Drama has been a top genre in the European market and more newcomers are taking the scene. In the third day of the LA Virtual Screenings 2021, some of Europe’s leading producers and platforms gathered in a roundtable to discuss new emerging business models, co-production, and the greatest challenges they are facing during this time of the pandemic. The conversation was moderated by Géraldine Gonard, Founder & CEO at Inside Content.
Representing Italy’s Fabula Pictures, its Co-CEO and Head of Development and International Co-productions, Nicola de Angelis described the company’s vision and analyzed the current landscape of the market. “One of the biggest challenges we will face after the pandemic will be understanding audiences. They have changed drastically in the last year, and the industry is in a process of understanding what audiences will want and accept after this time we are living,” he said.
For Nadia Rekhter-Gareva, Development Producer and Head of International Department, Star Media (Russia), these times are not so much about challenges but opportunities. “We work with linear networks and OTT platforms. We have a lot of that in Russia right now, so the market is opening for producers. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities in our region. The challenge is being as creative as you can to find the best talent in the territory and to be able to bring new partners from all over the world to work on exciting projects together,” she noted.
Cristina Vaz Tome, Member of the Executive Committee, CRO, Grupo Impresa/SIC (Portugal), described the initiatives carried out by the company in recent months and firmly stated that the main challenge for her company is the audience. “We focus on how to stay relevant and keep our audience, but also on how to reach new public, mainly the younger audiences,” she commented.
In representation of Germany’s ZDF Enterprises, its VP of Drama, Robert Franke remarked the importance of collaboration between companies, highlighting the value of the co-production model. “We see a lot of movement in the market. The big groups are trying to consolidate their assets by keeping them. We, as independent companies, need to co-produce and find the right partners, but we are seeing more and more how smaller producers are being bought by these large groups. It’s getting harder to get and hold interesting content,” the executive admitted.
Lastly, Maria Valenzuela, SVP International Strategy and Business Development at Buendía Estudios, agreed with de Angelis and Vaz Tome about the challenges, although she said there are many reasons to enjoy this current moment. “We are in a very sweet moment where content is really relevant. During the pandemic, people from everywhere started watching more and more content. However, the problem is the big volume of content that is out there, so you have to figure out how to stay relevant for audiences,” she considered.