Rebooted: Q&A with Géraldine Gonard, Conecta FICTION director

Geraldine Gonard

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, industry shows around the globe have had to adapt to the changing circumstances. Here, Conecta FICTION director Géraldine Gonard, reveals what attendees can expect from the 2020 event.

 

This year’s Conecta FICTION will offer both virtual and physical events, how will these two aspects compliment each other?

Due to exceptional circumstances, the fourth edition of Conecta FICTION becomes Conecta FICTION Reboot, a hybrid event that combines both on-site and online activities. The event will be held in two dates: on the week of 15-18 June, 2020, in an online format in the Conecta FICTION website and on 2-3 September, 2020, in an on-site (and online) format in the Baluarte Congress Center, in Pamplona-Iruña (Navarra, Spain). After each date, the online platform will remain open and its services available to all participants for one more week.

In order to carry out both events, we have designed an online platform that facilitates the interpersonal connection in hopes of boosting the industry and encouraging new co-productions. The registered participants will find a specific app that offers an “individual zone” for the contact between participants and a “common zone” in which they can attend sessions, panel discussions and presentations. This platform will remain active throughout June, and in September it will be complemented by on-site pitching sessions on September 2 and 3 at the Baluarte Congress Center (in Pamplona). The participants will be able to assist in person or connect through the online platform. We understand that virtual reunions cannot fully replace the personal interaction, and we are working hard to reproduce the same environment on our online event.

How far along are your plans for the physical event and what can potential attendees expect?

We are working on this event as a whole, and that certainly entails that we are preparing content for September rather than only focusing on the activities in June. In September, participants will be able to reactivate their list of contacts through the online platform and in person, and they will also have personal assistance from the event management team. Conecta FICTION is a rather exclusive event (only 700 people approximately) that usually takes place in June, and our priority is to make possible an encounter between professionals. Of course, all necessary measures established during the dates of the event will be taken to maintain the participant’s security in the on-site event. The capacity of the on-site event will be limited regarding sanitary restrictions.

Conecta FICTION Reboot on-site format will remain similar to previous editions of Conecta FICTION. There will be a programme of on-site panels and keynotes with top executives of the industry and talent of fiction series. On these dates, the pitching sessions of the different Conecta FICTION call for projects will also be held (Pitch Copro Series, Pitch Short-Form Series, Pitch Fundación SGAE and Pitch Clips).

Furthermore, as we have already announced, the semi-final round of the Emmy Awards in the short-form series category will take place during the on-site part of Conecta FICTION Reboot. The selection round will be held also on September at the Baluarte Congress Center in Pamplona ​​(Navarra, Spain).

Conecta FICTION is the only international TV event organised in Spain, and it has established itself as one of the must-go events to find co-producers for fiction series that are seeking European and/or American partners. This event has been especially successful among European producers that are unfamiliar with the Latin-American industry and the representatives of the US Hispanics. Conecta answers to a real market demand, and we will be working during the summer to offer the best results and to ensure the necessary conditions for the participants accredited for September to be able to come to Spain or to connect through the online platform.

Tell us about some of the highlights of the virtual line-up and how online is opening up new opportunities?

We are trying to reproduce as accurately as possible what the on-site event would have been. That is why we have established two zones on the online platform: the individual zone, where each participant may decide with whom they want to meet; and the common zone, in which you can find panels, conferences and online keynotes.

This year, our program is defined by the word REBOOT and we will address current and practical topics. There will be an Industry Rebooting, a Talent Rebooting and a Coproduction Rebooting. We want to offer constructive and useful content for professionals. For instance, prospects of new tax incentives, special connections with France and the US executives, case study of international co-productions such as The Mallorca Files and several areas dedicated to women in the TV industry in Conecta WO(MEN).

In addition, there are also the Conecta TALKS section where we will offer workshops with limited places and small meetings that will enable the interaction between speakers and participants. And finally, participants will also have Conecta SPOTLIGHT where they will find content presentations and screenings. This year, we foresee that many executives will attend the forum looking for ready to air productions.  In this section we will present for the first time to the international market the new Movistar+ series Police Riot, a TV series that has raised a lot of expectations.

Co-productions seem likely to become even more prevalent post-lockdown, what does Conecta FICTION have to offer those looking for new international production partners?

Exactly. Co-production will possibly become the best formula to tell stories. But, above all, it will be the formula to acquire the budget required to tell a story successfully.

From the very beginning, Conecta FICTION has been a forum that hasn’t revolved around numbers, our philosophy does not involve having a long list of attendees. In fact, we limit the number of participants and we do not wish to grow too much because it would make it more difficult for the participants to get to know each other and find things in common, thus hampering the connection between people. What we want is to offer quality and exclusivity when the time comes to meet and show the projects to executives with decision-making power to close deals.

The driving force of Conecta FICTION is the idea that Europe and America are the two continents with the most cultural connections, hence with a higher capacity to create stories together. In Conecta we talk about realities. There are projects that have been born in our event and have spread around the world. For example, Invisible Heroes which is a co-production between Finland and Chile distributed by Eccho Rights.

We believe that all stories deserve to be told, and we offer a platform that allows everyone to find the partner their story needs. We only accept participants from Europe and America, and the participant profile are global platforms, TV channels, investors, talent, and producers.

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