*By Gonzalo Larrea from Cannes, France
Owner of one of the busiest stands at the market due to its vast catalog of productions and known for hosting some incredible parties in Cannes, Global Agency’s presence is always a standout at each Miptv, but this year is the most special of all.
Because this Wednesday, Izzet Pinto, CEO of the Turkish distributor, is receiving one of Miptv’s Médailles d’Honneur
, the prestigious award given to to senior executives who have made a significant contribution to the world of television and the development of the international TV community.
“I’m very happy to be receiving the medal of honor,” Pinto said to ttvnews at the event in Cannes. “It has been my biggest dream and luckily this year they chose me as one of the four people. I feel so grateful.”
And if this wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, the Turkish company is now presenting its strongest catalog ever, with almost 20 new titles. “Each year our catalog has been getting stronger, but this year it’s quite different. For the first time we are bringing 19 new projects: 11 are formats and 8 are dramas,” Pinto explained.
A Global Approach
And what truly makes this year’s catalog different is that these new titles are not dominated by Turkish productions, but rather many come from multiple territories. “The dramas are from Spain, Portugal, Russia and Turkey. And our formats come from seven different countries,” he said.
“I have never wanted my company to be seen as just a local Turkish company. That’s why our name is actually Global Agency, because we are a global company. We always try to represent projects from all around the world. I think that’s what makes us different from other distributors,” he added.
Owner of a catalog that consists “of 50% formats and 50% dramas,” Global Agency’s goal is “to continue this growth and to become a much bigger player in the world,” Pinto noted.
Co-Production, a New Business Adventure
And this international growth could come hand in hand with the Turkish company’s expanding business, as it delves into the world of co-production. “Global Agency is now very much considering entering into this field, to be partnering in co-productions,” Pinto announced. “To find major companies in other countries and produce content in Turkey.”
The executive revealed the company is really focusing efforts for this new initiative, “seeing it as an entirely different unit” called Global Agency Copro, complete with a new executive appointed to oversee the co-production business. “It’s a new step for us,” he said.
“What we’ll do for co-productions is try to find the clients, put them together and generate the business. We don’t really want to be involved in the production, for us it’s all about connecting people,” he explained.
As a trial for this new venture and a standout in its catalog is Sultan of my Heart, a period drama co-produced by KIT Film Studio in Russia and Maya TV Productions in Turkey. “It’s the first time we see a co-production between Russia and Turkey and if it works, it could open new doors,” the CEO said.
The new period drama, which presents “more of a romantic story than a big drama,” he said, will premiere in Turkey by the end of May and in Russia later in September.
Another standout international title from Global Agency’s drama catalog is the period drama from Spain, Queens, created by José Luis Moreno. “It was shot in English in England by a Spanish producer, and it’s one of the highest-quality projects in our catalog,” he said.
Destination Latin America
In addition to Europe and the Middle East, another major region for Global Agency’s dramas is Latin America, where the company has been particularly busy, most recently selling its big drama series Evermore to TV Azteca in Mexico.
“I think with the success there, the whole of Latin America will be getting the project. We already sold it to one third of Latin America and I think the rest will follow Mexico,” he said.
Also succeeding in Latin America are Global Agency’s formats, where its format Keep it or Lose it had great success on SBT, prompting the network to order a second and third season. “And our cooking format, My Wife Rules, will also start on SBT two months from now,” he said. “So we see our format business booming in Latin America, besides the telenovela trend.”
The next X Factor
Comprising the other half of its catalog, Global Agency’s formats have something for every type of audience, spanning reality shows to dating shows, game shows and quiz shows. “I’m very confident about the lineup and I think we’ll make a big impact with our new shows,” the CEO said.
The catalog is led by a new format called The Legend, which will soon launch in Brazil and was actually created by Pinto himself. “It’s my own format, I created it on my own. I have big expectations for it,” he revealed. “Brazil will be the first country to launch it and I can’t wait to see it. Because if it works well, I think it can be the next X Factor.”
Another standout in Global Agency’s format catalog is The Remix, which was picked up by Amazon India and has become a big hit, streaming in over 200 countries. “I believe that now, digital companies are looking more into unscripted formats as well. Before they only acquired dramas, but now they’re entering the formats business as well. So we see them as new buyers and that could open new doors,” he explained.
Part of these new doors and opportunities could come in the shape of apps, another business venture the Turkish company is delving into. “We are opening a new division for mobile apps, and we will be launching mobile apps for our formats,” he announced. The first is a real-time guessing game app designed for The Legend, which is now launching.