September 16 – 19, 2019 Hyatt Regency Kyiv, Ukraine

KMW Results 2014

KYIV MEDIA WEEK 2014: HOW IT WAS

The IV international media forum KYIV MEDIA WEEK under slogan ‘Make Content Not War’ was opened on the 15th of September 2014 by the leading Ukrainian media-business experts at press-conference Media-business in Times of Changes and Unrest

International Investment and Consulting Group EastOne Executive Officer Mikhail Tsarev, National Council of Ukraine on the Issues of Television and Radiobroadcasting Executive Secretary Katerina Kotenko, UMH Publishing Sales House Marketing Director Natalia Boyko, FILM.UA Group cofounder Sergey Sozanovsky and Volia Company President Sergey Boyko discussed the main problems of the industry and tried to find answers to the most burning challenges that the marketers have encountered lately. The conference participants concurred that content now is the cornerstone and media industry’s main tasks are the search for the most efficient ways to adapt the content to the contemporary socio-political, economic and technological realities as well as common efforts mobilization of all sectors of media-business and state to create the equal conditions for all the marketers and lay down common rules of play based on the global experience.   

TV FORMATS IN FOCUS

The first day of KYIV MEDIA WEEK was continued with the international conference and screening of new television formats Format Show

When Viktoria Yarmoshchuk, Media Resources Management (MRM) company CEO, was opening the event she told about the trends of format business in Ukraine. The MRM researches evidence that the format adaptations boom at Ukrainian market is behind. If in 2011 six main Ukrainian channels had 41 new shows based on the foreign formats, in 2012 there were 17 such shows and in the first half 2014 – only 6. This testifies that a lot of channels have already found the brand forming product and reduced the purchasing activity. At the same time the broadcasters and format TV programs producers’ interest switched to the formats of scripted content which had special place within the Format Show screening program.  

Presenting at Format Show the report “World of Formats, Formats in the World: The International Seduction Campaign” Eurodata TV Worldwide (France) expert  Nassima Boudi noted that the global brands of the format producers continue to influence TV industry greatly; talent shows, TV novellas and sitcoms are still popular and commercially successful; the whole world continues to search the ways to attract the Internet-audience to the TV-set and vise versa – to make the television more interactive; international coproduction encourages the reduction of risks and increase of probability to achieve international success. 

Swedish company Eccho Rights managing partner Nicola Söderlund in his report “The Scripted Format Boom” provided some statistics evidencing that currently global top producers of scripted formats are Great Britain, Israel, Australia, Spain, Germany. Meanwhile the broadcasters and production companies from the USA, Russia and France are the most active in adapting them. Among the reasons that small countries produce a lot of original formats the Swedish expert designated the need to find good ideas that may be released with limited budget provided by a small market of the aforementioned countries. Scripted dramas now show the biggest success in the world, however, format rights to comedies are acquired less often because of the difficulties with their adaptation. 

For the first time ever on the Format Show day the complete catalogue of Ukrainian TV formats - UA Formats - was presented by Iryna Kostyuk (Producer, FILM.UA Group) to the wide audience. UA Formats project is meant to be fundamental for Ukrainian format business and aims to introduce unique developments of local market on the international level. The UA Formats catalogue includes original formats (currently 14 titles) created by the leading Ukrainian prodcos, TV channels and producers: Downtown Karaoke, The Chance, Crossing Europe, Freedom of Speech, The Auditor, Championship Striptease, Daddy’s House, Save Our Family, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, Jail Birds, School of Parenting, Let’s Splurge!, Wardrobe and UFO (Unknown Favorite Object). The catalogue will debut internationally at the upcoming MIPCOM (October 13-16). 

Format Show 2014 was honored to have Michel Rodrigue (USA) as a keynote speaker. Being CEO & Partner of The Format People Inc., FRAPA cofounder and having over 35 years of experience, knowledge and connections in international TV business, Michel shared with the conference audience some key tips in order to facilitate local market development and build successful TV formats industry. During his keynote “The International Formats Business Is All About "The Transfer Of Expertise" From The Original To The Adapting Producer” Michel has emphasized, that selling a format is not only about selling a concept or an idea, but your own expertise as the original producer, which is the most important element in licensing the format. Also he explained the importance of the "Transfer of Expertise: through the format bible and the the use of a consultant/flying producer".  

In the course of Format Show screening sessions above 20 distributors from all over the world presented 60 formats, 30 of which were international premieres. 

COPRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES

On the 16th of September at the forum of television coproduction KIEV CoProduction Meetings held in the framework of KYIV MEDIA WEEK the organizers provided evidence that international television content coproduction has already become or will no doubt become one of the tendencies of the global TV industry development. This statement is proved by the examples of successful joint projects by TV channels and production companies from various countries that grow into sustainable mutually beneficial cooperation. 

FILM.UA Group Producer Elena Malkova and FILM.UA Distribution Director Igor Storchak presented case-study of television project Mystical Tales which six seasons’ international success (115 episodes) have been shown by Ukrainian STB, Russian TV3 and Kazakh NTK. Besides, in Hungary LifeNetwork TV Channel aired four seasons of the Ukrainian version synchronized in Hungarian. The seventh season of the project is underway now in coproduction with TV3, in the meanwhile Ukrainian STB TV Channel, which actually was one of the initiators of the programme, is currently considered to become the third coproducer of the show’s new season. 

If in case with Mystical Tales the language was the main element that required adaptation to broadcast in various countries, in the other project considered by experts at KIEV CoProduction Meetings   the possibility to use several languages without damage to the final product was foreseen beforehand. The case in hand is detective drama Hinterland coproduced by Wales represented by production company Fiction Factory, public broadcaster S4C and a local unit of BBC Company and England represented by ALL3MEDIA International Ltd. The Welsh S4C TV Channel producer Gwawr Martha Lloyd regards that the fact the characters speak Welsh and English did not hinder the series from becoming very popular not only in Wales but also in other parts of Great Britain. Besides, the rights for the drama were sold to the broadcasters from above 20 territories. According to Gwawr Martha Lloyd, who is responsible at S4C for original dramas and comedies commission and deals with ideas search for the new projects, the main thing is to tell an interesting story and the language issue is secondary. 

The significance of the story regardless of the language was also noted by the next speaker at KIEV CoProduction Meetings Alex Shiriaieff – director-documentarian and producer at Swedish Dixit International. To develop cooperation among the documentary content producers from the countries of North Europe, Baltics and the CIS region Alex Shiriaieff and Malcolm Dixelius, Dixit International CEO founded international platform Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network (B2B DOC) – an open forum for the documentarians to unite the creative, technical, financial and distribution resources from the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine and Caucasus. The initiative was supported by Swedish Institute. Thanks to B2B DOC the authors of four Ukrainian documentary projects had the opportunity to present their works in Sweden at the pitching of documentary projects co-financing Nordisk Forum that was held on the 21-23 of September during film festival Nordisk Panorama in Malmo. 

During the pitching session at KIEV CoProduction Meetings there were presented 8 projects selected by the experts in the area of television content production out of 20 applications from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Germany. 

The pitching was opened by Ukrainian company Signal Red producer Tatiana Kiryan and creative director Yevgeniy Sannikov who presented docudrama Assassinations that Changed the World.

Ukrainian Good Morning Film director and producer Aleksey Shaparev and his colleague Yanina Sulima demonstrated the materials of detective drama Price of Freedom (the project has already involved Georgian co-producer). 

FILM.UA creative director Olesya Lukyanenko told that the company managed to attract a partner from Poland who will participate in the war drama September production. 

Next project was presented by Ukrainian production W Media director Andrei Tanabash: the company produces detective series Forest's Captives. 

The only TV show that reached the pitching was reality-show Careerists (Boss of Your Dream) produced by Ukrainian production company Ideafilm represented by producer Aleksey Komarovsky. 

Ukrainian 3D Planet producer Aleksey Kashin presented TV comedy project Basilisk. 

German Mimesi'S Culture producer Alberto Dandolo and director Sieva Diamantakos presented documentary movie Behind Maidan at the pitching. 

The pitching session was closed by the mystery drama The Diary of Her Loneliness produced by studio Zolotoye Runo represented by director Dmitri Ovechkin.  

PAY TV PROBLEMS

Another occasion of the second day of KYIV MEDIA WEEK was conference Retaining Investments in the Industry — a Way of Meeting Customer Expectations and Market Growth Catalyst arranged by Telecommunication Chamber of Ukraine Association with support of Volia Company. 

During his speech Volia President Sergey Boyko underlined the ‘pain points’ of the Ukrainian television market: Euromaidan, Crimea annexation, information warfare, combat operations in Eastern Ukraine, national currency depreciation etc. The situation is worsened with content rising cost as well as obsolete legislation and lack of transparency in regulation – so it happened that in Ukraine IPTV is licensed and OTT is not. This leads to inequality and discrimination as to the operators. It violates the competition and does not enable to launch legally the video-platforms that do not use the controlled networks. Meanwhile, nobody combats the piracy. 

