In this week’s International TV Newswire, Variety looks at Netflix’s moves in Argentina and Turkey, a new Amazon Prime Video docuseries featuring Fernando Alonso, Brown Bob’s Atlantic crossing and the Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s new board of directors.
Netflix Moves in Argentina, Turkey
Netflix announced it will be opening offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, confirmed through a social media-circulated video featuring stars from various Netflix productions out of Argentina and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. In the video, Hastings – an occasional star in comedic company vidclips – placed Argentina in the top 10 most important nations in the world for Netflix.
The executive was in Argentina over Feb 18-20 where he presented Netflix’s forthcoming slate of Argentine productions led by “El Eternauta,” adapting the legendary graphic novel, and “Casi Feliz,” “El Reino,” “Cielo Grande” and Season 3 of “Go! Live Your Way”; feature films “La Corazonada” and “El Cuaderno de María”; and documentaries “Fangio, el hombre que domaba a las máquinas” and “Vilas: Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada.”
Netflix has also strengthened its slate of Turkish-produced titles by adding six programs, headlined by a new version of the hit international reality competition “Exatlon.” “Exatlon Challenge” enlists Turkish social media influencers and actors Orkun Isitmak and Oguzhan Ugur in an updated version launching July 3 in Turkey. Other programs include: “If Only,” “Fatma,” “Hot Skull,” “One Way for Tomorrow” and “The Gift.”
Amazon Prime Video, The Mediapro Studio Team on Fernando Alonso Docu-Series
Now in post-production, and described as an intimate and personal portrait of Formula One’s most famous world champion Fernando Alonso, the series will follow the driver on and off the track. Over five episodes, viewers will witness Alonso’s glorious moments of triumph as well as his months-long preparation ahead of his first Dakar Rally in South America last year as well as the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will also feature members of his inner circle such as manager Luis García Abad, sister Lorena Alonso, partner Linda Morselli and some of his high-profile colleagues like Carlos Sainz. The series will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video later this year in Spain, France, Italy, the U.K. and Latin America.
Brown Bob Opens New York Office
U.K. independent Brown Bob Productions, behind UKTV’s hit factual program “Inside the Ambulance,” is stepping into the U.S. market through the opening of a New York office and promoting former NBCUniversal producer Gillian Hourihan, previously based in Brown Bob’s London offices, to development producer. A specialist in factual programming, Hourihan will be responsible for growing the company’s U.S. footprint as well as the development of new programming to be pitched to American broadcasters and digital platforms alike. The company is also actively seeking new collaborators from the U.S. Hourihan will continue to report to Brown Bob’s London bosses Nicki Gottlieb and Jacqueline Hewer.
Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces New Board of Directors
The Nordic Council of Ministers has appointed a new board of directors for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Oslo-based organization responsible for pan-regional film and TV backing and promotion. Lasse Saarinen, CEO of the Finnish Film Foundation will lead the new board as chairperson with Swedish Film Institute head of film funding Kristina Colliander acting as his deputy chairperson. The rest of the board is filled out by RÚV Iceland’s Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson, TV2 Norway’s Christopher Haug, and the Danish Film Institute’s Ane Mandrup. The deputy members are SVT Sweden’s Anna Croneman, Vodafone Stöð 2, Iceland’s Thorhallur Gunnarsson, DR Denmark’s Lars Fredenslund Høgsberg, MTV3 Finland’s Karoliina Kivijärvi, and Discovery Norway’s Eivind Landsverk. The new board will preside over the period of Jan 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022.