Grand Jury Perspective: Marie-Claude Guay

New York Festivals 2018 TV & Film Awards Grand Jury represents 32 countries on 6 continents. Known for its powerhouse jury comprised of prominent international broadcast and film industry executives, NYF’s jurors are award-winners themselves and are passionate about excellence and innovation. Their reputation in diverse areas across all platforms provide each entry with the utmost of attention and make them qualified to select the World’s Best TV & Films.

Grand Jury member, Marie-Claude is Head of Strategic Communications and Innovative Initiatives for Tata Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s Grand Jury Perspective features 2018 jury member, Marie-Claude, Head of Strategic Communications and Innovative Initiatives for Tata Communications Montreal, Canada. Marie-Claude spent 14 years researching, interviewing, producing and telling stories from over 30 countries, as a Radio-Canada reporter and through Cpasifou, her independent multimedia project around the world. She is an award-winning journalist and has covered many election campaigns, as well as major economic, environmental, cultural, social, and educational issues.

In the interview below, Marie-Claude shares her insights on what make great content, her thoughts on her path to success, how story structure has changed with mobile, and what’s next on the horizon for her.

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Marie-Claude Guay: We have to go beyond the required ‘strong characters, image, facts and figures’ ingredients. We have to keep asking ourselves: Who are we doing this piece for? Why are we telling this story? What do we want to convey? This is about adapting the storytelling to its audience, while keeping a strong focus on the objectives of the piece. And not be afraid to direct and accompany the characters that we bring on camera, so that their message is well carried.

New York Festivals: What was your mantra for career success? Was your path to success linear or a winding road…how so?

Marie-Claude Guay: My career path is everything but linear! I think that if we want to learn and grow, as a professional and an individual, we need to push our curiosity out of our comfort zone. Not hesitate to take calculated risks. And most importantly, not be afraid to fail. There is nothing wrong about trying and failing, as long as we quickly learn from our failures and build on them. It is also important to surround ourselves with people we trust: in my career, success never came alone, it came in team.

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Marie-Claude Guay: Next 3B: a social enterprise launched in January 2017, aimed at realizing the development potential of the next 3 billion people joining the Internet. 60% of the world’s population remains unconnected to the Internet today and 200M fewer women than men are online in developing economies. Why? There are 3 main barriers that prevent them connecting: affordability, local content and customer readiness, which includes cultural challenges, illiteracy and lack of digital skills. By facilitating internet adoption, we enable access to information. With new internet users will not only come new audiences, but also new voices that will want to communicate, be heard and participate in the global economy.

New York Festivals: Talk about how story structure has changed with the spread of mobile?

Marie-Claude Guay: With the spread of mobile, the power transited from the media to the audience. The story structure has adapted to the mobile users’ fragmented needs, whom process content faster and whom consumption varies through the day. More efforts are invested in user experience. It has generated exciting opportunities: for example, platforms and content format have become more agile to facilitate speed (frequent updates, live stream, etc.) and to enable transformative technologies (virtual and augmented reality). This has also brought a number of challenges, such as technology and culture change investments, as well as revenue models transformation and fake news management.

It will be very interesting to see the impact of the fast-coming 5th generation mobile networks on the storytelling production industry.

For more information on New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards  or to enter, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

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Grand Jury Perspective: Christopher Khong

New York Festivals 2018 TV & Film Grand Jury represents 32 countries on 6 continents. Known for its powerhouse jury comprised of prominent international broadcast and film industry executives, NYF’s jurors are award-winners themselves and are passionate about excellence and innovation. Their reputation in diverse areas across all platforms provide each entry with the utmost of attention and make them qualified to select the World’s Best TV & Films.

Christopher Khong, Senior Creative Director, Media Corp Singapore

This week, NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective features 2018 TV & Film Awards Grand Jury member Christopher Khong, Senior Creative Director for Media Corp Singapore.

Christopher says he stumbled into the media industry by accident. “From covering duties for a woman on maternity leave as a typist to being a Senior Creative Director, you can say I did the right things at the right time.”

 

With  23 years in the media business, Christopher has served in numerous creative and leadership roles. He started a cable channel (at JETTV), produced many vignettes for the Sales department (at CNBC Asia), managed a department (On-Air promotions at MediaCorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd) and recently produced an online travel series.

Christopher has garnered  numerous international and Asian awards, winning a Gold at Promax Asia, 3 Silvers and 1 bronze at Promax International and most recently, he was also awarded the Gold World Medal at the New York Festivals 2016 Television & Film Awards.

In the interview below, Christopher shares his industry insights on what makes great content, his mantra for success, what projects are on the horizon and more.

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Christopher Khong: Relatable, a good plot, well-scripted, bold, unexpected.

New York Festivals: What was your mantra for career success?

Christopher Khong: Good attitude, constantly challenge yourself, learn from the best, take risks, stay humble, team player and have a good head on your shoulders.

New York Festivals: Was your path to success linear or a winding road…how so?

Christopher Khong: Studied to be an architect but stumbled into the industry by accident.

Started in the industry as a clerk to becoming currently, a creative director. Definitely, a winding road! It took me 28 years to get here.

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Christopher Khong: I am currently working on a second season for our Travel series, TravelSSBD Deluxe.

New York Festivals: If you could select any iconic creative to collaborate with on a project who would it be and why?

Christopher Khong: Collaborating with visionaries like Christopher Nolan, Michel Gondry, Ridley Scott, Wong Kar Wai and George Lucas would be a dream as they have changed the world of cinema.

 

New York Festivals: How has video streaming changed your creative approach?

Christopher Khong: With video streaming, I am no longer constrained by the fixed TV content durations. Giving me the creative freedom to ensure that the content shown brings the best out of the story.

