Early last month, VideoAge met JP Bommel, president and CEO of NATPE , for breakfast at a downtown New York City restaurant in order to go over NATPE Budapest plans.

Perhaps unsurprisingly after a successful NATPE Miami last January, the Los Angeles-based non-profit, National Association of TV Program Executives, is hoping for a similar hit in Budapest, June 19-22, 2017 (the event is to be held a week earlier than last year). The venue will be the same: The InterContinental Hotel on the Pest side of the city, facing the Danube River, next to the Chain Bridge that connects to the Buda section of the city.

At press time (late May) some 133 exhibitors from 60 countries have been confirmed to attend. They will exhibit in four areas: suites on the third floor, plus stands, meeting tables and viewing boxes in the hall on the second floor.

Last year, when the market reclaimed the NATPE Budapest name (from NATPE Europe) and returned to Budapest after a two-year stint in Prague, the event registered 274 participating companies with 436 acquisition executives. A similar number is expected this year.

Equally impressive is the line-up of exhibitors, with such companies as A+E, All3Media, Armoza Formats, Breakthrough Entertainment, Caracol, eOne, Mediaset, RAI and Mondo TV. The U.S. studios’ participation will also be strong with CBS, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Fox, Warner Bros. and Viacom. The contingent from Turkey will include ATV, Global Agency and Kanal D.

Like in past years, the event is divided into three parts: Screenings, conference and a market. The screenings staged by the major U.S. studios will take place on June 19 (for Warner Bros. and Lionsgate) and on June 20 (for CBS, NBCUniversal and Fox). On June 19 two seminars focusing on CEE issues are scheduled, as well as the now-traditional buyers’ welcoming party (in the afternoon).

During the market, which will start on Tuesday, June 20, there will also be three seminars on day one, exploring co-production, and three seminars on day two, one of which focuses on Turkey. The start of the market will be celebrated with an Opening Day Party, and on the afternoon of June 21, a NATPE-sponsored closing party will mark the conclusion of the event.

NATPE Budapest will also play host to a CEE Regional Producers’ Summit on June 20. The event has been devised to meet the needs of local and regional emerging producers and content creators. The summit will offer networking access to senior executives from leading international production companies and experts in sales and include the opportunity to hear successful strategies, as well as a pitch feedback session with representatives from top international distribution companies.

From Israel, Armoza’s Anat Lewinsky commented: “We definitely see a strong growth in NATPE [Budapest] and believe it’s an important market to attend for the Eastern European region.” She added, “Bringing back the market to Budapest was a smart move and has contributed to its continued growth.”

Similarly, Jodi Mackie of Canada’s Breakthrough said: “NATPE Budapest has definitely been instrumental in our company’s goal to grow throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Additionally, the organizers have done a great job of organizing informative sessions and Q&As stacked with experts that can speak first-hand to these trends. We also look forward to attending the co-production sessions.”

Lewinsky added: “We have found that a significant number of clients who are at NATPE Budapest don’t attend other markets – we have seen this especially with the niche channels and platforms, as well as with local producers from the region.”

Concurred Mackie: “Some [CEE buyers] are less likely to attend the major markets sometimes due to budget restrictions.” And, she continued, “There is great diversity in programming needs throughout the region. We’ve had great success with our family movies in the region; Anne of Green Gables and Bruno & Boots recently licensed by HBO CEE. Additionally, Discovery Poland has licensed three of our premium documentary series, Resilient Cities, Descending and Boundless.”

Concluded Lewinsky, “We are asked for all types of content, from scripted to primetime entertainment, factual entertainment and finished tapes across all genres.”

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