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NEM Awards and panel highlights from Zagreb
 08 Dec 2023
The third edition of NEM Zagreb, an event focused on the advancement and promotion of TV series and movies production in Central and Eastern Europe, which is wrapping today in the Croatian capital featured a series of interesting and informative panels.

CEE FTA Originals on the Global Map featured Branko Čakarmiš, Strategic Adviser, CME Adria; Rahela Štefanović, Editor in Chief HTV,; Lenka Szántó, Creative Producer, TV Nova/VOYO, Czech Republic; Marek Solon-Lipiński, Director of International Relations, TVP and Tibor Forizs, International Sales Manager (TV content), National Film Institute - Hungary. The panelists discussed the strategies of CEE broadcasters, noting that they should turn eyes more on regional partnerships. This will lead to increased international exposure of their content.

The execs talked about Netflix and its local strategy for CEE which is focused mostly on Poland where it has a hub and produces content for the region, but its content is mostly Polish, with less activity in other CEE countries.

Szántó commented that the international streamer is a competitor for CME's streaming service Voyo. She added that for CME the focus is cooperation between the CEE countries rather than working with streamers like Netflix. Čakarmiš who advises CME for the Adria market added that Voyo has been growing in the region mostly due to its local content. International players will join local players in the process because right now big streamers are not investing into CEE content.

Lipinski noted that Poland is different to other CEE markets, being a bigger market and Polish pubcaster TVP has been working with Netflix on co-productions. The service also offers TVP content and while this may hurt TVP's own VOD service, this cooperation increases audience numbers.

The Difference Between Corporation-led and Public Broadcaster Co-production panel featured Morad Koufane, Deputy Director of International Series (Co-productions and Acquisitions), France Télévisions; Krisztina Gallo, Head of the Co-production Department, Viaplay Group’s Paprika Studios; Alex Traila, Program Manager, Pilot Program for Series Co-Productions, Council of Europe and Nebojša Taraba, Producer and Partner, Drugi Plan. The main takeaways were that coproductions will allow for more cooperation between the different players and parties on the market. Windowing opportunities are also broadening in the region, namely with streamers. Examples given were with Dark Hearts (France Televisions and Amazon Prime Video) and Women at War (TF1 and Netflix). The business is also changing with streamers allowing more control to broadcasters in terms of the editorial side of content production. The CEE region is also very attractive for coproductions because of lower costs, soft money, locations, and crews. The panel also noted the importance of financing from organizations such as Council of Europe. Also, producers are increasingly able to find financing by themselves.

The Book to Screen: Navigating the Unique Challenges of Book Adaptations in Film and TV was moderated by Stanislav Kimchev, SVP Global Sales, CEETV, and featured Ryszard Sibilski, Film Producer; Wiktor Piątkowski, Writer, Producer and Showrunner, Bahama Films; Roni Pedahzur, Global Drama Development and Co-productions Manager, Keshet International; Goran Kulenović, Director and Screenwriter; Danijel Pek, TV and Film Producer, Antitalent and Filip Bobinski, Producer and Showrunner, CEO Dramedy Productions.

The panelist agreed that it is important to keep the core values of the book that is being adapted but new value must be added and producers should not be afraid of “betraying the original”. The experts also noted the increasing popularity of adaptations and the power of IP, especially during a process of reducing risk and budgets. Another important issue nowadays is to make sure the adaptation can travel internationally, for the producers to identify the things that people are able to connect with.

Additionally, the NEM Awards Ceremony took place last night. Top projects were awarded from five categories:

1.Mild Miracles
2.The Fake News Factory
3.Playing with Scissors

SCRIPTED FEATURE-LENGHT FILM - in this category there's a tie for the first place
1.Mothers of Humanity
1.Tied Up
3.Endgame Murder

2.Thalidomides’s Children
3.Making Friends with the Idea of a Father

1.Eat a Book
2.Escape Life!
3.Engage Me with Love

2.The King
3.Moth Hunting

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