For more information on New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

 

 

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Grand Jury Perspective: Javier Castany

Known for its powerhouse jury comprised of prominent international broadcast and film industry executives, the New York Festivals 2018 TV & Film Grand Jury represents 32 countries on 6 continents. These jurors, who are award-winners themselves, are passionate about excellence and innovation, and their reputation in diverse areas across all platforms provide each entry with the utmost of attention.

This week, NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective features 2018 TV & Film Awards Grand Jury member, Javier Castany, Director, Production, Original Programming for Disney Channel and Disney XD, The Walt Disney Company Latin America.

Javier Castany, Director, Production, Original Programming for Disney Channel and Disney XD, The Walt Disney Company Latin America

 

Javier  serves as Director of the Production Department, Original Programming for Disney Channel and Disney XD at The Walt Disney Company Latin America. As head of the Executive Production Department, Castany works on the general strategy of both network´s original content, is in charge of its projects execution, and contributes in its development in other business platforms.

He is currently in charge of local productions such as: Disney Channel´s Soy Luna and Pijama Party (first original game show); O11CE , which airs on Disney XD; and Jucas, a Brazilian co-production for Disney Channel Latin America. Disney Channel’s smash hit telenovela, Soy Luna earned both a Bronze World Medal and a Finalist Award in the 2017 NYF TV & Film Awards. 

 

In the interview below, Javier shares his creative insights on what makes great content, the tools he uses to keep audiences engaged, the importance of a building a social experience around content,  how story structure has changed with the spread of mobile and more.

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content.

Javier Castany: We pursue two fundamental goals: good stories and a strong emotional bond with our audience. That, in fact, is in the DNA of Disney and is always on our horizon. Plus, our work reflects optimism, showcases inclusive values and is targeted to the whole family.

To make great content is to know—and also understand—who you are connecting with. Who are you talking to. And based on the previous guidelines, we developed a strong strategy to connect audiences of all over the world with universal enjoyable content that, at the same time, is locally relevant and stands as a powerful exhibition of diversity and the different cultural idiosyncrasies. Quantity and quality is in our spotlight; we are engaged in developing incredible content in every available platform.

Local productions bring special value, and we are fully engaged in creating original content because it’s always relevant and helps build a strong and permanent bond with the audiences.

New York Festivals: What are some of the tools you use to keep your audience?

Javier Castany:We believe that the best way to reach and keep our audience is giving them not only something that’s relevant and interesting on its own, but that can be found in the places where the audience lives. In this sense, we try to pay attention to the way the audiences consume and engage with the content and also always try to visualize and detect where and when the emotional connection occurs. The current consumers viewing behavior is very diverse. Today audiences are more demanding and need to interact with the characters and the content. The audience, we say, is only understandable and reachable if we are able to understand their given conditions. That said, nowadays the key is to provide multiple experiences through multiple platforms, which result in a renewed interest in wide-ranging experiences. Because of this, each time we engage in new projects, we pay special attention to the presence and relevance of the multiple platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Festivals: How important is building a social experience around a program?

Javier Castany: It´s crucial today. The times we are living in, new technological trends, the new consumers, all of that is of great interest to the Company. And this is because we are especially keen on developing content that aligns with the current ways of consumption. Building solid social experiences around our productions is essential, just as important as it is for us to engage and emotionally connect with our public, or to have a profound comprehension of each other.

Nowadays, the audience is constantly moving, and with social media they are in a permanent state of creation. Within this special context, it’s important for us to understand these new habits, taking advantage of the proactive interrelation of the platforms we have at hand, creating social experiences… All of this is very important.

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Javier Castany: As I mentioned, we are deeply committed to the creation of local productions and the undeniable importance they have with our audiences and for us as a company. Local productions give us the chance to convey Disney’s universal values and also to provide a product that is relevant to local audiences and their specific idiosyncrasies. At the moment I can only announce that there will be more new seasons of the greatest hits from Disney Channel and Disney XD.

The new season of O11CE will focus on stories of self and group-improvement, with new spectacular sport and soccer scenes that will entertain boys and girls all over Latin America and Europe. Additionally, I’m glad to say that Soy Luna’s new season—with all its catch music—will also launch in the near future. The current season just ended a few days ago, but there’s more to come, of course.

New York Festivals: If you could select any iconic creative to collaborate with on a project who would it be and why?

Javier Castany: If I had the opportunity, I would really love to work with Michael Giacchino. Sometimes I feel his music sets the tone of a series or a movie in an incredible way. Moving, emotionally connected. Many times I found myself watching a show or movie and I think: “This scoring had to be created by Giacchino…” And then I find his name on the credits… There is a mark, a DNA you can identify on his work.

Composer Michael Giacchino

Of course, he is deservedly best known for his compositions for Disney·Pixar films, including The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2, and Inside Out. You can understand why he has received multiple Grammy awards, an Emmy, Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. His work on Doctor Strange, Rogue One, Tomorrowland, and The Muppets, for me is simply perfect.

 

New York  Festivals: Talk about how story structure has changed with the spread of mobile?

Javier Castany: Social media and the spread of mobile have changed the course of our business. In fact, both social media and mobile have a profound link with the expansion of what we call the multi-experience and the multi-platform. They have become the channel in which the product and the audiences are able to have a dialogue.

We are proud of how closely we pay attention to this. Today, we feature our content on many platforms, as well as through traditional channels. Each platform or experience has its own very specific approach to storytelling. The collaboration with the audience in the creation of new content defines a new type of storytelling and it’s groundbreaking.

Digital platforms are essential to connect directly with the viewer. And nowadays, we realize that an active viewer is a very important piece in the machinery that creates our content. The current audiences are constantly on the move and are very interactive; they consume many types of content simultaneously; they give their opinion and, in a relevant way, they create. These factors come together, enabling us to build-up a new material and inspire us to create new content.

New York Festivals: How will storytelling continue to evolve to keep pace with the omni-platform environment?

