Joshua Mintz, Chief Content Officer at Dori Media, spoke to ttvnews about this new stage in his career, as well as the company’s strategy to co-develop and co-produce new original projects of high impact and global scale.
In June of this year, Dori Media Group announced the appointment of former TV Azteca executive, Joshua Mintz, as Chief Content Officer.
A month after the announcement, the executive with more than 30 years of experience in the audiovisual industry and now based in Jerusalem spoke to ttvnews about the company’s plans to search for international partners with the aim of co-developing and co-producing original high-impact, international titles.
What does this new stage in your career imply?
I am very grateful to Nadav Palti, Givon Snir and Tami Mozes; that they are giving me a chance to work on something completely new for me. It is an important step because it means working for another company, but also in another culture and learning different processes and possibilities, in a position that is also very different from the one I had been in before. Because my current role has a very interesting mix between the creative side -production per se and finding interesting content-, but it has an important load on the business side. This time I am also jointly responsible for setting up the business and distribution.
Today the production and distribution of content has evolved…
All of this has changed in an important way. It is no longer just having a very good idea and a very good project, but there are many possibilities of who to do it with and the projects’ size. I see it as when I went from Mexico to the US, like when I went from Univision to Telemundo and TV Azteca. I see it as something completely new and I take it with the same enthusiasm as when I was 20 years old, to do something new and not only work, but learn from my colleagues. I work with very talented people with great experience.
In addition to the US Hispanic and Latin America, Dori Media also works on projects in other international markets…
My area of expertise is naturally the Spanish-speaking market, which creates synergy with what we want, because we are also seeing projects in Turkey. The issue is that there is a great demand for products in Spanish, but at the same time there is a demand for the drama genre. So these two important needs are brought together with a company that has a large, well-known catalog, with a significant amount of intellectual property that is ripe to be remade. And we have access to creators who are naturally looking and who we know, both in Israel and in Mexico, the US and Latin America.
In this sense, Dori Media already has projects in Argentina and Turkey, but there are also developments for Canada and the US, as well as for other Latin American markets such as Mexico or Colombia…
Exactly. We already have projects that are very advanced for Turkey, Argentina and we will soon have projects, which I cannot reveal, for Mexico, but they will be produced in Mexico and whose main markets are the US, Hispanic and pan-regional. At the same time, we realize that production in Spanish transcends borders thanks to how the materials are now distributed. A Mexican product can be a global success, just as a Danish product is a global success.
We are focused on generating high quality content. I in particular, in the genre and the territories that I dominate, and which are also territories that Dori Media also knows, regardless of the fact that Dori Media has original material on Apple TV+ and has just sold a very important series to Channel 4 in England. But these titles are also to be viewed in other markets. I have access to a lot of material and this first month has been to start deciding what we have and who we can work with. For it having only been a month, the truth is, we are working pretty fast.
What is the plan for working in a market like Turkey?
The people who work in Turkey make very high quality TV and are masters of drama, and they have also opened important markets. What we want on the one hand is to create content that transcends languages from the idiomatic point of view in Spanish and Turkish. And on the other hand, there are sensational original stories in Turkey that we also want to develop for the international market, having one foot in Turkey of course. From a geographical point of view it is also close. Turkey is the same distance to us as Mexico from Miami.
Where do the new projects come from?
It’s a very good question. When I arrived at the company I asked: what is the mission? Where are we going to get the stories from? We have a very large amount of intellectual property in the company. We are beginning to see which one is ready to adapt. There is intellectual property that has worked very well locally and is opening markets, such as Little Mom in England. I see Little Mom as a great possibility for Latin America. So we have our own IP, but we are also looking for content creators. Our intention is not to commission projects. We are jointly responsible for development and execution. We want to be partners in the whole process.
What opportunity do you see for Hispanic content in this globalized universe of streamers?
Our market has worked for many years in the same way and in the last two or three years it has matured to make higher quality content as the international market is used to. I believe that international audiences will find quality Latin production and stories that are attractive to them. At this point, language is no longer a barrier. Both the subtitles and the dubbing are spectacular.
Really the quality of the production and the script play an important role, but you do need great actors who act exceptionally well, because the name of the actor may be important for a certain region, but for the rest of the world his interpretation is going to be the most important aspect. When it comes to Borgen I know one or two actors. But they are not really actors whose name tells me anything, other than their brilliant performance that I am seeing in a language that I do not know with Spanish subtitles. I think this is a very important lesson for all of us who work in the Latin American market. A good story produced, well acted, well executed has great international possibilities. The series Who Killed Sara? By Netflix who wrote the “Chascas” José Ignacio Valenzuela with Roberto Stopello is a perfect example of a well-executed drama. A very important international success. I am pleased to have worked with both. They did a spectacular job.
What’s your outlook on the current competition for creative talent?
I think this is an incredible time in which there were no longer large groups that had a monopoly on talent and that talent could not move. And when I talk about talents I am not only talking about actors, but I am talking about the writer, the producer and the director. There is great mobility and mobility only generates positive things. As long as this incredible moment of product demand continues and there is this volume of production it will continue to be an incredible moment for talent. The young talent is going to be sheltering the talent that has more experience to do the normal rotation. Just as when I was young there were fewer possibilities to develop yourself in the audiovisual business in Mexico, now there are really a number of production companies and possibilities for your product to be seen and for you to have job opportunities that I think is incredible. It is a time of great opportunity.