VideoAge checked in with Saralo MacGregor, Los Angeles-based executive vice president, Worldwide Distribution for London-based Fireworks International and Irv Holender director and principal for Toronto-based The Fremantle Corp. to find out what they make of the event’s move to Miami and what they have planned for the year’s premiere Latin event.
VideoAge International: Is NATPE‘s Miami Beach location preferable to Las Vegas? Why?
Saralo MacGregor: It remains to be seen whether this is a positive step, but the change of locale seems to have created a positive buzz around the upcoming market. As NATPE has traditionally been a ‘must attend’ market for Latin American buyers, the move must be seen as a big plus as it will drive up attendance in this regard.
In any event, we are looking forward to NAPTE 2011 and the opportunity to present our new slate of programming.
Irv Holender: My concern is that the Asians and Australians won’t show up. My feeling is that there are too many markets in general, so people are holding off and deciding whether they should attend Berlin, Kids Screen, Sundance or NATPE. It’s a change, and we’ll se what happens over the next couple of weeks.
VAI: What new product/titles will you be bringing to NATPE?
Saralo MacGregor: Our NATPE line-up includes a wide range of titles from every genre, featuring some of the world’s top acting and creative talent. From our new fiction portfolio is the major new crime thriller Thorne starring David Morrissey and Natascha McElhone, adapted from the bestselling books by Mark Billingham. Also available is Whites, a hilarious new comedy series for the BBC starring Alan Davies, and from the non-fiction catalogue the HD series Freak Encounters, which combines comedy, horror and reality as unsuspecting participants come face to face with legendary monsters.
Our new properties for multi-platform distribution include two young adult dramas: The Cut, from the BBC and the producer of the hit online series KateModern, and Pretty Tough, the first project from our recently announced output deal with leading U.S. multi-platform studio Vuguru, which is based on the popular novel by Liz Tigelaar (Dawson’s Creek).
Irv Holender: We will hopefully have a cast on The Merchant of Flowers, and we’re celebrating the 41st year of All My Children. As always, we will also be bringing the classics, including Zoro and Black Beauty. Additionally, we have a slate of formats including Look Alike.
VAI: Would you describe NATPE as a purely Latin market, or do you do business with other regions there as well?
Saralo MacGregor: As mentioned, there has traditionally been strong attendance by the Latin American contingent, but NATPE is by no means exclusive to this territory. If the buyers list for 2011 is any indication, there will be a good cross section of attendees from across the major international territories. The market has always been an important part of our sales schedules, providing a good opportunity for us to connect with our buyers and promote our new titles to the international marketplace.
Irv Holender: We’ll be targeting everyone who’s there, but we’re not getting a lot of response from the Europeans.
VAI: How important is the mid-season to your annual sales cycle and why?
Saralo MacGregor: With the diversification in media, sales are no longer as cyclical as they have been in the past. For example, multi-platform markets are becoming increasingly important and a valuable outlet to do business across the whole year. That and travel to individual territories which forms a large part of our ongoing strategy.
VAI: In general, what predictions do you have for the market this year?
Irv Holeder: It’s been a big year of change in the U.S. market, with the Comcast/NBC Universal deal and also with new media. The location of NATPE is one more change in a changing environment.