“ATV delves into Mid East history” – C21 Media

“Turkish broadcaster ATV is preparing to air a new historical drama described as the largest production ever to be made in the Middle East.

Omar Ibn Al Khattab (31×60′), coproduced by MBC Group and Qatar TV, charts the life of Khalifeh Omar Ibn Al Khattab and the Islamic empire he built.

ATV acquired the finished programme, which will be dubbed for Turkish viewers.

Fadi Ismail, general manager of MBC Group’s O3 Productions, said: “ATV has shown interest in the series ever since the idea developed, continuing as production started, until they finally gained the broadcasting rights to air the series dubbed in Turkish.”

Mutlu Inan, deputy general manager of ATV, added: “As a Muslim country, Turkey has an appetite for historical series chronicling the lives of our great Islamic leaders. The series Omar has set a perfect example for this kind of programming.”

He predicted a “spectacular performance” during Ramadan this year.

When it was first announced in September 2010, the drama was described by MBC Group chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim as the biggest historical TV drama production ever to be made in the region.”

Source : C21 Media

Author : Michael Pickard


“Famous Bulgarian film studio to become set for Turk drama” – Hürriyet Daily News

Nu Boyana, the largest film production studio in Bulgaria, will host Turkish filmmakers Muharrem Gülmez and Serdar Akar for a 78-episode TV series. More than half the cast will be made up of Bulgarian actors. Source : Hürriyet

“Turkish filmmakers Muharrem Gülmez and Serdar Akar are planning to make a 78-episode TV series in Bulgaria. Shooting for the series, which will take places in the Nu Boyana Film Studios, will begin in August

Turkey’s hugely successful TV industry is preparing to bring one of its shows to Bulgaria, with plans to shoot dozens of episodes of the new program “Biniciler” (Riders) in the Balkan country.

“Our country is insufficient for us. We are producing so many things that we have trouble finding sufficient equipment and staff. This is why we have decided to come to our neighbor. When you need something, you go to your neighbor. This situation is like that. I hope we will do a good job here,” Turkish producer Muharrem Gülmez said during a weekend press conference outlining the filmmakers’ plans.

Some 78 episodes of “Biniciler” will be shot at Bulgaria’s Nu Boyana Film Studios starting in August.

Gülmez told Anatolia news agency that filmmakers had laid the foundations for a bridge between the countries in the best possible way and added that the chance to shoot in Bulgaria had attracted them because of the country’s natural beauty and its studio opportunities.

“More than 50 percent of the staff will include Bulgarian artists,” Gülmez said, adding that 15 artists from Turkey would act in the show for which casting work is still being conducted.

Asked by Bulgarian reporters how closely Turkish series adhere to reality, Gülmez said: “TV series are dramatic documentaries. These TV series are not dramas that relate to Turkey but the dramas of people and families. Turkish TV series do not give messages like ‘our beaches are very beautiful, our policy is very strong.’ We generally work on love stories.”

Director and screenwriter Serdar Akar said shooting would last two years.

“The TV series, which includes fantastic elements, is set in the pre-historic period, but at its core there is the theme of humanity,” he said.

Akar said they had found a good basis in Bulgaria for shooting. “The director of Nu Boyana Film Studios David Varod made many things happen for us. He opened the door to the studios for us. I think that we can do good work there. Now we have started looking for a house to stay in. We will be working here for two years but we don’t feel out of place.”

Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov, who brought the Turkish filmmakers together with their Bulgarian counterparts, said he was very pleased to establish the bridge of friendship. “Bulgaria-Turkey relations have never been as good as they are now,” Rashidov said.

ashidov said Turkish cinema was the world’s third biggest cinema after Hollywood and Bollywood. “One of our biggest dreams is to organize a festival that will introduce young Turkish cinema to Sofia soon.”

The minister also said he would sign an agreement with Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay in the coming days for Turkish-Bulgarian joint productions. “In this way, we will be able to provide financing from both countries for joint productions.”

Nu Boyana

Nu Boyana is the largest film production studio in Bulgaria. Since being rebuilt in a picturesque location on the outskirts of Sofia the studio has hosted the production of 180 feature films, including high-budget movies like “The Black Dahlia” and “The Way Back,” as well as produced visual effects for “The Expendables,” “Conan” and more.

