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Conecta Fiction, A New International TV Series Co-Prod Event, Eyes Spanish-Speaking World

Variety logo Variety 1/18/2017 Emiliano De Pablos
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The first edition of Conecta Fiction, a pioneering TV co-production and networking event aimed at connecting the European, Latin American and the U.S. Hispanic markets, will run June 21-23 in the picturesque Santiago de Compostela, the capital of northern Spanish region Galicia.

Recovering from a double-dip recession, Spain boasts a considerable TV market and production sector, by far the largest in the Spanish-speaking world, investing $2.8 bullion in TV programming compared to an expenditure of  $1.5 billion for Mexico and $1.4 billion for Brazil.

A consequence of the golden age that Spanish TV fiction is living at home and abroad, as the demand for scripted fare lifts across much of the world, the launch of Conecta Fiction finally begins to put Spain on the level of other big European TV markets that already operate full or partially dedicated fiction TV co-production meetings, such as France’s Series Mania and a proposed Cannes TV festival, Italy’s MIA TV and U.K.’s London Content.

“We felt the need to promote a meeting, based around TV fiction, between the Spanish-speaking TV world’s industry and talent and that of Europe; today there aren’t events doing that. This is our specific identity,” said Geraldine Gonard, Conecta Fiction director.

The new platform will offer attendees access to international co-production pitching sessions, pre-set one-to-one meetings, premiere keynotes, conferences, master classes, debates and international premiere screenings.

Conecta Fiction is promoted by Galicia’s Xunta government via the Axencia Galega das Industrias Culturais (Agadic) as well as the ICEX Spain Trade and Investment export board and Fundación SGAE, the training arm of Spanish rights collection society SGAE.

For ICEX, the new event also marks a pioneering move, since it has traditionally backed the presence and promotion oF completed Spanish TV series at international markets such as MipTV or Natpe.

“It may be too late to support Spanish TV productions when they begin to be sold. We must bolster their international reach when they are coming together,” said Julián Izquierdo Zamarriego, cultural industries director at ICEX.

In its first edition, taking place at Santiago de Compostela’s Cidade da Cultura, Conecta Fiction will invite some 60 investors and decision-makers from big TV production companies and networks, half from the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America, half from Europe.

TV fiction projects eligible for submission takes in series or mini-series projects, either in Spanish or in English but related to the culture of the Spanish-world. Projects must have at least 20% of their financing covered The application period runs Feb. 15 to April 15.

“An editorial committee formed by producers, screenwriters and directors will select the 10 projects best suited for an international co-production,” said Gonard, a seasoned TV sales executive whose Madrid-based outfit Inside Content produces the event.

Conecta Fiction aims to become a point of reference for the international market when it comes to TV series projects, according to Agadic director Jacobo Sutil.

Agadic is putting on the table “Galicia’s privileged position as a gateway to both Portuguese-peaking and American territories plus the current thrust of the audiovisual industry in Galicia, which hosts the shoots of some 10 TV series and mini-series a year,” Sutil added.

On the creative side, Conecta Fiction will invite world-class international talents including showrunners, scriptwriters, directors and music composers. With a privileged presence on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Fundacion SGAE will help to bring Spanish and Latin American talent to Santiago, said general director Luis García Canido.

The organizers have chosen Argentina as the country of honour at the first edition which will feature special sessions related to the Argentine industry, its talent and its TV content production.

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