The golden age of co-production and original content, trends in the TV industry, latest content and ideas, announcement of the winner of the TV Writing Contest and more on NEM Zagreb 2022

NEM Zagreb 2022, an event focused on the development of the TV industry in Central and Eastern Europe, took place last week for the second time at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. Focused on the CEE region and countries with lower capacity for production within the region, the goal of NEM Zagreb is to connect audiovisual professionals, producers and screenwriters with representatives of FTA television, pay TV channels, streaming services and other key decision makers from the region and Europe.



Who are the young creatives in the TV industry?


One of the most prominent events was the announcement of the winner of the TV Writing Contest. The award ceremony brought together the finalists and a large audience to find out the winners of the scripted and unscripted categories. Production companies, national broadcasters and other professionals from the TV industry such as Beta Film, Rai, Zig Zag Productions, Script Angel, Nova TV, Telekom Srbija, Joyrider, RTV Slovenia, CineLink Industry Days, the creative branch of the Sarajevo Film Festival, and independent members the jury Krisztina Gallo and Danna Stern chose young screenwriters and their projects in which they see the most potential for further development and investment.


The winners of the scripted category were Milena Džambasović and Matija Dragojević (Serbia) with the historical drama "Wool". The finalists are Katarina Belić (Serbia) with the comedy/dramedy entitled "The missing life manual" and Agne Serpytyte (Germany) with the action drama "The NFT Hunt". Hrvoje Osvadić and Jasna Nanut (Croatia) with the game show project "The Dream Pension" were declared the best in the unscripted category. The finalists in the category are Matej Merlić (Croatia) and Agne Serpytyte (Germany) with the game show "The Astronaut Experience" and Laura Pribanić (Croatia) with the documentary series "Projekt Rast(anak)".


The agency for marketing and TV industry Mediavision, also the organizer of the event, awarded the winners with valuable prizes: 3,000 euros, participation in a script writing workshop, badges for one of TV industry events, badges and a joint table for meetings at NEM Dubrovnik 2023, TV market which is being organized for June 2023. The value of participating in the TV Writing Contest continues even after its end. Submitted works and authors' contacts remain available to the jury in order to potentially develop future collaborations.



New titles which will intrigue the region and Europe


The central part of the event is dedicated to the presentation of the latest projects from the region and Europe under the name Content Showcase. During the two-hour program, 16 speakers from 6 renowned companies presented more than 30 titles that intrigued the gathered audience:

  • Firefly Productions presented international projects
  • Joomboos presented projects in development and revealed what's next in their creative workshop after the hugely popular teen series Outsiders and Thea's Diaries
  • Viaplay Group presented the original Viaplay Select content, exclusively available in the region from December 1 through the streaming service Pickbox NOW
  • RTV Slovenia presented its acclaimed crime TV series, which delighted the audience and critics, and announced new seasons
  • CineLink Drama presented three drama series in development, from Southeast Europe
  • BH Telecom presented as many as seven upcoming series, thus confirming their new role in the production of drama series at NEM Zagreb 2022



Panel discussions inspired the audience


Panel TV Writing - How to Bring Out the Best from CEE? was particularly interesting for all screenwriters, regardless of experience. The screenwriting process and challenges on the creative path were discussed, and experts shared valuable advice on entering the world of television writing and revealed why a good script will not always meet the expected success.


"Great stories are everywhere, but the industry is not a level-playing field for everyone. Having opportunities like this to talk to anyone who can help you move your project forward is key“, said Danna Stern, Global Content Executive.


"I work mainly in Eastern Europe and what I often find problematic is the pilot episode. Creators have brilliant ideas, but they are often not good at sales, and if the pilot doesn't work, buyers won't be interested," said Leonid Godik, Vice President International Sales and Acquisitions, Beta Film Gmbh.


"Be confident in your ideas, listen to other people in the industry and take 10 percent of every conversation“, explained Denis Karam, Archive Producer, Zig Zag Productions.


Content based on a true story is extremely popular today, but how much truth is there in that classification? On the panel How To Approach True Stories? exactly that was discussed: which criteria TV content should meet in order to be classified in the "based on a true story" category.


Is it possible to implement a successful Scandinavian production model in the culturally different Adria region? The speakers tried to reach that conclusion at the interesting panel Scandinavian Co-Production Model in the Adriatic Region.


Renowned speakers discussed co-production, one of the most current topics in the TV industry, on the panel Co-production: Low and High Production Companies. The panel The Push For International Content: What Streamers Want dealt with the growing interest of streaming platforms in international content and the development of the most current markets, and this was discussed by Vanda Rapti, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer for North America and Viaplay Select, Viaplay Group, in a Q&A with the topic The Impact Of Streamers On Non-English Content.


At NEM Zagreb 2022, there was also talk about encouraging employee productivity amidst increasing production costs and reducing budgets, implementing new technologies and business processes, and keeping up with new trends. Challenges in leadership were discussed on the panel Biggest Challenges One Can Face in a Leadership Role?


Content from Bosnia and Herzegovina was discussed during a Q&A on the topic Originals From Bosnian And Herzegovinian Production. Global media trends are an essential topic of every edition of NEM, including NEM Zagreb 2022. Global media revenue will exceed a trillion dollars in 2027, and 42 percent of that revenue will come from online video streaming services. Also, online video advertising is predicted to generate more than $331 billion over the next five years. Where are TikTok, Meta and YouTube in all this was discussed during the Global Trends in Media case study.


Excellent TV professionals presented themselves during the Co-production Business Practice program. Examples from their many years of experience inspired local producers by presenting co-production as a winning formula for competitiveness beyond the borders of the region.


In addition to sharing knowledge, an important part of every NEM edition is meeting, connecting and socializing with industry colleagues. Networking events were facilitated by the Sarajevo Film Festival, Croatian Radiotelevizija, Adriatic Luxury Hotels and the Mediavision agency.


Find more information on the official website of NEM Zagreb 2022.

Photo by NEM, Panel about Co-Production - Low and High Production Countries; Moderator: Jonathan Broughton, Speakers: Danna Stern, Moritz Polter, Emmanuel Eckert, Ankica Jurić Tilić