Javier Castany: Well, here is where we find the new challenges. The key to evolve is to always keep this new audience in mind; we must understand their new habits, and never stop building and testing and proposing new ideas for those platforms. The omni-platform environment is here, no-one can deny it; we must keep walking with our eyes wide open. We all have to constantly learn, practice, take risks and try new things to discover ways we can capture the attention of the audience. Disney is on the cutting edge, and I think that one of the reasons why O11CE was so successfully is that we were able to feel and capture the precise spirit of this time. We are willing to go to these new platforms to find great new talent, such as Daniel Patiño, who came from the digital world and took part as a stable star in O11CE’s series. And he wasn’t the only one; we had other relevant youtubers such as Israel Rivera, from Mexico, and Guido Fernández, from Argentina. The interaction that we built with these characters and the public is new and different. The audience has a much more profound attachment and is a clear example of what we are heading to.

For more information on New York Festivals Television & Film Awards or to enter, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

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Grand Jury Perspective: Emerson de Morais

NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective offers an intimate glimpse into the thought process and creative insights of the award-winning industry superstars who serve on the Grand Jury. This week, New York Festivals TV & Film Grand Jury Perspective interviewed Grand Jury member, Emerson de Morais, Executive Producer for Sentimental Filme Brazil. Emerson is responsible for building Sentimental Filme’s TV department, shaping the company products pipeline as executive and creative producer.

Emerson de Morais, Executive/Creative Producer for Sentimental Filme Brazil

In 2017, Emerson was honored with the Gold World Medal in New York Festivals TV & Film Awards competition for the five episode documentary series he executive produced, “Eu Me Movo.” For 2018, he is working as both an executive and creative producer on “Lendas Urbanas,” a thriller TV series for Record TV, the second most important broadcaster in the Brazilian market.

In the interview, below Emerson shares his thoughts on what makes great content, the tools he uses to keep his audience engaged, and the importance of a social experience around a program and much more.

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Emerson de Morais: In my opinion, the greatest content has a powerful storytelling with an elevated production value. When we put these two things together we have this kind of product with the power to connect with an audience. Every time the content is in the service of an audience, we will be talking about a great content.

New York Festivals: What was your mantra for career success? Was your path to success linear or a winding road…how so?

Emerson de Morais: What is the great story can you tell? How this story can change the people’s lives? I’m trying answer these two questions all the time in my career, I believe if I place these two questions as my goal and if at the same time I try answer that with my content, probably my career will be ok.

New York Festivals: What are some of the tools you use to keep your audience engaged?

Emerson de Morais: I think my responsibility as an executive producer is to respect the audience. More than just as an  audience, it is necessary to think about them as fans. They support our productions and they need to be respected. They know what kind of content they want to consume when they turn on the television, they may not even know the tools used in a drama script, but they know whether it is a drama or is not. So, the best tool to keep an audience is listen the show’s audience.

New York Festivals: Share your thoughts on freedom of the press?

Emerson de Morais: I think that freedom of the press is one of the pillars of the democracy and I don’t believe in a healthy society without freedom of the press.

New York Festivals: How important is building a social experience around a program?

Emerson de Morais: In my opinion, listening to the audience always was the most important part of our business. In the past, the greatest creators and producers knows how to feel the audience’s mood, it was hard work, because in the past they didn’t have tools to do this and it is more part of a personal gift. Nowadays we have a lot of powerful social channels to build a dialogue with the audience, we can put a show on air and at the same time we know what the audience will think about it in with second screen tools, such as twitter, Facebook, and others. In this way, we can know what the audience thinks about our work, and we can make corrections to respect their opinion.

Emerson de Morais, Marcos Araujo, Gian Carlo Bellotti , News and Sports Gold Award Winner for 'Eu Me Movo' at The New York Festivals TV & Film Awards 2017

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Emerson de Morais: We are working on a horror TV series for Record TV, the second most important broadcaster in Brazil. It is not my first fictional series, but it is the first of it’s kind for Sentimental as a production company which makes this a more special product for us. This series will be on the air in 2018.

We are developing products for pay-tv channels at the Brazilian market.

New York Festivals: If you could select any iconic creative to collaborate with on a project who would it be and why?

Emerson de Morais: Shonda Rhimes. If this kind of thing was possible, it would be awesome and a big pleasure to me, to know how a hit-maker like Shonda approaches her creative process.

For more information on the 2018 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, please visit:

 

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Grand Jury Perspective: Robert E. Frye

New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards Grand Jury is comprised of some of the world’s most award-winning Directors, Producers, Writers, Actors and other global media professionals. Each Grand Jury member has achieved prominence within the industry and garnered respect for their creative contributions.

Robert E. Frye, Independent Producer and Director/Filmmaker, Whistling Communications

NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective offers an intimate glimpse into the thought process and creative insights of these industry superstars who serve on the Grand Jury. This week, New York Festivals TV & Film Grand Jury Perspective interviewed Grand Jury member, Robert E. Frye, Independent Producer and Director Filmmaker at Whistling Communications. He is a respected Emmy award-winning producer and director of news and documentaries for over four decades.

Frye’s most recent documentary “The Nuclear Requiem” is the second film in a series of films on the continuing challenge of dealing with nuclear weapons. (www.thenuclearworld.org) His first documentary “In My Lifetime” a presentation of The Nuclear World Project tells the story of the creation of nuclear weapons. Released in 2013, the award-winning documentary has been shown on television in the United States and internationally with broadcasts in Germany, France, Spain, throughout Scandinavia, as well as in China, South Korea and Australia.

Frye produced broadcasts at ABC News, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and public television in the United States. He was the founding Executive Producer of the acclaimed ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings; Executive Producer of Good Morning America, News, and the creator of World News This Morning.

In 1988, he founded his own independent production company and produced a CINE Golden Eagle award winning documentary entitled “Kristallnacht: The Journey from 1938 to 1988” and ten years later “The Berlin Airlift” broadcast on PBS to observe the 50th anniversary of that epic event. Frye also produced and directed a one-hour documentary “Russia: Facing the Future” for Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Along the way Frye has earned numerous prestigious awards from respected competitions including the Emmy, Dupont-Columbia Silver Batons and the Peabody.

