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World Screen Newsflash

October 12, 2020


ViacomCBS International Studios Americas: Meeting the Needs of the Marketplace

Amid productions being on hold and premieres delayed, the arrival of new players and the changing needs of established clients, ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) has adapted quickly to the challenges that have emerged. Guillermo Borensztein, VP of content sales and co-productions at VIS Americas, lists three key factors that made this possible: “First, ***Image***we have the advantage of owning our own content,” he says. “The second factor is the ability to be flexible to accommodate specific customer needs. Finally, rethinking the way we connect to our teams and leverage their expertise.”

In terms of meeting the content needs of the marketplace, Borensztein notes a “sustained and growing demand” for Nickelodeon content, as well as for Telefe family series and premium series from the studio. There is also a growing interest in content for young adults (such as that from AwesomenessTV or Ananey), and in local films in a variety of genres that go directly to the platform as a first window. “We have an advantage because we do not depend on a single catalog,” he says. “In fact, we always say that our catalog is a set of catalogs, which includes local productions in different countries of the region, U.S. productions and content for preschool kids, young adults and the family as a whole. The content is generated by our brands, co-produced with or directly from third parties, and ranges from films and series to documentaries and movies. It’s a unique position to occupy in the market in these times.”

From its scripted slate, Pequeña Victoria (Victoria Small), which takes a look at gender roles in a unique way, was recently nominated for an International Emmy Award for best telenovela. “It is a recognition that goes beyond the success it had with the Telefe audience,” says Borensztein. “It represents our continued commitment to addressing issues of inclusion, as was done previously with 100 Days to Fall in Love on Telefe and other projects from our brands. Our studio has diversity and inclusion embedded in our DNA, and these values are infused into almost all of our projects and, as a result, transmitted to our audience as well.”

With regard to formats, Sres. Papis has been sold and adapted in more than 15 countries, including Chile, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Ukraine and the Middle East, among others, “a feat few countries in Latin America have accomplished,” Borensztein says. He also highlights the global success of ADDA. Amar después de Amar, the original version of which was sold to more than 20 countries, while Mexico, Greece, the Middle East, Portugal and Spain opted to adapt the format.

In terms of development and production, VIS is continuing to prioritize the health and safety of its employees by “complying with the protocols defined by the organization, while we move forward with the reactivation of productions throughout the region,” explains Borensztein. “At the moment, we are completing ongoing projects or have started new productions in Mexico (Asesino del Olvido and Backdoor), Spain (Parot), Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. We are also searching for partners and clients for projects we are developing in the next few months and hope to start producing in 2021.”

From a distribution standpoint, he adds, “we are committed to maintaining the level of sales in recent months (mainly in regard to finished programming), closing the last quarter by fulfilling our commercial objectives and expanding our client portfolio.”

Borensztein is optimistic about the prospects that 2021 brings for the company. He says, “What happened this year on a global scale once again demonstrates the power of the entertainment industry—and the content it creates—to entertain, inform and accompany people in their day-to-day lives. Through ViacomCBS International Studios, as well as the different ViacomCBS brands ranging from broadcast and pay-TV to SVOD and AVOD platforms, we seek to engage our audience with the best content and the most flexible entertainment experience. This is reflected in the $13 billion per year our company invests in content. At VIS, our objective is to become the premier studio in Latin America. We remain committed to producing locally more often, partnering with the best players and talent, maximizing the potential of our properties through their entire operating cycle, continuing to be global leaders in the distribution market and diversifying our lines of business. We want to continue being leaders, from Latin America to the world.”

See VIS’s Fall 2020 Showcase here.

More from VIS

PH—Time to Talk

***Video***(Talk show) Six guests who would never come together in normal life find out that they have more in common than not. They discuss current affairs, get into some heated debates and accomplish tasks as a team. They're surprised to discover what they all share. Do they have more in common than they expected? Like everyone says, we're all different, unique and irreplaceable. But we have much more in common than we think.
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Blue’s Clues and You!

***Video***(Preschool, S1: 20x30 min.) A remake of the groundbreaking, curriculum-driven interactive series Blue’s Clues, featuring brand-new elements alongside refreshed iconic items from the original series. These include new CG animation for Blue and Magenta; an updated Handy Dandy Notebook equipped with a new blue crayon and smartphone technology, allowing Josh and Blue to receive emails and video calls; an all-new Handy Dandy Guitar; the return of fan-favorite characters Tickety Tock, Slippery Soap, Shovel, Pail, Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper, Cinnamon, Paprika, Felt Friends, Sidetable Drawer and Mailbox, plus the original Thinking Chair; and the introduction of Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper’s newest additions—twins Sage and Ginger.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

