Calinos Scripts Success

Goryana Vasileva, OTT and format sales manager at Calinos Entertainment, talks to TV Formats about how the company mines its extensive library of drama programming for stories that can be adapted in local markets.

Calinos recently licensed the hit series That Is My Life to Antena 1 in Romania, to be produced by Dream Film Productions. The new treatment is currently being filmed and will soon be introduced to Romanian audiences under the local title Adela.

***Image***Vasileva says that the company is in the final stage of signing another format deal, this one with a multi-territory broadcaster. “We are very excited to be able to provide our clients with not only great finished products but with engaging stories and scripts that are easily adaptable and equally as successful as the originals,” she adds.

Vasileva acknowledges that adapting stories requires considerable effort, “as scripted genres are culturally sensitive, especially when it comes to comedies that cannot be replicated as mechanically as, for example, game shows. Knowing how local audiences will react to adapted scripted content is always uncertain, which carries risks. Nonetheless, if you get it right, the rewards can be quite bountiful.”

A script adaptation is much more than a mere translation of a script, she points out. “It requires much more effort to make a show palatable to local viewers and must go beyond ‘imitation’ by re-actualizing the script for a new audience.”

There are many titles in the Calinos catalog ripe for localizing though, Vasileva says, pointing to Woman, Dila Hanım and Forbidden Fruit as ones that have generated the most interest, as well as some of the “cult” dramas such as The Girl Named Feriha and That Is My Life. “Turkey is a factory of dreams, and the world knows it,” she adds. “Engaging stories, usually classical dramas, where viewers can empathize with the characters, are the ones that are still the most sought-after. Products like this can easily flow in a competitive world.”

COVID-19 and the setbacks that have come with it have taken a heavy toll on the TV industry, especially scripted television, with productions being halted and some shows being canceled altogether. Still, Vasileva is optimistic about what lies ahead. “The pandemic will certainly spur some creative innovation in terms of new programming workflows and will require some different ways of thinking and planning; however, we believe that with the right tools and the ability to adapt, the world of content and scripted programming will find its way back to the top.”