This year, some 1,500 buyers are, as usual, expected to converge for the L.A. Screenings. Held May 18-28 right on the heels of the Upfronts in New York, the L.A. Screenings is the premier event of the year for the U.S. studios. As usual, the first 4-5 days will comprise the Independent Screenings (mostly for Latin buyers) at the Century Park Hotel, and give smaller companies a chance to shine at what is still a largely studio-dominated event. VideoAge spoke to a handful of such indie distributors to find out their plans for the market and what new product they plan to debut. For more information on the L.A. Screenings, please visit:

“Mini-major” FremantleMedia Ent. will be on hand with a slate of new series and formats. Sheila Aguirre, the company’s Miami, Florida-based SVP Sales & Development, Latin America, Caribbean & Hispanic U.S., was enthusiastic about the event. “It continues to be of importance to us, especially in regards to our LatAm activity, which is a significant part of our business.” Regarding her plans for the market, Aguirre stressed the networking aspect of the Screenings: “We’ve been particularly busy in the U.S. cable and drama space recently, and have developed a number of relationships with U.S.-based drama producers and creators, so the L.A. Screenings is not only a good place to talk to broadcasters about what we’re doing, but it also gives us a platform to develop even more relationships.”

Meanwhile, L.A.-based Lionsgate’s Peter Iacono named two new shows the company will be premiering in Santa Monica: Boss and Nail Files. The former is a political drama starring Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), and the latter Iacono described as “Jersey Shore comes west…but classy.” Plus, Iacono noted that Grammer as well as Boss director Gus van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) will be on hand at the Screenings lending their star power to the Lionsgate suite.

Prentiss Fraser of U.K.-based eOne is also bringing a team to the event. “As we have a large L.A. office, we’ll definitely have a presence at the Screenings this year,” she said. Fraser and company will be using the screenings to highlight product such as drama The Walking Dead, season two of Rookie Blue and The Yard.

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