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Trends watch: NATPE Budapest – Red Arrow Studios International

Red Arrow’s Bo Stehmeier, SVP of global sales at its international arm, discusses the hottest trends in CEE and what buyers want.

What is your main focus at NATPE Europe?
With the formats business in CEE continuing to grow, we will be focusing on our scripted remakes, such as Lice Mother – the hit Netherlands comedy, alongside factual reality content and social experiments such as Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds – winner of two International Format Awards this year. We’ll also be aiming to place Red Arrow Studios International’s growing factual and documentary catalogue with local broadcasters and platforms, including a range of theatrical feature docs and new primetime event documentary Man’s First Friend.

Who are your main clients?
Our main clients are broadcasters, as well as production companies. VOD platforms also offer exciting new business possibilities and have opened up a wealth of new commercial opportunities. CEE is a very diverse market and we are in a fortunate position to have such a broad catalogue, enabling us to work with many different players in the region.

What kind of programming does best in CEE?
Scripted remakes perform very well, alongside social experiment series with emotional and topical themes, such as our hit Married at First Sight. Primetime entertainment shows that are ripe for product placement and sponsorship opportunities are also growing, while German TV movies and factual content remains popular, such as our evergreen science-tainment series, Galileo, which is a huge brand in many CEE markets.

What trends are you seeing in the region?
As there is room to be creative and experimental in CEE, scripted remakes are booming in the region. Localised content really works best in the market and is easy to produce. Sponsorship-friendly access primetime shows also continue to thrive.

How important is original programming to a CEE audience?
It’s very important to CEE audiences that they have local faces and language on their screens, along with humour and themes tailored to them. While humour can be hard to translate across markets, we’ve had great success in CEE with crime dramedy The Last Cop, along with Match and Lice Mother. We have many other local remakes currently in development.