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Robert E. Frye: For all the years I have been producing and directing films the basic rule is telling a story with clarity, well researched and having the voices featured in the documentary be straightforward in what they are speaking about. This combined with the images and editing which “flow” through the story told, create for me a seamless film.

New York Festivals: What was your mantra for career success?

Robert E. Frye: Have the passion for the work I do, if you care about the story then the rest takes care of itself. Also, don’t worry about the clock, when I first started a wise man gave me a very important piece of advice “don’t work against the clock, work with time.

New York Festivals: Was your path to success linear or a winding road…how so?

Robert E. Frye: Of course, it has not been a “glide path”, many twists and turns, as well as unexpected moments. There is a wonderful saying “pick yourself up, dust yourself off”. Also, the Irish prayer “the wind at your back” Finally the vision to be involved in story has kept me going to this day.

New York Festivals: What are some of the tools you use to keep your audience?

Robert E. Frye: I have found over the years that showing the finished documentary to those who are featured and if the comments received from them are positive, my experience has been they can be the most critical when it comes to the truthfulness of the story told. The wonderful thing to me is that “truth is stranger than fiction” and to amend that “Truth is al stronger than fiction. Today many try to stretch the reality of a story told, it ultimately is up to the audience to accept what the story means to them.

New York Festivals: Share your thoughts on freedom of the press?

Robert E. Frye: We are living in challenging times. However, as I write these words, since I was drawn to this work in the early 1960′s, the fact is every period presents challenging times. The nature of this business, provides an opportunity to tell the story, whatever it is. The first amendment is key to why in the United States, one has to uphold the principles of freedom of the press as well as to honor that principle and to exercise the responsibility of those rights. Always.

New York Festivals: How has video streaming changed your creative approach?

Robert E. Frye: No, it is just another working tool in getting the story out there.

New York Festivals: Talk about how story structure has changed with the spread of mobile?

Robert E. Frye: Although the spread of mobile has foreshortened the length of time the receiver will take to listen, watch or read what you are sending, the nature of storytelling is the same. But then again over the years I have worked in all formats, from a :45 second report to a three-hour documentary. The basic principle is framing the story and having a conclusion on why you are telling the story.

For more information on the New York Festivals Television & Films please visit here: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

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Grand Jury Perspective: Alicja Jankowiak

New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards Grand Jury is comprised of some of the world’s most award-winning Directors, Producers, Writers, Actors and other global media professionals. Each Grand Jury member has achieved prominence within the industry and garnered respect for their creative contributions.

Alicja Jankowiak with Mike Saraswat, producer and owner of Ekstasy that produced the movie "Olive Green" at the 2016 TV & Film Awards Gala

 

NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective offers an intimate glimpse into the thought process and creative insights of these industry superstars who serve on the Grand Jury. This week, New York Festivals TV & Film Grand Jury Perspective interviewed Grand Jury member, Alicja Jankowiak, Editor-in-Chief for SuperMemo World sp 200 Poland, a leading provider of online and mobile learning solutions in Poland, and globally. Alicja holds two MA degrees both in English and Ethnolinguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and Postgraduate in Management. She serves as Executive producer and editorial project manager for Olive Green.

Alicja and SuperMemo took home the 2016 TV & Film Awards Gold World medal  a the TV & Film Awards Gala held at NAB in Las Vegas for “Olive Green.” “Olive Green” is the first ever full feature interactive movie available online designed to teach English, combined with computer games. Not only is the feature an action flick, “Olive Green” is also a comprehensive film-based English course. The learning process takes the learner from the basics up to the proficiency level. Geared towards English self-learners aged from 16 to 35, with instruction and subtitles in the following languages: English, German, Spanish, Spanish (Argentina), French, Italian, Russian, Polish, Dutch and Mandarin Chinese. The film, which has garnered global accolades, is available online at www.OliveGreenTheMovie.com and was released on DVD-ROM in October 2014, as well as mobile apps in December 2014.

 

Alicja shares her creative insights below, homing in on what makes great content, sharing her mantra for career success, the tools she uses to keep her audience, and what is the next project in line to produce.

NYF TV & Film: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Alicja Jankowiak: From the perspective of the educational market that I am part of, for content to be great it definitely has to be effective and engaging at the same time. There is a plethora of learning resources available, yet there are few that can really captivate the learner, keep them highly motivated and actually let them enjoy the learning process, at the same time making sure that learning brings the desired results. Also, great content is easily adaptable to the ever-changing technologies that people use, and to the ways that people actually like to learn at a given moment in time.

NYF TV & Film: What was your mantra for career success? Was your path to success linear or a winding road…how so?

Alicja Jankowiak: Is there even anything like a linear path to success? It must be excruciatingly boring! :) Mine was a winding road, for many different reasons. If I were to name one, I would definitely say that it is sometimes very difficult to convince people around you that a project or concept that you believe in actually makes sense and can bring an amazing final result. And you can’t achieve much just on your own. Coming across the right people who support your vision, offer constructive feedback and enjoy the success as much as you do is when it all falls into place. My mantra? Trust your intuition. Plus, when you are on your path, always looking forward, towards the new, unknown, take a while from time to time to stop, and look back. It is a great feeling to see how many obstacles, hardships and moments of discouragement you already tackled!

Alicja Jankowiak with Mike Saraswat, producer and owner of Ekstasy at the podium at the 2016 NYF TV & Film Awards

NYF TV & Film: What are some of the tools you use to keep your audience?

Alicja Jankowiak: Our audience are learners, and we decided to keep them with us for a longer time with a video-based course. They enjoy following a story, watching how it develops, takes different turns, how the protagonists grow and deal with the ups and downs. As simple as that. The story makes reference to various types of people, a variety of characters and origins. Our audience can find their favourite, identify with them, see how their adventure ends. Apart from the product itself, we also convince our audience to stay with us, because we provide them with content that is adaptable to the new technologies; content that they can use in their favourite way: on their phone, tablet, laptop. We let them make choices. We provide them with the best technology that they can choose and pick from.

