to co-production alliances often involving combinations of broadcast networks, U.S. companies, and independent production houses such as Pol-ka Underground and The Magic Eye. This scenario again opens up production opportunities.
Burman will also oversees contents creation in Mexico. In industry terms, Mexico, Burman said,”is on the frontier between the Latino and general U.S. market.
“My aim is to enroll talents from the U.S., Mexico, Argentina often already at Mediapro, to make projects from Miami not only for Latin America but the world.”