Established as a leading producer in France, Gaumont was able to make a name for itself in Latin America through Narcos, the original series offered on Netflix worldwide, which is now just weeks away from premiering its fourth season.
The series currently stands as the first of many the French company wants to produce in Latin America, as it continues to search for new partners and projects to co-develop in the region, that can mimic the Netflix drama’s unprecedented success.
“We will be announcing very soon our first Latin American co-production deal for an 8-episode drama series with several additional projects in the pipeline,” said Vanessa Shapiro, President of Worldwide TV Distribution and Co-Production at Gaumont, who spoke to ttvnews about the company’s plans and initiatives in the region.
Vanessa Shapiro, President of Worldwide TV Distribution and Co-Production at Gaumont
The fourth season of Narcos, which is set in Mexico, will premiere this upcoming November 16 on Netflix. What are Gaumont's expectations for the new season?
Narcos fans everywhere are looking forward to the new season which moves away from Colombia -where Narcos spent the first three seasons- to Mexico, exploring the origins of the modern drug war by going back to its roots, beginning at a time when the Mexican trafficking world was a loose and disorganized confederation of independent growers and dealers.
Seasons one through three were a hit with audiences around the world and season four will continue to deliver all of the same elements people have come to expect from the show: outstanding performances, high production values, and engaging, binge-worthy storylines.
This brand of storytelling, based on a series of actual events and played out over multiple seasons, has proven to be a winning formula with the global audience.
Continuing with the development of original local productions, what are Gaumont's plans in the region? What opportunities are you looking for?
Latin America is a major focus for Gaumont for TV production, and our expansion there is led by Ezequiel Olzanski, Vice President, Latin American TV Distribution and Co-Production, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Latin America is the next logical step for Gaumont, and part of our overarching goal to create quality local language content throughout the region given the extensive amount of talent and rich stories with mass appeal.
We are looking for projects and talent to partner with to create big event series that can coexist with Narcos in order to further expand our offering. These could be dramas or comedies, across many genres such as crime procedurals, but all of which will have international themes that appeal to a global audience.
We feel the time is right given the growth the region is currently experiencing and we want to get involved as early as possible and secure good partners to co-develop, co-finance and eventually co-produce and then distribute content.
Ezequiel Olzanski, Vice President, Latin American TV Distribution and Co-Production at Gaumont
Generally speaking, what's your outlook on Latin America regarding the development deals that could happen in a near future?
Given the rapid growth the region is currently experiencing, we are quite optimistic about the potential to ramp up our Latin American production development slate. We have a dedicated person on our team who is constantly sourcing and reading scripts and treatments in order to identify exciting new, high potential projects. We are in a proactive position with Ezequiel in the market and are ready to make deals, option deals or co-develop and co-finance.
And what about stories? Is Gaumont looking for original stories in the region?
Original IP is always optimal, yes, however we do not limit our opportunities as overall we are looking for impactful, relevant and relatable stories. These are what audiences want and that is what we strive to deliver.
What new project are you working on for Latin America? What's its current status?
We will be announcing very soon our first Latin American co-production deal for an 8-episode drama series with several additional projects in the pipeline.
What can you tell us about the distribution of Gaumont's library?
With the opening of our new office in Argentina we have increased our presence in the territory, and distribution in the region is a priority. Most recently we licensed the slapstick animated series Furiki Wheels to Nat Geo Kids, which will debut on the channel in November.
What's Gaumont presenting at Mipcom 2018?
Gaumont has picked the linear international distribution rights to El Chapo from Univision’s Story House Entertainment inclusive of the digital rights in the U.S. We are also finalizing and strengthening relationships for the TV linear rights for our series Narcos with partners around the world.