Keshet International is adding to the region's powerful drama projects: a premium series with Naim Media Group, a biblical fiction in Brazil, a super series with TV Azteca and a millennial drama. Kelly Wright reviews all the projects.
* By Gonzalo Larrea, from Cannes, France
The fact that Keshet International (KI) is taking Latin America seriously as a market for content production is no news. The inauguration of its Keshet MX division earlier this year boosted exponentially the Israeli company's business in the region.
During this Mipcom, ttvnews spoke with Kelly Wright, VP of Distribution and New Business at KI and also company Director for Latin America, to learn more about the many projects they have in place.
A Political Thriller in Argentina by Naím Media Group
One of the biggest news revealed by KI was a co-development agreement with Naím Media Group (El Comandante) to co-produce a premium series in Argentina that is conceived for the international market.
"We partnered up with Moisés and Andrés Naím, from Naím Media Group, on a political thriller, which takes place around very important events in Argentina, from the 90's until today, which are still ongoing, and we’re really working into making this an international coproduction," said Wright to ttvnews.
"There is a lot of corruption in the story, there is a lot of vice, and death; everything we love in a political thriller but on an international scale. We see it as a global show, not just Latin America," he added.
The project is in a development stage, and has already found its scriptwriters. "We will now begin to approach international buyers who can enter as co-producers. I hope we can start production by the end of next year," mentioned the executive.
Biblical Series in Brazil
Another important project that KI has in the works is a Brazilian biblical drama. Wright is quick to clarify: "It will be very different from the biblical telenovelas that are captivating audiences in Latin America, because it will be a premium series."
However, same as the others, the show will share the themes, time, political atmosphere and religious turbulence, as well as the exciting context of the growth of the Roman Empire.
"We will do it in Brazil, where they already have impressive production facilities for biblical fictions. Anyone who has seen Moses and the Ten Commandments or The Rich and The Lazarus will want to see it. We want to capitalize on that because we come from Israel, the land of the Bible. And we think it's the right time to get this story out," said KI’s executive.
What’s the stage of production? "We currently have enough developed for five seasons, there are some scripts already written. We will come forward to present it with great force heading into Natpe."
Super Series for Mexico with TV Azteca
It was undoubtedly one of the great announcements at this year's Mipcom: KI and TV Azteca allied to co-develop and co-produce a new original super series in Spanish, to be released in Mexico in 2018.
Kelly Wright will oversee the project, while its production will be tasked to Joshua Mintz, advisor to the General Directorate of TV Azteca. "He's a really excellent executive who anticipates what the audience wants. He's very innovative in creating stories," she said.
Thus, this 60-episode super series of will be the first Latin American fiction to enter KI’s catalog. "As we continue to grow with our Keshet MX production division, well add more Spanish-language fictions," assured the executive.
Bandolero, a Fiction for Unattended Millennials
Announced last August, musical series Bandolero is another project that is born from Keshet MX, in this case in co-production with Campanario Entertainment.
"It's a story that empowers millennials, something that we see is missing on today's television. We found a niche that's being neglected by free-to-air TV, pay-tv and OTTs," said Wright.
And what is that niche? The directive explains that today's teenagers make up a generation with different morals and values, more concerned about the environment, and very different from their parents, with a different sense of justice.
And Bandolero is a series that comes into the market to fill that gap, with music and friendship as central themes, but also giving a center stage to themes of social responsibility.
Masters of Dance, the Show That Will Reunite Families in Front of TV
As for entertainment formats, a key area for KI, the director for Latin America highlighted the new "big talent show" they are presenting to the international market: Masters of Dance.
It is a competition reality that is getting very high ratings in Israel, where it competes against Survivor, and already has "agreements" in Asia, Europe and the US. "By the end of this year we expect to have news in Latin America," Wright said.
According to the executive, the show has an enormous potential in the region: it’s competitive, very colorful, and with dancing at its core.
To begin taking Masters of Dance around the world, KI is focusing in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, as well as Chile.
"I think these countries are looking for something new in entertainment. Many shows have been on the air for a long time, and many new shows have not worked. A format like Masters of Dance can reunite families in front of TVs again," concluded Kelly Wright.
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