NATPE Budapest Wraps, Shifts Dates for 2020


After a sunny few days in the Hungarian capital, NATPE Budapest International comes to a close today, having played host to a number of trend-focused panels and an attendance marked by its diversity.

“We’re very excited about this show because it’s a confirmation of what we’ve been trying to build over the years,” JP Bommel, NATPE’s president and CEO, told World Screen Newsflash.

In terms of the conference schedule, Françoise Guyonnet, executive managing director of TV series at STUDIOCANAL, kicked things off, delivering the first keynote on Monday afternoon. The conversation centered on the changing nature of the television business and why partnerships and co-production relationships are even more important in the current landscape.

The state of the format business was in the spotlight on Tuesday, with BBC Studios’ Sumi Connock, Banijay Rights’ Andrew Sime, Viacom International Studios’ Laura Burrell and A+E Networks’ Crispin Clover taking part in a panel to share insight on how best to navigate the challenges and opportunities in the current marketplace.

Other sessions throughout the week focused on international co-productions, the evolution of Latin American programming, the role of data and analytics in shaping content, opportunities in the MENA region and breadth of programming from China. The fourth edition of Pitch & Play LIVE!, a formats pitching competition, was won by TVP Poland’s Sanatorium of Love, which follows a group of lonely seniors as they set off to a picturesque health resort.

Deal news from the market spanned a wide array of genres, from Turkish dramas to lifestyle fare to adaptations of both scripted and unscripted formats. Bommel said he is enthused about “the results that we hear from the clients about deals being made; we’re hearing great things from distributors.”

He added, “The makeup of the buyers has shifted a little bit toward digital, with more OTT buyers. The growth we’re going to see next year is from the Middle East.”

Bommel pointed to two takeaway trends in particular: “local content, as a way to compete with the international productions. And the need for international co-production.”

NATPE Budapest has evolved from being viewed just as a CEE-focused market to one that sees representation from an estimated 70 territories, according to Bommel. “It’s a little bit by design, but it’s always good when design works. We work in partnership with the U.S. studios to bring the screenings here, so we attract a lot of buyers—and the word got out.”

The event will return to the InterContinental next year, but due to the UEFA EURO 2020 games taking place in Budapest in June, the dates will shift by a week and a day: NATPE Budapest International will be held Tuesday, June 30, to Friday, July 3.