Ahmet Ziyalar, president and COO of Inter Medya, spoke to ttvnews about the company’s strategy to face the new wave of co-productions between the Hispanic and Turkish worlds, as well as its newest titles for the international market.
After rumors and negotiations, co-production between Turkey and Latin America is slowly becoming a reality, with several projects already in the works.
And Turkish distributor Inter Medya, one of the companies leading Turkish drama’s international expansion, has its own approach to this new area of business: being the middleman between the regions, making the most of their relationships to facilitate coproductions for later distribution.
“Turkish and Latin American audiences have the same viewership habits. So we feel close to broadcasters and producers from Latin America,” said Ahmet Ziyalar, president and COO of Inter Medya.
“In Turkey we have a giant industry for drama production and what Inter Medya wants is to be the middleman that gets Latin American and Turkish producers together to later distribute the products that come from those alliances,” he added.
The plan is already being set in motion, as proven during the last edition of Mipcom with the deal between acclaimed Turkish producer TIMS&B Productions, and one of the most important independent producers in Spain, Plano a Plano, which announced a co-development deal. The production will then be distributed by Inter Medya.
And in Latin America, the company is already working on other projects which haven’t been announced yet.
We have a couple of projects we’ve been working on for almost a year. We haven’t signed anything yet, but we are close to being able to announce something,” he said.
In addition, Inter Medya has delved into original production in Turkey this year with Behzat Ç, a short premium series developed for a Turkish OTT platform.
“We produced Behzat Ç, which had aired in Turkey six years ago. It was a cult series and after that time, there was pressure from the audience to have it return to the screen. We decided to invest in this production. It’s now on air in Turkey on digital platform BluTV. After those six years it’s been fully embraced by audiences, especially on social media, becoming a phenomenon,” he said.
“Our first goal for this product wasn’t the international market, but rather the local audience. There was plenty of interest from audiences for this product. It has a fan following that have been waiting for the new season for six years. They are very happy,” he added.
Following this positive experience, the executive believes Inter Medya could do it again in the future, but only with similar products.
“We had produced a few game shows in the past, but when it comes to drama, this is our first production. We can’t say we want to be traditional Turkish drama producers. What we want is to invest in this type of niche products that can air on digital platforms,” he explained.
Diversifying the Catalog
In regard to traditional distribution, over the past few years Inter Medya has expanded its catalog of strong dramas -like Bitter Lands or Broken Wings- with new genres, including animations, formats, miniseries and films.
“We are trying to enrich our catalog with new genres,” he said. The representation of the Exatlon format, as well as short series Innocent and Bozkir, are a few examples.
“We also have new products such as the series Love You Once. Our catalog used to have a hit title called Forgive Me and I think Love You Once will mimic that success,” he added.
“And we have different types of products, 10-episode series, which have been filmed for digital platforms in Turkey. It’s something new for us. It’s Innocent and Bozkir. They are powerful dramas and we believe audiences will appreciate them.”
“Lastly we have formats like Exatlon, which is doing great in almost ten territories around the world. And then there’s Power Couple, a title we believe in very much and know it will be very successful in the near future,” he concluded.