NYF TV & Film: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Alicja Jankowiak: More video-based language learning projects, I hope! Following our multi-awarded Olive Green English course, we are hoping to start a similar project in Spanish and German very soon. Which does not mean that the path to these will now be linear, by no means :) .

 

 

For more information on New York Festivals TV & Film Awards  or to enter, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

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Grand Jury Perspective: Pedro Lopes, SP Televisão

New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards Grand Jury is comprised of  some of the world’s most award-winning Directors, Producers, Writers, Actors and other global media professionals. Each Grand Jury member has achieved prominence within the industry and garnered respect for their creative contributions.

Pedro Lopes, Content Director for SP Televisão Portugal

NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective offers an intimate glimpse into the thought process and creative insights of these industry superstars who serve on the Grand Jury.

This week, New York Festivals TV & Film Op-Ed blog interviewed Pedro Lopes, Content Director for SP Televisão Portugal. Pedro shares his knowledge and industry expertise with the next generation, teaching at ESCS – School of Communication and Media studies and at UCP – Catholic University of Lisbon. He is also Vice-coordinator of the Portuguese team of Ibero-American Observatory of Television Fiction (OBITEL). 

In 2016,Pedro was awarded the Gold Medal at the New York Festival’s World’s Best TV & Film Awards for the Telenovela “Coração d’Ouro” (Heart of Gold).  Additional accolades  include earning an International Emmy Award in 2011 for Best Telenovela for “Lacos de Sangue”  and a nomination for the 2013 Sophia Awards from the Portuguese Cinema Academy for Best Original Screenplay for “Assim Assim.” 

In the interview below, Pedro shares his thoughts on what makes great content, his personal journey towards success, his upcoming projects and more!

New York Festivals: Talk about what qualities makes great content?

Pedro Lopes: A good story, well-told. The formula is apparently easy, but we can spend a lifetime discussing which elements are part of a good story and the narrative strategies that result in a viewer watching episode after episode. Maybe because it’s so difficult to explain, that most storytelling courses that sell miracle formulas are given by people who never wrote a thing! Even so, for me a good concept always begins with a different and original view over the world, being this world inhabited by complex characters who find themselves in moments of decision.

New York Festivals: What was your mantra for career success? Was your path to success linear or winding road?

Pedro Lopes: Never confuse the world with my backyard. It’s important to travel, be open to others and listen to their stories. If we close ourselves in our professional universe, surround by executives, writers and actors only, we will live in a parallel reality that is very unexciting for anyone who is interested in telling stories.

My journey has been quite consistent, but I had to wait for the opportunities. In 2000, I started writing for entertainment at Endemol. Before writing fiction, I wrote for other authors and  later I began to coordinate projects at Plural.  In 2007, I was invited to be the content director of SP Televisão and began to sign my own projects.

I’m always surprised when I look back, after receiving my degree in History at the Faculty of Arts in Lisbon, I went on to teach at a high school, and from one moment to the next, things took a different turn.

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Pedro Lopes

Pedro Lopes: This year’s end will be tough. I just wrote a feature film and it should go into pre-production early next year, and as content director, I’m supervising projects by other authors for SIC and RTP. But once 2018 starts, I will concentrate exclusively on a new TV series that will mark the entrance of SP Televisão into a new fiction market.

New York Festivals: How has video streaming changed your creative approach?

Pedro Lopes: In Portugal, largely due to problems of Digital Terrestrial Television, over 80% of the population already uses subscription TV service. However, despite this number, the law does not oblige operators to produce and broadcast national content. For this reason, so far the national authors have not written for the cable channels nor for the over-the-top (OTT) that already operate in the Portuguese territory. Therefore, the market we have access to is that of free-to-air stations, with more family oriented fiction and less for niche markets. Nonetheless, there have been changes because the public has progressively become more media literate.

The type of fiction that we try to do in SP Televisão is very oriented towards a new, more authorial sensitivity, with complex stories and less manichaean characters. Thanks to the path that we have been on for 10 years,  we are not only looking for formulas that are comfortable for the public and that can guarantee rating, but we believe that quality brings audiences.  We know that we have become interesting for some of the OTT newcomers to our market.

For more information on New York Festivals TV & Film Awards  or to enter, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

 

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From Behind the Lens: A few minutes with Fisher Stevens, director of “Before the Flood”

Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio joined forces with National Geographic to create  the powerful documentary “Before the Flood,” their 2016 award-winning film that addresses climate change via interviews with climate change experts and global thought leaders. Their 2 1/2-year journey to reveal the truth about climate change and it’s impact on the earth finds the team traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand.

“Before the Flood” premiered in 2016 at the Toronto Film Festival and aired globally on the National Geographic Channel on October 30th in 171 countries and 45 languages. National Geographic aired an encore presentation of “Before the Flood” across all their platforms this June as part of the network’s continued commitment to covering climate change.

In 2017, “Before The Flood” earned double Gold Medals at the April 25th New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards gala at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The riveting  documentary was in the spotlight taking home a Gold World Medal in Climate Change & Sustainability and also the prestigious United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) Gold Award.

The UNDPI Award is a special award that New York Festivals, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information, established in 1990 to honor programs that best exemplify the aims and ideals of the United Nations. Today, the UN’s Global Goals are designed to inspire governments and individuals to take action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. And, two years ago, New York Festivals, inspired by the UN’s Global Goals, established a new category for documentaries: Climate Change & Sustainability.

Fisher Stevens, Director of "Before the Flood"

New York Festivals caught up with multi-talented Academy Award winning director Fisher Stevens and asked him to share his thoughts about earning the United Nations Award, how he secured prominent climate change experts to participate in his film, creative and logistical challenges that he faced as the film’s director and much much more.