Overall during 2014 the number of pay TV users in Ukraine has diminished 500-700 thousand or about 20-28% according to official data. The subscription TV market volume has shortened also in money terms – about 5%. 

The issue concerning the necessity to reduce the number of obligatory broadcasting in “cable” of free terrestrial channels included into “must carry” offer was raised in the debate. The experts have jointly articulated the necessary steps to provide more favorable terms for the development of subscription TV market in Ukraine. Among them – the amendments to the legislation in the area of TV and radio broadcasting, in particular, adoption till the end of this year of the project to annul the licensing for all types of activity in television area (full title – “On amendments to some laws concerning deregulation of activity of software services provision and improvement of state regulation of software service providers”). Next is the introduction and adoption in 2015 of the law “On audiovisual services”. That would enable to license all the providers rendering services at any platform or device.

Besides, it is necessary to speed up the process of transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting (planned by July 2015). That step is going to free partially the radiofrequency resource and reduce the expenses of channels that broadcast both in analogue and digital. Apparently, the terrestrial digitization would also result in subscriber base growth of the cable and satellite providers. It would have positive effect at the subscription TV market amid the legal content use. In this case the operators should refuse from “underreporting” (id est to decrease the official data on the number of real subscribers) and in cooperation with the regulatory authorities start developing the ways to fight the piracy in the Internet and card sharing. Likewise, the debate participants concurred that first of all it is necessary to change the viewer’s consumption habits.

PRINTED PRESS PROSPECTIVES

For the first time the media forum organizers came forward with the initiative to host an event for the printed media market. On the 16th of September round table Printed Press Market in Ukraine was held. The leading representatives of the publishing business and advertising agencies discussed the main problems of the market and tried to find answers to the main challenges of the industry. Aleksey Pogorelov, Director General of Ukrainian Association of Periodic Press Publishers, opened the event and stated that the glossy press is the most solid segment of the printed advertising market. In his opinion the market in reality does not fall but transforms due to the technologies and consumer habits changes. And it is expressed in the Internet-segment growth of Ukrainian advertising market.

Irina Ranenko, PR-agency PLEON Talan representative, focused attention on the fact that the customers want the content first of all and the audience of the print gloss was out of risk at the moment. She is sure that a printed publication is still valued more than 10 publications online. The issues of “classical gloss” rebranding and gradual integration of social component on the pages of periodicals and web-portals were also touched upon. The publishers acknowledged the decline of printed media as a result of the situation in Crimea and east of Ukraine within 15-18%. In general the experts concurred that the publishing industry is on the verge of great changes. Thus, all the marketers should unite their efforts and offer the customer some interesting non-routine solutions. 

UKRAINIAN CONTENT MARKET

The international audiovisual content market Ukrainian Content Market was held in Radisson Blu Hotel in Kyiv on September 16-18. Traditionally all distributors such as Eccho Rights (Sweden), Endemol Worldwide Distribution (UK), Global Agency (Turkey), Small World IFT (USA), FILM.UA Distribution (Ukraine), Intra Communications (Russia), PRIOR Distribution (Russia), Star Media Group (Ukraine/Russia), AGENRY (Russia), Top Film Distribution (Ukraine)  and others had their exhibition suites on the floors of the hotel.

During all the market days all UCM participants had an opportunity to hold their meetings at the Participants Club and Participants Lounge (courtyard of Radisson Blu Hotel). Also a new service - Screening Room was launched, it gave content sellers a unique opportunity to present their projects to UCM buyers through a virtual online catalogue, which included titles from Telemundo Internacional (USA), Televisa Internacional (USA), Armoza Formats (Israel), Studio U7 (Russia), Video Production (Russia), Sreda (Russia), All Media (Russia), Bazelevs (Russia) and others.  

FILM BUSINESS

The third day of media forum KYIV MEDIA WEEK (the 17th of September) was devoted to conference Film Business: Challenges, Features, Opportunities including the workshops – financial, producers’, legal and animation one – where the experts and attendees communicated and shared their experience sitting at the one table. 

Before discussing “challenges, features, opportunities” of film business in Ukraine and CIS region the organizers offered the conference participants to get acquainted with the European cinematographers’ progress – Head of analytics at Media Resources Management Company Artem Vakalyuk presented a report “National Cinema in Europe. The results of European Films Distribution at Home”. 

