Neptuno Films sales veteran Roberto Mitrani has branched out from the Barcelona-based prodco to set up his own distribution company and rep properties both in Spain and abroad. And given that his home territory’s fragmenting broadcast market is opening up more opportunity for niche content than ever before, it may be the perfect time for Mitrani’s indie move. New digital terrestrial channels are popping up all over the dial in Spain, and the region’s broadband IPTV market is one of the most dynamic in the world right now, according to TV industry research firm Kagan.
To take advantage of this heat and also make the most of his global distribution experience, Mitrani envisions Ypsilon Films as having two distinct focuses. The start-up will scour the Spanish creative scene for high-potential TV concepts and bring them to the attention of international buyers and partners. But it will also represent foreign properties in Spain and other worldwide territories that make sense. The goal is to build a portfolio of three or four properties in year one, and Mitrani is open to working beyond the kids genre.
But for the time being, Mitrani will put his extensive kids market expertise and contacts to work on Ypsilon’s lead-off property, a puppet series for four- to seven-year-olds called Real Pets. The show stars seven happy-go-lucky baby animals living in an imaginary cave and exploring their world together. When they discover a small doorway that opens onto a soccer field, their world widens to include a strange but intriguing place where little humans play with an odd white melon with black spots. The first 120 x seven-minute season is already in the can, and Mitrani is just putting the finishing touches on a deal with a Spanish terrestrial broadcaster. He expects Real Pets to appeal broadly to preschool buyers around the world, and especially in Western Europe and Latin America, given its soccer-centric background elements.
Mitrani plans to bring in some support staff once he determines how much and what kind of follow-up work will be needed on the property in the aftermath of MIPCOM. And that will free him up to build Ypsilon’s portfolio and work with Neptuno on co-productions he helped establish during his tenure there, including Sea Princesses with Southern Star in Australia. Ypsilon’s offices are still being set up, but in the meantime, Mitrani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.