OGM Universe, the new distribution arm of the successful OGM Pictures, will present its most recent titles, Broken Destiny and Stickman, in Miami, while working on generating new lines of business, such as the co-production of remakes of its successful dramas, many arising from adaptations of the works of Dr. Gülseren Budayıcıoğlu.
After four years of constant successes, OGM Pictures, a company founded in 2019 by Onur Güvenatam, arrives in Miami with a new distribution arm, OGM Universe, led by Ekin Koyuncu.
In her role as Director of Global Deals and Distribution at OGM Universe, Koyuncu will lead the international business of the prolific production company, which has been behind hits like The Innocents, My Home, My Destiny, Chrysalis and Golden Boy, among others.
“In just a few years, OGM Pictures has created an outstanding track record, both in linear and non-linear offerings, with titles that go beyond the usual characters and stories patterns, which is the difference maker of the company,” Koyuncu said in dialogue with ttv.
The growth of the production side – partly after his agreement with Star TV that will lead to an increase in the number of annual titles – led OGM to make the decision of taking control of its international sales. “OGM Universe will not focus solely on the global distribution of content, but we will also give a lot of weight to new lines of business, such as co-production with partners around the world,” explained the executive.
Koyuncu considers that titles like Golden Boy, Red Room or Chrysalis -distributed by Eccho Rights, but whose IP belong to OGM- are ideal for local remakes: “They are spectacular stories,” she commented. “I would love to see a local version of Red Room, in a different territory, in another language.”
Among the first titles that OGM will be distributing is Broken Destiny, a drama that made history in Turkey, being the first one to compete directly with local news, after Star TV’s decision to slot the drama at the coveted time of 6 pm.
“We tried something different with Broken Destiny,” Koyuncu explained. “It’s a daily series, but in terms of ‘look and feel,’ and because of its budget, it compares more to a prime time series.”
The series, a family melodrama that has an impossible love as its narrative axis, is produced by Stellar Yapim, the producer of İnci Gülen Oarr, who was behind Elif, Mother’s Love and Wounder Birds.
“The plot of Broken Destiny is unusual and exciting,” Koyuncu noted. “At the center is the family dynamic, with very real stories, something that is the essence of İnci Gülen Oarr’s series”.
A SUCCESFUL PARTNERTSHIP
One of the big names that rose behind the scenes during this international success of Turkish dramas is Dr. Gülseren Budayıcıoğlu. A psychiatrist with 50 years of experience, a referent in Turkey, and the author of multiple best-sellers, whose books have been adapted and produced some of the great Turkish titles of recent years, such as The Innocents, Red Room, My Home, My Destiny, Golden Boy and Chrysalis, all by OGM Pictures.
“Dr. Budayıcıoğlu has become an internationally recognized name,” Koyuncu commented. “She points out that her job is to listen and understand pain, and this is very important, because pain is the source of the violence we see in real life.”
Pain and violence are at the center of Stickman, OGM’s new adaptation of a work by Budayıcıoğlu. “At OGM we believe that, as a society, to stop violence we must take actions. The first thing is to present to the audience what violence is, physical and, especially, emotional; show how it ruins lives. We are also explaining why a bad person became a bad person. What is underlining that violence?
Stickman debuted at the end of 2022 with excellent numbers, a huge impact on ratings, and great repercussions on social networks, something that Koyuncu attributes to its powerful story and the high level of the performances.
In the series, Peri and Tamer have many similarities, but they don’t know it; both have not received affection from their mothers, which has made them feel undeserving of love. In a impulse, Tamer kidnaps Peri and locks her in his cellar. Despite this action, and as the days go by, both begin to open up to each other and find comfort in each other hearts.
“Tamer’s role is a very difficult one, because he is an introverted character, where a lot has to be communicated through body language and facial expressions,” Koyuncu explained. “An experienced actor like Engin Altan Düzyatan managed to connect with the audiences.”
The executive also highlighted the work of actress Elçin Sangu, considering her ability to convey Peri’s pain and sadness “admirable”. “Her portrayal has left the audience breathless,” she said.
“It is a series where you have to expect the unexpected,” Koyuncu stressed.
The drama has had a huge impact on social networks, something that Koyuncu follows closely: “Every episode I see people from all over the world commenting, in more than twenty languages, as if they were experiencing it themselves,” he said.
Stickman, like Broken Destiny, has been licensed to Israel. Broken Destiny has also been sold to Romania.
THE NEW CONTENT THAT WILL COME THIS YEAR
Looking ahead, OGM Universe will add to its catalog other important titles that the producing arm will place on the Star TV screen during 2023. The first will arrive in March: it is Ab-ı Hayat, whose translation is ‘Water of Life’ , although the international title is not set. “It’s a very strong women-oriented drama,” Koyuncu explained. The title features the director Hilal Saral, who was behind Forbidden Love and Fatmagül, among others. The series takes as its starting point the film The Age of Adaline and follows the story of a laboratory assistant who appears to be 30 years old, but is actually a 115-year-old man who does not age, played by Birkan Sokullu (The Innocents, Flames of Desire). The female lead is work of the renowned Ebru Sahin (Destan).
Another anticipated title this year – considered the main title of 2023 for OGM – is If the King Loses, the adaptation of another book by Dr. Gülseren Budayıcıoğlu. “This is her favorite book,” Koyuncu noted. “The main character is someone that she followed for twenty years and with whom she had a very close bond. Dr. Budayıcıoğlu assures that to this day, when she reads the end of this book, she still cries”. “It is a universal story that we believe should be presented to the world,” added the executive.