The success of the movie is measured not only with box-office and number of sold tickets. This is proved by Anna Katchko’s experience. Anna presented feature drama case Harmony Lessons (Kazakhstan, Germany, France) – debut feature-length movie by Kazakh director Emir Baigazin – Berlin Film Festival award winner (2013) for outstanding artistic achievements, and from henceforth took part in 40 film festivals (out of 120 festivals that invited the Kazakh filmmakers) and won many grand prix and other awards.  

Anna Katchko acted as Producers’ Workshop moderator and shared her experience concerning participation in the various content markets which attracted the European co-producers to her own project. She also told about the terms of financing from the European funds, in particular Eurimages and Creative Europe programme. 

Regional fund Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg advisor Brigitta Manthey told at the conference more details about the system of film production support, in particular international coproduction, in Germany. The German expert noted that the fund had already supported a joint project with Ukraine My Joy by Sergey Loznitsa. Next project should have been movie Rhino by director Oleg Sentsov, however, the author did not finish his work due to political reasons. Among the peculiarities of the German support system Brigitta Manthey specified that out of all the conditions the producers have the biggest difficulty in fulfilling only one – finding the distributor for their movies in the country. 

Israeli Cinema Fund CEO Katriel Schori contacted the conference participants through the Skype. He noted that during 16 years that he leads the fund with limited financing and huge number of applications from the producers he managed to deliver an effective project selection system. Israeli Cinema Fund pays special attention to the support of the international promotion for the national movies. The producers receive some special funds for that. 

Next Russian Film Company CTV producer Natalia Drozd had the floor to share her experience of five-party coproduction I Won’t Come Back (Russia, Estonia, Finland, Belarus and Kazakhstan). Besides, the movie found sales agent from New York resulting in premiere at Tribeca Festival in April 2014. The rights sales began after Cannes Film Festival and now the movie is a desired guest at other festivals. 

The discussion moved from films festivals, public fund financing and support to more “commercial” direction after Russian Enjoy Movies Producer Georgiy Malkov joined the conference. He shared his experience of comedy production that has been profitably distributed at the territory of the CIS region. The producer noted that comedy is one of few genres where the local producer may compete with the Hollywood majors. As a result, the film distribution is saturated with such product and that motivated the company leadership to bring to the market the other genres. Along with the comedies the studio portfolio already includes youth action with the social message which also may have as opposed to the local comedy the international distribution potential. Georgiy Malkov noted the importance of film marketing that producer should try to hold in his hands until the final moment. 

After that Ukrainian State Film Agency Head Philipp Illyenko told about the government support of the festival and commercial film producers. The State Film budget in 2014 is $4.5 million, $1.5 million has been spent already to meet the agency commitments on the contracts concluded earlier. The financing will be enough to finish the launched projects, there will not be new contracts in 2014 and concerning 2015 – everything depends on the next year budget. According to Philipp Illyenko different selection criteria will function as to art-house and mainstream directions. The authors and producers will have to present in the first case the prospects of participation in the international festivals, and in the second – prearrangements with Ukrainian distributors and channels. Also State Film Agency is going to initiate the amendments to the legislation in the field of cinematography and to renovate the process of Ukrainian accession to Eurimages. 

The Financial Workshop proceeded with the speech of Elliot Grove, founder of independent movie film festival Raindance in Great Britain. He told that a good film may be produced even for €60 thousand. The expert provided an example of the screen story that launched Quentin Tarantino’s career. It summaries to taking 10-12 people, place them in a house and kill as brutally as possible. It is the cheapest movie that is titled containment-movie or home invasion. A lot of movies were shot in such style. Another budget choice, according to Elliot Grove, can be cinema adaptation of the stage play. From cheap to produce genres the speaker moved to budget forming and special attention was paid to crowdfunding as a means accessible to the independent and young cinematographers. The authors do not have to ask to collect the money for film production, it is necessary to show the interest of the thing they are doing and offer the volunteers to participate in that process. 

Irina Solovei, cofounder of crowdfunding platform Big Idea, continued this topic giving an example of TV project Gromadske TV (Public TV) that managed to collect around $100 thousand. Herein she noted that the main thing is that the directors and producers were aware that crowdfunding is only an addition but not substitution of the traditional sources of finance. 

After the Financial Workshop the conference Film Business participants had the possibility to choose the most interesting topic to discuss and join the Producers’ or Animation workshops. 

