In this week’s International TV Newswire, MipCancun mirrors Latin American industry growth; Nice Drama and BBC Studios hire new executives; Brazil’s Globoplay platform picks up five international series; and Series Mania heads to the Big Apple for an IFP Week spotlight.
MipCancun Underscores Latin American Growth
Markets are as volatile and fast-changing as the industry as large. As Toronto’s spluttered this week, constrained by the challenge of U.S. distribution at large, Reed Midem announced a mouth-watering line up of speakers for Mexico’s MipCancun: “Hernan” showrunners Curro Royo and Julián de Tavira; ex-Netflix honcho Erik Barmack, now at new shingle Wild Sheep Content; Marcelo Tamburri, VP of scripted development at Turner Latin America; and Joanna Lombardi, Movistar head of fiction for Latin America.
Produced by Mexico’s Dopamine and Spain’s Onza Ent, “Hernan” is sold by A & E Network Intl. and is set to air on History Channel and TV Azteca and stream on Amazon. It is billed as a “mega-series” and a step-up in scale and international distribution backing for high-end Latin American scripted at large.
As head of Netflix International Originals, Barmack spearheaded its first-phase “transformational” charge – as Ted Sarandos put it, into overseas original production: Think “Dark,” “Elite” or “La Casa de las Flores.”
Wild Sheep Content has already set up projects in Brazil (“Swipe Right,” as part of a four-title deal with Boutique Films), Spain (Bambu’s “Royal Blood”) and India (with Indian Masterchef star Vikas Khanna).
Still a dominant force in Latin American pay TV, Turner Latin America is proving one of the most flexible of production/distribution partner for the region’s producers, from new indie to SVOD giants. Movistar is looking to lend personality and lever fidelity to its huge Latin American telco presence producing Original Series, as Movistar+ has in Spain.
Launched in 2014, and conceived as a high-level boutique events, MipCancun has grown year on year and exponentially from 40 buyers and 40 distributors at its inaugural event to 180 buyers among 805 participants last year. Reed Midem expects 200 buyers and a total 1,000 delegates in 2019, at the event, which runs Nov.20-22.
Put that down in part to Latin American industry’s diversification from trad telenovelas into high-end shorter format series fit for international co-production and pay TV and SVOD consumption, and MipCancun’s reaction to that, creating a Co-Production Matchmaking Program. Beyond that, however, the sector has bought into Barmack’s act-of-faith at Netflix in the global potential of foreign-language international series. The result has been a game changer.
Nice Drama Announces New Exec Karin Strandberg Blom
Karin Strandberg Blom, formerly a drama development executive at Eccho Rights, has been hired by Nordic Entertainment Group-owned Nice Drama as an executive producer. Strandberg Blom brings more than two decades of industry experience to the Stockholm-based production company having put in shifts at Warner Bros. and SF Studios as well as time spent working in theater production. She will report to Nice Drama CEO Alexander Tanno. Nice Drama, a producer on Series Mania best series winner “Midnight Sun,” is currently in production on upcoming thriller series “White Wall” in collaboration with broadcasters SVT in Sweden and YLE in Finland. The series will premiere fall 2020.
Globoplay Platform Gets Five International Series
Brazil’s Globo has picked up five series for its Globoplay streaming platform from NENT-owned, Stockholm-based production house DRG. Three of the series are Scandinavian in origin, and are headlined by acclaimed Swedish political thriller “The Inner Circle,” a Fundament Film production lifting the lid though enjoyably on the pressures, pitfalls and shady dealing in Swedish politics.. Also included are Norwegian dramedy “Melk” and true crime drama “The Oslo Killing.” DRG SVP of the Americas Scott Kirkpatrick and Globo’s Luiz Felipe also struck deals on two non-Scandi series: BBC One’s Jenna Coleman-led “The Cry” and docu-series “North Korea – Voices From the Secret State.” All five will be available to Globoplay subscribers later this year.
BBC Studios Picks Priscilla Parish
BBC Studios, the U.K. broadcaster’s production arm, has announced the appointment of “Bodyguard” producer Priscilla Parish as head of drama starting in November. Parish comes from World Productions where she filled the roles of executive producer and head of development and worked on programs such as the Golden Globe-winning limited series “Bodyguard” and co-produced seasons three and four and executive produced Season 5 of “Line of Duty.” Parish will be responsible for creative strategy and development of BBC Studios drama series and serials, daytime drama and factual drama, reporting to director of content Ralph Lee. The studio’s rich slate includes international hit shows such as “Doctor Who” and “Good Omens.”
Series Mania Joins French in Motion at New York’s IFP Week
New York-based French in Motion and Lille’s Series Mania, one of Europe’s top TV festival-markets, have teamed to shine a spotlight on international TV series at New York’s IFP Week, running Sept 15-19. Now in its 50th year, IFP Week has long been a major U.S.-based international co-production forum for the film industry, but this year the spotlight will shine on TV series. Together, French in Motion and Series Mania will host a panel and industry cocktail party including Alex Scwarm, director of international programing at AMC Networks, Dynamic Television producer Klaus Zimmermann, Masha Productions owner Maria Feldman, Mother Production’s Harold Valentin and Series Mania general director Laurence Herszberg. The panel, titled “Looking Abroad,” will explore the creative, financial and production opportunities offered through international co-production.