In the words of our host country, Üdvözöljük – welcome – back to Budapest!
We are thrilled to return to the Budapest InterContinental. It is a great pleasure to see you here as we also welcome new exhibitors and buyers and continue to make friends from around the world. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is thriving with rich, fresh content opportunities to the delight of the rest of the world. This is why we have so many newcomers this year from Germany, Japan, Turkey, and China, to name a few.
For the next four days, NATPE Budapest Global TV Market and Conference 2017 is where deals will be made and new bonds formed in a creative environment where original content is abundant.
As many of you know, NATPE is recognized as the premier global business forum for content producers, distributors, and buyers across all platforms. In this changing world and changing industry, NATPE has become even more the catalyst for all disciplines across the business to join together to exchange ideas and cement deals.
Our goal is to highlight the richness and quality of the content that is locally produced in addition to bringing the ‘LA Screenings’ to you. As a global association, NATPE is your community, and we won’t rest until CEE’s original programming gets the worldwide recognition it so rightly deserves, along with our other important members.
Right now, the CEE region is certainly vibrant – in terms of the number of channels and platforms that are offered as well as in the growing number of producers and strong content they are creating. Several great examples that underline the region’s growing position on the world stage are dramas such as Aranyélet (Golden Life) from HBO Europe, as well as local productions Umbre (Shadows), Mamon (Mammon) and Wataha (The Pack) with local producers in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania.
Ukraine-produced The Sniffer is currently on Netflix and has already been picked up as a format by France and Japan. Fellow Ukrainian series Snowdrop recently launched on Indian channel Zindagi, becoming the first show from the country to be broadcast in India. Produced by Front Cinema Production for TRK in Ukraine, the series is based on Ice Adonis, an original format from South Korean producer CJ E&M, and follows two step-sisters divided by love and business interests.
With so much exciting and diverse content, we have developed new initiatives to help serve everyone and deliver optimum value. This year, a meeting assistance service has been created to facilitate introductions by combining the intuitive intelligence of our existing networking platform and mixing it with a locally staffed concierge service.
With the importance of business intelligence at the fore, NATPE Budapest offers a number of sessions on Monday afternoon before the market starts. Filled with leading experts, these carefully curated panels will give distributors an opportunity to understand the trends around the region and the increasingly complex subject of windowing across multiple platforms; and to hear what CEE buyers are looking for right now. We believe this information will provide invaluable insight.
Following the success of last year, we will host the second edition of the format initiative Pitch & Play Live. With the help of our friends at CEETV, we will showcase and formally recognize original non-scripted format ideas with international potential from across CEE. A leading jury will select the winner from three finalists on Wednesday evening at an informal session that will be followed by a celebratory party. We look forward to seeing all of you there!
Of course, NATPE is a year-round, non-profit member organization. Our aim is to serve the global content industry and enable it to flourish and grow. We recently launched NATPE Next Gen, offering our next-generation leaders valuable ways to enhance their burgeoning careers and establish strong relationships for the future. NATPE will produce exclusive and intimate year-round programming knowledge forums.
While we may inhabit a world of change and confusion, it remains our industry’s privilege to create and distribute content for global audiences that informs, entertains and inspires. I hope your time at NATPE Budapest has the same three attributes.
Again, using the words of our lovely host country, köszönöm – thank you for attending. And let’s have some fun – we are in the business of entertainment, after all.
JP Bommel | President & CEO | NATPE
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This letter was originally featured in the NATPE Budapest Global TV Market & Conference Market Guide, powered by C21 Media.