New York Festivals: Your documentary “Before the Flood” has received many accolades since its premiere. Could you talk about how it feels to be recognized by New York Festivals Grand Jury of international filmmakers with a Gold World Medal and also to receive the United Nations Department of Public Information with the Gold UNDPI Award?

Fisher Stevens: Being recognized by the United Nations is an honor. We were also grateful to have the opportunity to film at the United Nations, and film with peace-keeping units in different parts of the world.

We hope this film continues to bring awareness to the dire situation at hand, and pressure Americans to write their Congressmen and Senators and tell them that the United States made a mistake by pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.

New York Festivals: How did you build longstanding relationships with environmental thought leaders and experts who are exploring environmental issues and enlist them to participate in your film? How much of an influence were your previous documentaries “The Cove” and “Racing Extinction?

Fisher Stevens: I think my experiences working on other environmental documentaries helped me access some of the great minds in the environmental movement when making the film. It also helps to have Leonardo DiCaprio interview them. And of course, Leo is an ambassador of peace for climate change.

New York Festivals: NYF read that you and Leonardo DiCaprio first began discussing your collaboration while visiting the Galapagos Islands and witnessing the effects of climate change there. Interesting that Charles Darwin in his voyage on the HMS Beagle was also inspired by his visit to the Galapagos Islands.  Could you talk about how much time elapsed from your initial discussions until the two of you moved forward with pre-production, research and production?

Fisher Stevens: In 2010 I went to the Galapagos to film with Dr. Sylvia Earle – I was making a bio-pic about her at the time. Leo was also in the Galapagos, and we dove together a few times, and spoke a great deal about environmental degradation. When Leo saw a cut of the film, which was eventually entitled “Mission Blue,” he asked me if I would like to do a documentary about the state of the environment – not just focusing on the oceans as I had previously done, but larger scale. He also saw an early rough cut of “Racing Extinction” and was becoming familiar with my work.

“Before the Flood” took about two and a half years to make – from the first shoot until our premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

New York Festivals: Could you talk about the creative and logistical challenges that you faced and how you used technology to solve them?

Fisher Stevens: It’s always difficult to make a movie on a subject as broad as the environment.

It was also challenging because Leo was filming “The Revenant” at the same time, so scheduling was more complicated. We tried to do scenes without Leo – and even went all

Ecuadorian Amazon

the way to the Ecuadorian Amazon. I caught malaria while we were there! We filmed a powerful segment about the Native American population, whose water had been contaminated by oil seeping into their rivers. But when we cut the scene together, it structurally didn’t fit with the rest of the movie.

But on the plus side, we also learned quite a bit about the environment from the making of “The Revenant.”  For example, the film was shooting in Canada, and that year had the warmest month of March in history. The film actually had to shut down production, and move all the way around the world to Patagonia in order to capture the cooler climate. Leo was actually experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand.

Having the newest cameras allowed us to be much more mobile and nimble — access was easier because of that technology, especially in the most difficult places.

New York Festivals: What were you looking to achieve in terms of gaining maximum exposure for your film’s message?

Fisher Stevens: We were hoping that the film would enlighten people to the importance of climate change. We wanted to grab the attention of people who maybe wouldn’t necessarily want to watch a movie about the environment. And we did. A lot of that had to do with Leo’s star power.

President Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio

But there’s more work to be done. Unfortunately our worst nightmares came true when Donald Trump won the election. He’s trying to open up National Parks for drilling, he pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, he’s destroying Obama’s Clean Power Plan, he’s letting oil and gas lobbyists run the EPA … this nightmare we were exploring in the film has become even more of a reality.

New York Festivals:What is the next step for you on journey and what is next on the horizon for you?

Fisher Stevens: I’m going to continue to make short and long-form films on climate change that hopefully have some sort of social impact. And I will be as loud as I can about getting the right Congressional candidates elected in 2018.

John Kerry with Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens at a "Before the Flood" event

Before the Flood Credits: directed by Fisher Stevens and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Fisher Stevens, Jennifer Davisson and Trevor Davidoski with Brett Ratner and James Packer of RatPac Entertainment. It was written by Mark Monroe and Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, Adam Bardach, Mark Monroe, and Zara Duffy. The film is edited by Geoffrey Richman A.C.E., Ben Sozanski, Abhay Sofsky, and Brett Banks. The Director of Photography is Antonio Rossi. The Executive Music Producers are Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with original music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Mogwai and Gustavo Santaolalla.

For more information on New York Festivals TV & Film Awards please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/

 

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NYF’s Lifetime Achievement Award Honors Contributions of the Best in the TV & Film Industry

New York Festivals® International Television & Film Awards  Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes prominent industry leaders whose accomplishments and contributions have advanced their field and made a lasting impression on the industry. Since NYF’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement in 2011, the competition has honored the industry’s most respected executives. From legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles to the 2017 recipient Tony Petitti, Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, NYF’s Lifetime Achievement Award is a tribute to a career whose hallmarks include not only achievements within their field, but also for their positive influence on the colleagues whose lives they have touched through their leadership.

The Lifetime Achievement Award presentation is the high-point of the annual awards ceremony where award-winners from prominent networks and production companies celebrate the world’s most compelling stories being created by content creators from around the globe. The 2017 recipient will be honored at the Awards Gala held on April 25 at the annual NAB Show. This year’s recipient’s achievements will be an inspiration for the thousands of creative industry professionals and press who will attend NAB.

Whether they are involved in the creation process, writing, producing or directing news, sports or entertainment programming, or inventing innovative ways to engage viewers through break-through engineering and technical advances, their commitment to creating extraordinary content across all genres and platforms is inspirational.