The Internationals… Connection Buenos Aires

***Video***(Drama, S1: 8x60 min.) In 1991, Fausto was a member of Colombia’s best band of thieves. His ingenious heists around the world, with no violence or weapons, made him a legend. But it all went wrong. Fausto broke a sacred code within “Los Internacionales” when he became involved with Mafe, his partner’s lover. On that same night, the cheated husband was murdered by the police and Fausto ended up behind bars for the confusing and deadly incident. Eleven years later, he is free and decides to put together a new band of internationals. He summons a group of young people and seeks to instill in them the ancient codes. They travel together to Argentina in the midst of the biggest crisis in the country’s history. The reason for this choice is to get a hold of the dollars on the street. Fausto’s secret objective is to find Mafe, and meet his son.
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***Video***(Dramedy, S1: 10x60 min.) For Franco Barron, every day is the same. He lives in an unending and boring routine. Every morning he goes to work, where he's mistreated by a boss who is 20 years younger than him. At home, his wife humiliates him and his teenage kids pay him no attention at all. One day, everything changes forever. A routine medical checkup leads to a terminal cancer diagnosis: he has one month to live. Shocked by the news, he decides to free himself to enjoy to the fullest extent the little time he has left.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


***Video***(Comedy, S1: 20x30 min., S2: 20x30 min.) An adaptation for the Mexican market of the famous Brazilian comedy YouTube channel Porta dos Fundos, Backdoor is a format with short sketches that showcase different social situations in a satirical, over-the-top and very funny way.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


***Video***(Drama, S1: 13x60 min.) Daniel gets an urgent operation. He had a car accident. He’s alive, but in very poor condition. As they wait for news, his mother, Miriam, and Rebeca, his wife, start calling friends and loved ones to tell them the news. Among them are Sergio, Cristina’s husband, and Cristina, Rebeca’s best friend. Rebeca never imagined that an emergency call would reveal that her husband Daniel had not only been left in a coma after a car accident, but that an unknown woman was also in the car, having disappeared without a trace. She never would have thought that this accident would affect her life as much as it did Sergio and Cristina’s. This story is told in two time settings: the present, in which the police investigation will reveal to both married couples the lies woven around them, and the past, which will show what unleashed this love affair.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


***Video***(Teen telenovela, S2: 60x60 min.) There is a world parallel to the real world—it's Avatar City. There are rules to follow and others to break. Silvia decided to leave the Noobees' team and go back to playing basketball and spending time with David. What they don’t know is that the A.I. "Game Over" wants a rematch. The plan is to split them up and take control of all the Gamers by transforming real life into a huge video game. To make it happen, Game Over has help from two Avatars that it brings to life, Athina and Rocco, who are deceived by Game Over and its true intentions. Can humans win against avatars?
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***Video***(Comedy, S1: 10x30 min.) The daughter of a Mexican beauty queen attempts to become a Hollywood star as she struggles against aging and her own mother’s unaccomplished dreams. As a child, Ana was trained to become famous, beautiful and forever young. Her demanding mother’s expression—“Us women become invisible the minute we turn 40”—echoes in her mind while time continues to fly by, the work visa expires and drug and gender free love transform the perception she acknowledges about herself. In the pursuit of a leading role that would allow her to succeed in Hollywood, she realizes that her life has been ruled by appearances. Will she find herself? Will she become invisible? Or will Ana finally accept that she resembles her mother more than she would like to admit?
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Victoria Small

***Video***(Dramedy, 52x60 min.) Jazmin, Barbara, Emma and Selva are four women with the same wish: to be moms. Their lives are intertwined when Victoria is born, and their dreams turn into complicated reality. Victoria, who is adopted by one of the women, was born by a surrogate from the egg of a third woman, who was fertilized with a donation from a transgender woman. All four come together in the right place at the right time. Victoria learns from each of her various mothers a very different way of loving, feeling and dreaming. All four women will have to settle their differences and together learn how to raise a very modern young woman in a very complicated world.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


***Video***(Comedy, S2: 8x30 min.) Four thirtysomething friends who always talk about women, drink and brag about their glories face a real problem for the first time: one of them is powerless. Nothing works, not the doctor, not the Viagra, not the women. He needs help from his "stud" friends. It's like a male version of Sex in the City where pretty clothes and the dream of marrying a prince are set aside. What do men want? What can men do? What's going on with men? This is what we're going to talk about, without walking the branches, straight to the point. Let's talk like men!
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Visit VIS’s Screening Room

VIS Contacts: Guillermo Borensztein, VP, Content Sales & Co-Productions, VIS Americas; Elena Antonini, Director, Content Sales & Co-Productions; Natalia Delmas, Manager, Content Sales & Co-Productions.


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