The Turkish distributor, internationally recognized for its successful work with TRT’s vast content catalog, arrives at Mipcom with a big surprise: its first co-production, the upcoming drama Bahar, alongside TRT’s strong dramas, like The Secret of an Angel.
As in every event, the catalog represented by Mistco is one of the strongest in the market when it comes to international dramas, as a result of its representation agreement with TRT, Turkey’s main broadcaster. For Mipcom Cannes 2022, the distributor will present titles such as The Secret of an Angel, Reckless Love, Perfect Match and Balkan Lullaby, in addition to new seasons of The Shadow Team and The Great Seljuks: Alparslan, among others.
However, the biggest novelty in its catalog is Bahar (original name Kader Oyunlari), the first title co-produced by Mistco, in agreement with Üs Yapim.
“It is our big surprise for our partners worldwide, because as a result of Mistco’s expertise in distribution of Turkish content, we have decided to create our own IP with a co-production with Üs Yapim,” says Aysegul Tuzun, Managing Director at Mistco.
Üs Yapim is the production company responsible for titles like Hold My Hand, the Turkish best-selling title in 2019, Melek, The Blackboard and Between Us. “The two companies merge their experience, because Üs Yapim has great knowledge for producing successful dramas, both local and internationally,” explains Tuzun.
Bahar, which is already in production and set to start shooting this month, is a daily drama that sticks to the strengths of traditional Turkish storytelling: “Today any genre from Turkey is well-accepted by international audiences, but there is still demand and need for traditional Turkish dramas,” comments Tuzun. “So our project will perfectly fulfill these needs in the market.”
“As Mistco, we are confident first in our partner expertise, and we believe that Bahar offers everything that the buyers seek,” she adds.
The drama tells the story of Bahar, a young girl who, despite all the darkness that surrounds her, is struggling to keep the goodness inside her heart. After witnessing the murder of her father, Bahar is trying to prove that Aysun, her stepmother, committed the homicide. At the same, the loving relationship she is developing with Demir, whom she met just days before the death of her father, grows day by day, but things get even more complicated when Aysun also becomes obsessively attached to Demir and is determined to win him at any cost.
One of the most interesting developments behind this Mistco and Üs Yapim co-production is that it is moving forward without a broadcaster or platform behind it, something new for a Turkish production.
“We are trying a different model: we will produce the content and then we are going to look for a home for it, be it in the local or international market,” details Tuzun. “The important thing is that all international buyers trust Turkish content, doesn’t matter if it is on air in Turkey or not. Sometimes Turkish broadcast numbers doesn’t mean anything for the international success of the titles. What matters is the story, and Bahar is very strong story.”
The confidence that Mistco has on the title will translate in the production of the whole first season, without the normal dependency that Turkish titles have on broadcasters and weekly ratings.
This distinctive production model opens the opportunity for new kinds of partnerships: “We are not only looking for broadcasters, we are open to discuss any co-production opportunity, since we are still early in the production stage. I think it will be a different kind of experience for everyone in the market,” says the executive.
The distributor —now also producer— is already looking forward to extending its partnership with Üs Yapim and also developing a production branch, currently in a developmental stage: “We have a division to support the work of Üs Yapim, but since this is our first experience, we are still learning, step by step, about the production side”, says Tuzun.
“We are trying something different in the market, but we believe that having your own IP is very precious these days,” explains Tuzun. “We have been representing TRT for many years, and with a lot of success, and we believe that Mistco is one of the strongest Turkish distributors. For our company, this was a good time to move one step forward.”
“The world is changing and we hope this will open more doors for the whole industry,” added Tuzun.
Mistco Also Takes to Mipcom The Secret of an Angel, a New TRT Drama
Despite embarking on this new venture, Mistco’s main role is still as distributor of TRT’s library and upcoming titles. For Mipcom, Mistco will be highlighting new seasons of The Great Seljuks: Alparslan, a title that has been sold to over 40 countries, including a recent sale to Israel; An Anatolian Tale, this year’s highest rated Turkish drama, now entering its fourth season; and The Shadow Team, which in its third season will have Murat Yıldırım (Aziz) as the new lead.
The catalogue also includes new dramas, such as The Secret Of An Angel, a new TRT1 series about a family whose members see their lives changed abruptly by a tragedy. The series, a Gold Film production, has an impressive cast, lead by Alp Navruz (Hold My Hand) and Irem Helvacıoglu, (Lifeline).
Another ambitious new TRT production that Mistco is bringing to Cannes is the yet to be released The Hunter.