In the resort town of Antalya, TRT, Turkey’s state broadcaster, organized the country’s first company screenings.
Over 50 buyers from 23 countries converged on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast April 26 for TRT’s Screening Days. These were both the TV network’s first company screenings and a first for the country. Others will certainly follow.
TRT’s “Screening Days” offered a catalog of 30 TV movies, four feature films, 35 dramas (in Turkey, they don’t like to call them telenovelas) and five mini-“dizi” (as series are called in Turkish). Also buyers could have viewed 72 documentaries, 54 children’s, 16 science and 16 religious programs, all in two screening rooms, a ballroom and a press room, set up at Rixos Downtown, a five-star hotel located a 20-minute walk from the city’s center.
Most of the buyers came from the Middle East and countries from the former Yugoslavia. But there was an unexpectedly large contingent of Latin Americans, some of whom, like Luis Memtala. flew from La Paz, Bolivia and Hugo Aleo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Others, like Brigid Olën came from far away as Cape Town, South Africa, and Tae Jeong Kim from Korea. From the U.S. there were buyers from New York City and the ever-present Cida Goncalves from Los Angeles.
Also large was the Turkish contingent that included seven TRT content sales staff members, headed by Meltem Tümtürk Akyol (pictured in the center), programmers, cast members of TRT series and producers, as well as representatives from other Turkish TV channels, like Melis Hamamcioglu of FOX TV, for an additional 50 people.
The five-day event, which ended May 1, also offered seminars with analyst Eylem Yanardagoglu from the Kadir Has University in Istanbul, who explained the “Attraction of Turkish Series Abroad,” and with cast members of two dramas: Resurrection and Flinta.
TRT took advantage of the Latin American participation to also explore the “Impact of Turkish Series in Latin America,” by a Todo TV reporter from Uruguay, Alejandro Sanchez, who pointed out how the new Latin TV trend for more violent “narco-novelas” is driving female Latin American viewers toward Turkish series, which tend to be romantic, as the traditional Latin telenovelas once were. Naturally, the narco-novelas appeal to the elusive young male viewers much in demand by advertisers.
Recreation activities at the Screening Days included a folkloristic show from a local cultural center, a boat trip and visits to nearby historical sites.