By Erin Somers
Most distributors at the L.A. Screenings fall into one of two categories: indies and studios. But what about the companies that fall somewhere in the middle? VideoAge caught up with Sheila Aguirre, senior vice president of Sales and Development, Latin America and Hispanic U.S.A. for format powerhouse FremantleMedia Enterprises, and, to some extent, Gabriela Lopez, senior vice president of Argentina-based Ledafilms –– which distributes content to Latin America from U.S. studios –– to find what the L.A. Screenings are like for mini-majors.
Aguirre was buoyant about the event. “We’re looking forward to being at L.A. Screenings this year, as always,” she said, “It gives us a great opportunity to tie up deals started at MIP-TV and catch up with clients that weren’t in Cannes.”
Where product is concerned, Aguirre and company are focusing on finished series including Motor City Motors, Michelin Stars: The Pressure For Perfection and brand new cooking show Annabel Langbein: The Free Range Cook. Added Aguirre: “We have some of the best returning series and franchises that broadcasters can rely on.” Such returning shows include She’s Got the Look, Celebrity Apprentice, and the Martha Stewart Catalogue.
In addition to the formats Fremantle launched at MIP-TV, Aguirre’s team is also bringing a host of game show formats. Titles include The Price Is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, Family Feud and Five Against Quizmaster.
Asked about programming trends to expect at the Screenings, Aguirre remarked that the pan-regional channels in Latin America are expanding their programming grids. “There has been a particular rise in demand for factual and lifestyle programs,” she said.
Ledafilms walks the line between studio and indie in the sense that it acts as a sales agent for Paramount Pictures-Dreamworks as well as independent companies like Los Angeles-based Lucasfilm. Gabriela Lopez said that, although a good number of companies her firm represents are focused primarily on Latin America, her team has other goals for the Screenings as well. “We’re also launching a new animated production project in association with Miami-based Exim and Italy’s Mondo TV,” she said. “It’s called Bondiband, and it will have worldwide distribution plus licensing and merchandising.”
Lopez also predicted that although some sales will go to the independents, the Latins will get most of their product from the studios. “It’s very difficult to estimate a percentage,” she said, “But there is no doubt that the main amount of product acquired by the Latin networks comes from major studios and the largest independent Hollywood producers.”
The full L.A. Screenings report will be available in the May 18 edition of VideoAge, first distributed in Los Angeles and later, mailed and posted online.