A showcase for new Portuguese TV series aiming to attract international broadcasters and buyers, the first edition of ONSeries Lisboa, running Nov. 25-26, could hardly have come at a more opportune time.
Over recent years Portugal has been renowned for either niche auteur films or high-energy telenovelas. But a new strand of higher budget TV series has begun to emerge, driven by investments by local broadcasters and streaming-platforms, co-productions, production subsidies and an incentive scheme that now offers an up to 30% of spend cash rebate.
ONSeries aims to tap into this new energy. Produced by Géraldine Gonard’s Inside Content, the company behind Conecta Fiction in Spain, the two-day event brings a cluster of high-profile streamers, production companies, sales agents, television buyers and commissioning editors to Lisbon.
The event’s opening session includes the international premiere of crime drama, “Natural Law” (“Causa Propria”), produced by Arquipélago Filmes for Portuguese pubcaster, RTP.
Created by Edgar Medina and Rui Cardoso Martins and directed by João Nuno Pinto (“Mosquito”) the series is about violent crime in a small provincial town.
Streaming platforms are upping their investments in Portuguese TV series. Recent examples include “Gloria,” produced by SPi for Netflix and RTP.
Pubcaster RTP is involved in two major Spanish-Portuguese crime thrillers, to be presented during the event – “Sequía” (Drought), produced by Atlantia Media (Spain) and Coral Europa (Portugal) for RTVE and RTP; and “Operation Black Sea,” produced by Ficción Producciones (Spain) and Ukbar Filmes (Portugal) for Amazon Prime and RTP.
ONSeries Lisboa also features production panels and workshops, speed dating sessions with Portuguese screenwriters and directors and an international pitching session.
Panels will focus on key genres explored within recent Portuguese TV series, including crime drama, historical fiction and romantic drama.
Two Portuguese-language streaming platforms, the recently launched Opto SIC and Brazil’s fast-expanding Globoplay, will be presented, in separate sessions.
New funding opportunities available in Portugal will be explained in a workshop, focusing on subsidy grants for audiovisual productions and the 30% cash rebate scheme, that is available for fiction series with a minimum eligible spend in Portugal of €500,000 ($560,000).
To help provide seed funding for new projects, the OnIdeas pitching session has shortlisted six projects, from Portugal, Brazil and France, selected from 44 projects, that will compete for €15,000 ($16,800) and €10,000 ($11,200) development awards, granted by Portuguese broadcasters RTP and SIC, respectively.
Portuguese attendees include broadcasters, RTP, SIC and TVI, film institute ICA, the Portugal Film Commission, and leading production companies such as SPi, Coral Europa, Plural, Fado Filmes, Maria&Mayer, David&Golias and Ukbar Filmes.
International attendees take in Amazon Prime Video (Brazil), Movistar Plus (Spain), Federation Entertainment (France), Caracol TV (Colombia), CBS Studios International. Viacom CBS (Netherlands), RTVE (Spain) and HBO Latin America (Brazil).
In an impressive turnout, also attending are Portocabo (Spain), Global Screen (Germany), Netflix, Orange OCS (France), HBO Europe & HBO Max EMEA (Spain), RTI Mediaset Group (Italy), Mediawan Rights (France), TV Cultura (Brazil), France Télévisions (France), IB3TV (Spain), Beta Film (Germany), Scenic Rights (Spain), Film.UA Group (Ukraine), GECA Consultores (Spain) and ZDF Enterprises (Germany).