NYF salutes the impressive roster of iconic industry pros earning the Lifetime Achievement Award:

2017 – Tony Petitti, Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball. Petitti served as President & Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network (MLBN), where he oversaw all day-to-day operations, until formally joining the Office of the Commissioner in 2014. The record-setting launch of MLBN, which debuted on January 1, 2009 in 50 million cable and satellite homes, marked the largest in cable television history. Today, MLB Network is widely distributed in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. He also served as Executive Vice President and Executive Producer for CBS Sports, Senior Vice President, Negotiations for NBC Sports and as Vice President, Programming for ABC Sports.

2016 – David Hill, Legendary veteran sports executive, live event specialist and Father of FOX Sports. He also served as Senior Executive Vice President of 21st Century Fox, chairman of National Geographic Channels, was an executive producer at Fox for “American Idol” for the iconic show’s final three seasons and produced the 88th Academy Awards telecast. The consummate innovator, Mr. Hill influenced the medium via expanded use of technology to enhance the at-home experience for sports television viewers.

2015 – Ken Aagaard, EVP, Innovation and New Technology for CBS Sports. With a media career spanning over four decades, including 18 Super Bowls, five World Series, and three Olympics, Aagaard is one of sports television’s most respected broadcast executives. Mr. Aagaard introduced multiple critically acclaimed technical achievements including EyeVision, a new technology showing replays in 3-D introduced at Super Bowl XXXV, and Swing Vision, a super-slow motion breakdown for replaying golf swings. Past chairman of Sports Video Group, Aagaard chairs the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the SVG Broadcasting Fund.

2014 – David Mazza, Senior Vice President and CTO, NBC Sports Group. Mazza’s technical work has spanned the worlds of sports, entertainment, and news. His Olympic career has spanned over 20 years with the Rio Olympics marking his 14thOlympic Games. Projects undertaken during his four decade career includes multiple Championships at Wimbledon; numerous Super Bowls; multiple seasons of Championship Boxing on HBO and seasons of NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and Finals; and the first three MTV Video Music Awards, and a long list of others. He and his team were instrumental in the building of NBC Sports Group’s headquarters: a state-of-the-art International Broadcast Center.

2013 – Susan Zirinsky, Senior Executive Producer of the CBS News broadcast 48 HOURS. In addition to her work on 48 HOURS, now in its 29th full season, Zirinsky routinely is the Senior Executive Producer of breaking news specials events for CBS News. Her extensive journalism career at CBS News has provided her with a front seat to some of the iconic moments in TV news history. Zirinsky was also the executive producer of CBS News’ historic and award-winning “9/11” broadcast

2012 – Geoffrey Mason, One of sports television’s most accomplished executives; he has more than 40 years of domestic and international production experience, including seven Olympic Games, six World Cups, and multiple America’s Cup races. Mason has worked for ABC, NBC, Fox, ESPN, and NFL Network over five decades in the business, mentoring hundreds of co-workers along the way. Mason has served as head of production planning for UEFA EUROs and FIFA World Cup soccer.

2011 – Albert Maysles, Legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles received NYF’s inaugural Television & Film Lifetime Achievement Award. Called “the greatest American cameraman” by Jean-Luc Godard, Albert, along with his brother David (1932-1987), is recognized as a pioneer of direct cinema. His unsurpassed body of work totals more than 40 films, including: Gimme Shelter, chronicling the Rolling Stones epic 1969 tour; Grey Gardens, the intimate portrait of East Hampton recluses Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie”; and Muhammad and Larry.

To view the 2017 TV & Film Awards Finalists please visit: HERE.

David Hill 2016 Lifetime Award Recipient

Join NYF on April 25th, 2017 to celebrate this year’s Lifetime Award Recipient, Tony Petitti and the 2017 award winners.  Winning entries will be announced at the Television & Film Awards gala. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the NYF Television & Film Awards website. To View the 2016 TV & Film Awards Recap Video please visit: HERE.

For more information on New York Festivals Television & Film Awards competition please visit the website www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/.

Production Hub  is the official media sponsor of the 2017 TV & Film Awards.

Press inquiries are welcome and should be directed to Gayle Mandel: gmandel@newyorkfestivals.com, Ph: 1 212 643 4800.

 

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NYF’s TV & Film Awards Grand Jury: Power Women in Production

New York Festivals® International Television & Film Awards  has honored the World’s Best TV & Films℠ since 1957 and the competition continues to celebrate the world’s most compelling stories being created today by content creators around the globe.

Our agenda is simple – to celebrate the achievements of the many talented men and women who make up the worldwide creative community.

The Grand Jury plays an important role in the competition—selecting the World’s Best TV & Films in two rounds of judging.  All of NYF’s jurors are directors, producers, journalists, writers, and filmmakers who are passionate about excellence and innovation. Their hands-on expertise across all genres and platforms ensure that this peer-judging process provides each entry with the attention it deserves. Now that the 2017 Finalists have been announced, the jury is immersed in the medal round.

The 2017 jury has more than 180+ members from over 30 countries. They are all award-winners recognized for creative excellence and 34% of the Grand Jury are women.

Whether these women are supervising on-air teams, reporting the news, developing a script, bringing a story to life for the screen, or creating magic in the edit suite, they are a dynamic force. So, here are some snapshots of just a few of these Power Women in Production.

Marita Bittencourt,Producer/Editor,Globotv

Marita Bittencourt (Brazil) Producer/Editor for Globotv.  Marita is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro who has worked in the television industry for three decades.  She’s served as an editor, scriptwriter and producer of a variety of short documentaries and daily newscasts for the Globo Group. For the past 20 years, she’s been at GloboNews-the first all-news TV channel in Brazil. Marita was honored with the 2016 New York Festivals Silver World Medal for the documentary “Kobani lives on – the city that defeated ISIS.”

