The First Years Bows in Italy


Newen Connect, Showlab and Rai Ragazzi have launched an Italian version of the kids’ format The First Years, originally created and produced by Tuvalu Media in the Netherlands.

Titled POV—I primi anni, the local version is produced by the Turin-based company Showlab in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi. It centers on the daily lives of a group of teens during the first two years of high school. The series premiered on Rai Gulp and Rai Play on February 1, accompanied by a promotional campaign across social media, television and newspapers.

The Italian series differs from the Dutch version (Brugklas) and the subsequent Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, French, British and Canadian versions, featuring Italian social context and culture under the direction of Davide Tosco, who alternates the filming of the troupe, the selfies of the protagonists and their points-of-view, intended for social media. To adhere to sanitary measures in place due to the pandemic, the entire cast of actors and crew lived for more than a month confined to the campus of the UN’s International Labour Organization ILO in Turin.

Nadia Chevallard, head of international sales at Newen Connect, said: “Partnering with Showlab and pubcaster Rai Gulp for the Italian adaptation of The First Years has been a unique collaboration. Being a teen is quite something, and feeling immersed in their daily lives—what they feel, what they dream of, what they are concerned about—gives unfiltered access to them. We hope the young viewers in Italy will identify themselves with the great characters (and young Italian talents) as many others did in other countries.”

Luca Milano, director of Rai Ragazzi, said: “The experience of the pandemic has made teenagers more and more interested in telling the story of the contemporary world, with a language that must be honest and sincere, even when it deals with difficult subjects. Teenagers have their own views of reality and want to be taken seriously.”

Emiel Neervoort, managing director at Tuvalu Media, said: “We are delighted that Rai Ragazzi has picked up our format The First Years. Many new generations in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and many more territories have grown up with our honest and authentic stories, and we feel confident that the series will grow into a widespread phenomenon in Italy as well.”

Alfio Bastiancich, producer of the series for Showlab, said: “At a time when the genre of fiction for teenagers is booming, POV overturns its paradigm by asking the teenagers themselves to get involved with their feelings and using the means of communication most suited to them.”