The Producers’ Workshop gathered at one table such speakers as Aleksey Trotsyuk (Yellow, Black & White, Russia), Elena Yershova (Tato Film, Ukraine), Anna Kachko (independent producer Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany) and Natalia Drozd (CTV, Russia), OMKF executive producer Yulia Sinkevich, Stepan Grebenko and Valeriy Kozlitinov (Shorts, Ukraine). The debate was moderated by producer and director of Ukrainian film distribution company Arthouse Traffic Denis Ivanov. Georgiy Malkov communicated with the colleagues through Skype. The workshop members defined the producer’s function at various stages of production both festival and mainstream movie. They discussed the success stories of the auteur cinema in distribution, possibilities of TV channels attracting to cinema project production, quality criteria of distributed film and scripted product for TV as well as corresponding peculiarities of producer’s work. There also were raised the topics of international coproduction, cinema distribution and film festival promotion as an alternative means of distribution. 

The Animation  and then Legal Workshops were conducted in parallel with each other. Producer and chief of Ukrainian Animation Studio Animagrad Yegor Olesov, art-director of French studio Ankama Tomas Digard and international sales manager FILM.UA Distribution Evgeniy Drachov talked about the peculiarities of animated content production. The speakers discussed the architecture of animation brand that includes the target audience definition, distribution territories and marketing-strategy elaboration and further distribution, licensing and merchandising activities. Before the production process beginning it is desirable that the product was presold to somebody. Concerning the animation production in Ukraine Tomas Digard noted that while working in French company Millimages/Bacfilms for eight years he supervised the animated content production by Borisfen-Lutece company that had three studios in Ukraine: in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mykolayiv. In his opinion Ukraine has very powerful human resource, history of animation, multitude of talented artists. Animation created by Ukrainians was sold at 120-160 territories, translated into 80 languages. Nowadays the French intends to renew the cooperation with the Ukrainian animators. 

The Legal Workshop that was opened after the animation one was chaired by legal advisor FILM.UA Group Yevgeniya Derbal and partner of British legal firm Muirhead Simons & Burton Razwana Akram. Natalia Drozd joined the experts. The top-priority topic to discuss was the possibility to implement the additional tax exemptions for Ukrainian producers of national film and television content in addition to existing VAT remission. Currently two drafts are under consideration directed to develop the national cinematograph. However, the state is going to impose a tax on TV and radio organizations that “have income from the film and TV content public announcement”. It is quite a broad concept that in experts’ opinion is difficult to interpret. 

Another gap in the Ukrainian legislation is impossibility of presales – it is forbidden to enter the agreements for unproduced content. As a result the producers have to use “non-resident” patterns, in other words to agree the pre-sales through the foreign companies or conclude preliminary license agreement to purchase the license for content. Also the allocation of rights for Ukrainian national film and television product is a problem. The matter is that the State Film Agency receives 50% of all rights for the content produced with its support and other 50% is allocated among the co-producers. In other European territories, for example in Russia or in Great Britain, such thing is out of practice.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

On the 17th of September at KYIV MEDIA WEEK a new educational project FILM.UA.Faculty (common initiative of MRM company and FILM.UA Group)was presented. It started with keynote by one of the most successful businessmen in the field of media, cofounder of FILM.UA Group, Sergey Sozanovsky, which gathered more than 200 people. The expert uncovered the plans for the future of FILM.UA and prospects of film production industry and noted that the Ukrainian companies should unite efforts in product placement, and all the possible stages of production. 

On the 18th of September conference Television as Business gathered the television industry experts, leading media managers, TV channel representatives, productions and sales-houses. The conference raised the issues of information space protection, television and radio broadcasting regulation in the nearest future and resisting the crisis. There were announced the trends and prospects of the global advertising market development and other issues. The agenda of the conference included several panel discussions: Media Leader’s Summit, Monetization of Television Content in Internet, Life of Kids Channels and News Programming on TV: Modern Challenges. 

On the 19th of September new event in the course of media forum took place – LIONS Creativity Days Case Studies. The professional Section of LIONS Creativity Days range of events was arranged by the official representative of International creativity festival Cannes Lions. The event was devoted to the analysis of the fresh tendencies in advertising. There were a lot of examples of certain cases as well as answers on the questions like “how is it done?” and “may we achieve this level?”. For five hours the attendees could listen to the competent speeches by the leaders of the advertising and communication market of Ukraine, representatives of the leading advertising companies. Each of the experts chose one of the Cannes Lions categories for analysis. In the evening the video commercials screening – winners of Cannes Lions Festival – was held. 

The finale of KYIV MEDIA WEEK was master class by the guru of comedy genre Steve Kaplan The Character and Storytelling by Animated Character. The Hidden Tools of Comedy that was held on the 21st of September during animation and media-art festival LINOLEUM. Steve Kaplan in Skype-conference mode shared his experience of writing for TV and told about the principal tools to create a comedy.