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Women’s drama sells more, say Turkish TV series and film producers” – Hürriyet Daily News

'Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?’ tells the story of a rape victim, Fatmagül, and her struggle to return to life again. Source : Hürriyet

“Turkish TV series are driven by what will appeal to women, according to TV and film producers meeting at an equal-opportunity committee in Parliament.

“We have rating concerns. We need to appeal to women at first,” Ay Productions official Mithat Topaç said yesterday at the Role of the Media in Social Gender Equality subcommittee meeting of the Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men. “If we can succeed it, a TV series will continue.”

The committee gathered under the direction of Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Zeynep Karahan Uslu.

Many companies do not produce detective series because they will not sell, said a representative from Focus Film, Mehmet Erişti. “We exploit the drama of women, and they feel safer when they see other women’s dramas in those series.” Some 31 percent of managers in Turkey are women, Uslu said, noting that women’s role in society had changed.

In response, Uslu said the subcommittee had come together to discuss how this social change could be reflected in TV series.

Violence exists in daily life, she said, but added that it was important to show it in TV productions and films with a certain goal.

“For example, we don’t see in TV series a man who has gotten a restraining order from his home,” she said, noting that rape scenes could also be made more aesthetical.

According to the committee’s research, there is one unemployed man versus nine unemployed women in the most popular eight TV series, she said.

Erler Film Company representative Nuran Kuran said most screenwriters were female and added that they depicted positive examples of women’s positions in social life in her company’s productions.

“But we cannot go deep into their problems because the public would get bored,” she said, adding that they never discriminated on the basis of language, religion or gender in their productions.

Kuran also claimed that Tukish TV series had created the Arab Spring. She said, “Erler Film’s owner Türker İnanoğlu had a guest from Egypt 1.5 years ago. ‘The reason for the Arab Spring is meanly your TV series. They see that there is democracy and everything is very beautiful in Turkey. And they began thinking ‘why are we like this’.”

At Ay Productions, three of the four screenwriters are women while two of the four directors are also women, Topaç said. He also said the TV series “Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?” (What is Fatmagül’s Crime?) had received reaction, especially because of its famous rape scene. “But then we saw how a rape victim woman returns to life.” “

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Endemol Turkey launches drama unit” – C21 Media

“Endemol Turkey has set up a drama unit and has appointed an executive from one of the country’s biggest free-to-air broadcasters to head it.

Hulya Vural, who was head of drama at ATV and previously held the same post at Turkey’s Star network, started in the newly created head of drama role at Endemol Turkey in January.

The company now aims to launch a drama project in the next 12 months, as it aims to cash in on the country’s booming scripted market, Endemol Turkey MD Ansi Elagoz told C21.

“Turkish dramas are selling everywhere as ready-mades right now. Magnificent Century sold to over 60 countries as a ready-made, but our aim is not to only look for ready-mades but also formats,” said Elagoz, referring to the TIMS Productions-made Turkish hit.

“Endemol Italy, Endemol Spain, Endemol Netherlands, Endemol UK are very strong in drama, because the trend all around the world is tending towards it, so as a company we take it very seriously.

“Once you make a big hit, then you’re set for life with drama, whereas with formats, in the competitive markets, you have to work harder in my opinion to sell them and be successful.”

Endemol Turkey has previously experimented with local drama, adapting an Argentinian series called The Successful Mr and Mrs Pells for the local market.

Though this ran for only one season on Kanal D, Elagoz said the adaptation confirmed the need for Endemol Turkey to make a push into the local scripted space, “because that’s what drives the market.”

Endemol is responsible for dramas such as Hell on Wheels and Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which was recently picked up by Chilean public broadcaster TVN for a Latin American remake. However, the firm is best known for entertainment formats such as Big Brother, Total Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor.”

Source : C21 Media

“Organized crimes bureau stages raid on ratings” – Sabah

“The Department of Organized Crimes has staged a number of simultaneous operations on numerous production companies, including AGB.

A series of production companies and television stations have been brought under radar for acquiring unlawful profit through interferng with ratings.

Until present, 20 people have been taken into custody. Meanwhile the operation staged by Istanbul’s Organized Crimes Department is currently ongoing. “

Source : Sabah

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