In this week’s International TV Newswire: spring festivals and markets feel Le Crunch, Warner Bros. steps up Spanish scripted, Nordisk Film and Fantefilm join forces, “All Star Driving School” steers into Mexico.
June Builds as a Virtual Market Smackdown
Le Crunch used to refer to the France-England rugby match. Now, it pretty much sums up Europe’s virtual marketplace line-up in June. Already the latter half of Annecy (June 15-30), the biggest animation festival in the world, overlaps with the virtual edition of the Cannes Film Market (June 22-26), the biggest film market in the world. Sunny Side of the Doc, one of Europe’s premiere doc events, runs online June 22-25. Now Conecta Fiction, the buzzing boutique Europe-Latin American drama series forum held in Pamplona, Spain, has announced a “strong” line-up of virtual presentations over the week of June 15. The new crunch is of course a consequence of earlier event cancellations and the length to which it is advisable to play out screening or presentations online, as Series Mania and MipTV Online Plus discovered. Film and TV used to operate in pretty much distinct silos. No more. As Europe film-TV industry suffers a shakeout which is seeing fortified independent giants seeking to produce and sell across a wide gamut of genres and program types, just how much attention individual events will command is anybody’s guess. Since events are ever more marketing platforms, with actual deals closed all year round, that’s no mean question.
Gonzalez, Nieto to Fire Up New Scripted at Warner Bros. ITVP in Spain
Marking the latest move in the dramatic build of Spanish-language drama series production, Warner Bros. ITVP España has launched a new scripted department, and appointed screenwriter Carolina Gonzalez, former head of development at Argentina’s Underground, as fiction content director, and Clara Nieto, an Apache Films executive producer, as business director. Initiating activity, WB ITVP España has created and is now producing “En casa” for HBO España. Also developing a series with Warner Bros, ITVN affiliates in Germany and the U.K., the division will produce for third party broadcasters and platforms and HBO Max, create original production, adapt Warner Bros. catalog titles and third-party scripted projects and pursue co-production deals, such as those in place with Argentina’s Pol-ka and Kapow.
Nordisk Film Takes Minority Role in Norway’s Fantefilm
Nordisk Film has acquired a minority stake in top Norwegian production company Fantefilm. The two companies have signed an output deal in which Nordisk will distribute future productions in the Nordics and sell internationally any future Fantefilm output. Best known for blockbuster disaster films such as 2015’s “The Wave” and 2018’s “The Quake,” under the new deal Fantefilm will look to move further into TV production while creating programming with “worldwide appeal,” according to Nordisk Film VP Kenneth Wiber. Fantefilm currently has four feature films in production with a major TV series in development. According to Fantefilm producer-partner Martin Sundland, Fantefilm will “maintain its independence, DNA and ways of doing business.”
“All Star Driving School” Gets Mexican Remake from The Story Lab
A Mexican remake of popular U.K. platform “All Star Driving School” is on the way from The Story Lab as part of a deal with General Motors brand Chevrolet. Originally created by Rumpus Media, the show’s Mexican version was co-produced by EstiloDF Studios and The Story Lab and premiered on April 21 on the Sony Channel before being made available on E! Entertainment, Amazon Prime Video and Claro Video. In the show, Mexican stars will be joined by family and friend backseat drivers while tested on a driving course and the chaotic streets of Mexico City. The format previously sold to CTC in Russia as well as Planet TV in Slovenia.