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Trends watch: NATPE Budapest International

Ahead of this year’s event, TBI speaks to NATPE president and CEO JP Bommel on what to expect from the newly branded and outward-looking NATPE Budapest International.

TBI: This is your third year as NATPE president. What do you set out to do differently from previous years?
This year our June event is entitled NATPE Budapest International. This reflects the expanded nature of the market. While the focus remains on Central and Eastern Europe, we are broadening our outreach to encompass the EMEA and MENA regions and we are already seeing interest from companies from these areas.

How does NATPE Budapest now stand out from other international markets?
For over 55 years NATPE has created events that have enabled all parts of the content industry to come together.

While the industry itself is changing, the core of our work is not. Meeting our clients face-to-face, learning about their challenges and opportunities, and talking to them about content continues to be an important part of our industry.

We are still operating in a world where relationships are vital and a focused and boutique event such as NATPE Budapest International gives everyone extra time to spend together and understand each other’s needs better.

The more we talk and understand about the changes in creating and selling programmes, the less frightening the escalating evolution of our business will be for us all.

Will the studios be screening new content at NATPE Budapest that they launched at the LA Screenings in May?
As in previous years we have been working with the studios to help them have a clear period of time to organise their screenings and showcase hot new shows in Budapest straight from the 2018 LA Screenings.

We already have screenings confirmed with Warner Bros, CBS, NBC, with others set to join.

We make a real effort to allocate these at set times throughout the event to enable buyers and acquisitions executives the opportunity to visit the market floor to meet all the companies at the market.

What can buyers look forward to at this years’ market in Budapest?
While the marketplace remains the centrepiece of NATPE Budapest International we have carefully crafted a limited number of very relevant sessions that will inform and drive discussions during the market and help identify business opportunities in CEE, EMEA and MENA.

We are curating an international insight session to give buyers and sellers an up-to-date overview of programming trends. Other panel discussions will look at the current status of international drama production and co-production as well as distribution strategies for unscripted formats.

We are also hosting a number of lunchtime and evening networking events, as well as concluding with the extremely popular third annual Pitch & Play Live! which will again showcase brand new and innovative formats from the CEE region with international potential.

Are there any trends in programming for CEE for the year?
Viewers around the world are calling for more and more content to keep pace with their ever-increasing opportunities to screen at anytime, anywhere.

With the growth in SVOD, AVOD and OTT niche and local platforms, the demand for content continues to build and we are seeing a definite upturn in the development of locally produced content from Central and Eastern Europe – across all genres.