Changes are afoot at NATPE Europe, which will take place June 23-26 at the Hilton Prague. And the changes are major ones: Name and location to be exact. The event, which was previously known as NATPE Budapest and — before that — DISCOP East, has moved to Prague from Budapest for the first time this year.

“We are hopeful that the location change to Prague will give the market a boost of excitement and energy,” said Marielle Zucarelli, managing director of International Content Distribution, A+E Networks.

“We’re bringing virtually all of the activities under one roof at the Hilton. … Virtually all of the parties will be up on the roof overlooking the whole city,” said Rod Perth, president and CEO of NATPE. Perth also notes that at this time of year, Prague stays light until around 11 p.m.

Among the parties is the opening night “Welcome to Prague” party, which is being held on June 24 and sponsored by the biggest TV networks in the Czech Republic — TV Nova, Prima, Czech TV and TV Barrandov.

But the market’s demographic hasn’t changed: It still covers Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

“We hope to meet new buyers who do not typically come to MIP-TV or MIPCOM,” said Meggan Kimberley, a sales executive at Starz Worldwide Distribution, who will attend the market on her own. And, she added, “I am particularly interested in the Balkans, as I think this region has room for growth — even more so than some of the other countries.”

“During NATPE Europe, we will have a particular emphasis on reaching out to the Balkans, the Baltics and Romania,” said A+E’s Zucarelli.

This year’s market has a four-day schedule, which includes one-and-a-half days of studio program screenings and three market days.

Also new this year is a Polish programming focus. Sponsored by leading Polish companies TVN, ATM Group and Monolith Films, the spotlight on Poland will take place at a Showcase event on Wednesday, June 25 at the Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge at the Hilton. All three sponsoring companies will also participate as exhibitors in the Polish Programming Pavilion.

Another event that’s been added to the calendar is a breakfast summit entitled “Now, the Story Starts in Europe!,” which is hosted by NATPE and will take place on Tuesday, June 24.

“The co-production summit will inform people about why it’s important to put together shows in Europe,” said Perth. “We’ll have representation from senior names from Germany, the U.K. and France.”

Among those already confirmed are: Caroline Benjo, co-managing director, Haut et Court; Andrew Critchley, managing director, Red Production Company; Thomas von Hennet, vice president, International Co-Production and Documentaries, ProSiebenSat.1; writer and producer Frank Spotnitz, CEO, Big Light Productions; Matthew Stillman, managing direcor, Stillking Films and Tomas Krejci, executive producer, Milk & Honey Pictures.

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