 

 

Juliet Clerc (France) CEO and Head of On Air, Dream On.She joined Dream On in 2002 to

Juliette Clerc, CEO and Head of On Air, Dream On

run the company’s TV branding department, which includes production and business development.   In 2008, Juliette launched Jules and George Productions, a brand content startup, and then worked with Orange Cinéma Séries to supervise the multimedia launch of Martin Scorsese series “Boardwalk Empire” in 2010.  In 2011, she served as On Air Branding Producer for Canal+, responsible for the branding and production of the 30 Canal+ group TV stations. Since 2012, she’s headed up the video department at Dream On and as the company’s business unit director is developing projects.  Juliet earned two New York Festivals Silver World Medal s in 2016 for “Bande annonce coupe du monde de Rugby” and “Ident été – France 3.”

 

Sofia de Fay (UAE) Director.Sofia has directed films for television stations, multi-

Sofia de Fay, Director, Independent

nationals, advertising agencies, governments, charities, the web, channels and presidents, sheikhs, kings and princes for over 2 decades. She has filmed in UK, Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, UAE, Namibia, Gabon, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Italy, Germany, France, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Somalia, Bosnia and United States of America. Sofia’s big break into the business came after penning her first article “Bara Blues” from a blood splashed ER unit, her story was picked up by a local magazine. Early in her career, she specialized in wildlife and anthropological scripts carving out a niche as a scriptwriter. Soon, Sofia had written 500 documentaries that were distributed to 18 territories worldwide, securing her reputation with international channels including National Geographic, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.  Over the years, Sofia’s directorial efforts earned in multiple New York Festivals Gold, Silver, and Bronze World Medals.

Julia Gorbach (USA) Creative Producer, The Skin Deep.Julia is an Emmy award-winning story-teller, director, and actress born in Ukraine and raised in NY.  For three

Julia Gorbach Creative Producer, the Skin Deep

years, Julia has been the Creative Producer at The Skin Deep, a creative studio in Brooklyn.  She has directed and produced interactive documentary experiences including The Dig, {THE AND}, Senior Orientation, and more. Currently, Julia is an independent director creating interactive and digital series.  Her program {THE AND} earned a NYF TV & Film Awards Gold World Medal in 2016.

 

 

Sarah Kirkegaard (Germany) Producer, MOOVIE GmbH.  

Sarah Kirkegaard, Producer, MOOVIE GmbH

In 2007, Sarah joined the development department at MOOVIE / Constantin Film supporting CEO and producer Oliver Berben as a script editor, dramaturg, screenwriter, creative producer, and associate producer. In January 2016, Sarah became a producer at MOOVIE focusing on historical mini-series, adaptations from literature, and contemporary (family) drama.  She has earned numerous regional and international awards including a New York Festivals Gold World Medal 2015 for “Das Zeugenhaus” / “The Witness House.”

 

Kelly Martin (NZ) CEO South Pacific Pictures. Kelly has over 20 years’ experience in New Zealand’s television industry working at both the major networks of TVNZ and Mediaworks TV3. During that time she managed international acquisition and oversaw

Kelly Martin, CEO, South Pacific Pictures

local production strategy and commissioning. Local productions she’s brought to the screen include: Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, The Strip, What’s Really in Our Food?, numerous Inside NZ documentaries, and the development of the channels comedy strategy. She’s been with South Pacific Pictures since 2012 as the Executive Producer of TV2’s top rating weeknight drama serial “Shortland Street,” “Nothing Trivial” TVOne,  TV2’s “Step Dave” TV2,  “Westside” TV3, “The Brokenwood Mysteries “Prime TV, and “800 Words” for Network Seven Australia.  In 2016, “Westside” earned the NYF TV & Film Awards Gold World Medal.

 

Judy Plavnick  Kiley (USA) Executive Producer & Owner for SGGP.

Judy is a six-time Emmy award-winning producer and has produced programming for networks including PBS, Discovery, ESPN and NFL Films. She began her television career covering politics, for both local and national broadcast outlets, and then moved to sports broadcasting, covering the NFL for seven years. In the six years she was at Discovery Channel, she rose to the position of Senior Executive Producer before transitioning back to sports as Executive Producer for ESPN Classic. Judy formed her own production company in 2013 and is currently developing several series as well as working with corporate clients.

Judy Plavnick Kiley, Producer, Sit. Good Girl Productions LLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Roobol (Malaysia) Programme Editor Al Jazeera Network.

Sharon has more than 20 years’ experience in the television industry. She worked for several Australian television broadcasters before joining Al Jazeera’s Kuala Lumpur Bureau in2006. As the Executive Producer of 101 East, Sharon has produced more than

Sharon Roobol, Program Editor, Al Jazeera Networks Inc.

350 half-hour programs from across Asia. 101 East has won dozens of prestigious awards including a World Media Summit Award, Best Current Affairs Program at the Asian Television Awards, numerous Gold World Medals and a Silver Medal at the 2016 New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards, Best Short Documentary at the Sichuan TV Festival Awards in China, and several Human Rights Press Awards.

 

 

Pauline Russell (UK) VP Creative Services for Scripps Networks Inc.

Pauline Russell,VP Creative Services, Scripps Networks Inc

Pauline has been at Scripps Networks International since July 2014 and is responsible for devising Creative and Brand Strategy for 4 brands across UK and EMEA. She co-chaired the conference and awards for Promax UK 2015. Pauline has over 15 years experience working for international broadcasters in continuity, promos, branding and management. She spent 4 years at BBC Worldwide working on the EMEA channels and she produced the Showcase event in Liverpool, overseeing all the short-form media. Pauline’s spent almost 10 years creating promos the Discovery Networks International.

All Entries in the 2017 competition will be judged online and screened by New York Festivals Television & Film Awards Grand Jury of 200 plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe.  Nominated Finalists are judged by a blue ribbon panel at the United Nations for the UNDPI Awards. To view the 2017 TV & Film Awards Finalist please visit: HERE.

Winners will be announced at the Television & Film Awards gala taking place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 25th, 2017. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the NYF Television & Film Awards website. To View the 2016 TV & Film Awards Recap Video please visit: HERE.

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