Ziyad Varol, ATV’s licensing and digital manager for acquisition, sales and platforms, talks about the female-led drama Broken Lives, which is being launched at MIPCOM, among other top highlights.
TV DRAMA: Tell us about what ATV will be focusing on at MIPCOM.
VAROL: We have two brand-new titles. Broken Lives (Can Kırıkları) is one of the most well-casted series of the new season, featuring Hande Dogandemir and Funda Eryigit. It unfolds the story of two young policewomen. It is highlighted with a strong drama line and focuses on women’s solidarity and independence. The story is about two women who struggle to cope with their unfortunate pasts. They’ll find themselves in a situation where they have to cling together to move on.
Another fresh work is Foster Mother (Aglama Anne), which will make the audience question motherhood and the importance of family from a child’s perspective. The story is well put and tells of the conflict between two sisters over their motherhood. The main protagonist is Alev, who got pregnant by mistake and tried to kill the baby. When she was in prison, her sister Damla adopted the baby. Eighteen years later, Alev gets out of prison and demands her child back. But Damla doesn’t want this to happen, and it will cause the two sisters to pitch against each other. The child, Zeynep, doesn’t know anything about her real mother. Zeynep’s father, Adnan, learns that he has a child by coincidence. In the meantime, a romantic relationship occurs between Damla and Adnan.
The best-rated series in 2018 was Lifeline (Sen Anlat Karadeniz). It was the only Turkish drama series to be selected for the Fresh TV list at MIPTV. Season two premiered in Turkey this September. The title was sold to 16 countries so far and received both linear and online success in Turkey. The incredible storyline and excellent acting are key factors in Lifeline. There is huge interest from international markets, and we believe that the number of territories will be increased very soon.
TV DRAMA: What makes these titles stand out in the marketplace?
VAROL: Lifeline brings local touches from the north side of Turkey; most of the scenes have been shot in the Black Sea region. Also, it combines hope and desperation—it’s the reason why Lifeline has seen ratings/share success in Turkey and also sales success around the world.
Women still face domestic violence. Both Lifeline and Broken Lives have victims of domestic violence in their stories, and we’ll see those victims build new lives and become powerful figures in society. We see this as an opportunity to raise awareness of social issues.
Foster Mother opens a box that is full of family secrets and it makes it easy to see how family dynamics can be shaken. Audiences will see two sisters in a touchy situation and it causes them to question the “truth.”
Our long-lasting series Love and Hate is going to premiere in season three in Turkey, where the fierce competition allows only the titles that are strong enough [to be renewed]. While the Latin American market is still improving for Turkish content, Love and Hate was already sold to Mexico. The series delivered great results in Romania. It was also licensed to Kazakhstan, Georgia and Iraq. We hope that Love and Hate’s third season will create great reactions from the audiences, and it will bring marvelous sales success again.
TV DRAMA: What are some of ATV’s other MIPCOM priorities?
VAROL: We are celebrating our 25th anniversary at this MIPCOM. ATV will continue to be a jewel in the crown in Turkish media. We are happy to bring our local success into the international arena with our strong presence in many countries.
MIPCOM 2018 will be a massive market where ATV titles and the channel itself broaden their presence, and it is a great chance to celebrate our 25th anniversary.