Warner Bros. Discovery won an Award for Best TV Drama Series in CEE

NEM Zagreb 2023: The CEE region is full of talents

Zagreb, December 8, 2023 – The second day of the event dedicated to TV series and film, NEM Zagreb 2023, was marked by the presentation of the latest TV projects from CEE, numerous opportunities to connect with colleagues and a rich program of panel discussions on current trends of the television industry.


Featured events

For the first time, nem awards were held at NEM Zagreb, an award as part of a Christmas party organized by Mediavision, Mediatranslations and Pickbox.


 NEM Awards winners were announced in five categories:

  • Scripted Series: Rene Gallo – Mild Miracles
  • Scripted Feature-length film: Mile Božićević – Mothers of Humanity and Daria Stilin – Tied Up
  • Documentary Series / Feature-Length Documentary Film: Julia Groszek - Sugarland
  • Non-Scripted Entertainment Format: Martichka Bozhilova and Iskra Angelova – Eat a Book
  • The Best Drama TV Series in the CEE: Spy / Master – Warner Bros. Discovery


Sanja Božić-Ljubičić, CEO of Pickbox, Mediatranslations, Mediavision and NEM:

"The jury was of exceptional quality and strong, and the members are mostly from Italy, France, Germany, the UK and outside the CEE in general. In this way, we ensured fairness in evaluating the applications of which there were approximately 250 in all categories of the competition."


During the program dedicated to the presentation of numerous new TV projects, Content Showcase, the strength of the CEE region when it comes to innovation and creativity was shown. Marek Solon-Lipiński, Director of International Relations, TVP, gave the opening statement, and then the projects were presented:

  • "Frontwards": Michal Kollár, Producer and Director, KFS production, and Lukáš Sigmund, Writer
  • "The Vespiary": Pavel Cherepin, Ukrainian Producer, Director and Creator
  • "Winemaker's Daugther": Sergiu Scobioala, Producer
  • "The Lake": Esther Sánchez, Head of Strategy, Grupo Ganga, and Oriol Cardús, Cinema and TV Director and Scriptwriter, Grupo Ganga
  • BH Telecom: Nina Babić, Associate Expert, BH Telecom


It should definitely be noted the high level of offered educational options at NEM Zagreb. As an integral part of the award for the top three finalists of each category of the NEM Contest, individual Script Surgery workshops were held for two days, which provided an in-depth analysis of the best projects. Also, two Master Classes were held, one held by Steve Matthews, Scripted Content Executive, Banijay, who revealed the complexity of series development: from selling the project and key stages of development to production, while the other was held by Frank Spotnitz, CEO & Executive Producer, Big Light Productions, where visitors received knowledge and practical advice that can help them improve their writing craft.


Networking at specialized events

Co-production Lunch & Forum, sponsored by Heart of Europe, was reserved for selected guests, and the importance of co-production between countries of high and low production opportunities was discussed.


One of the main goals of NEM Zagreb is to create a platform for connecting regional talents with international experienced professionals, on the occasion of which specialized small networking events are organized, such as the NEM Contest Gathering, which as a NEM Contest was generally sponsored by HAVC. Duart Platform and the CEO and Casting Director Sanja Drakulić helped in moderating the gathering which is their focus too: in connecting the filmmakers. The Meeting Room gathered the authors of the 10 best projects from each category of the NEM Contest and socialized with the members of the jury who, in addition to their experience and consulting, can also offer cooperation on the further development of their projects if they recognize the potential in them.


Visitors also socialized during breakfast over coffee organized by the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT).

In order to make all visitors available online, Telemach has taken care of a stable and fast Wi-Fi network.


Panel discussions

The CEE FTA Originals on the Global Map panel sponsored TVP and enabled a conversation about the good and wrong moves of national broadcasters when it comes to original production. Marek Solon-Lipiński, Director of International Relations, TVP, said: "My observation of the European public media scene is that a key condition for international cooperation is the establishment of leadership that considers this important and useful. It is also important to get out of your comfort zone, redefine understanding of audience needs, and embrace a corporate culture that encourages international projects. The Nordic model implemented in the Nordvision format is a perfect example of such a culture. This way of thinking must be rooted in long-term strategies because it is impossible to successfully co-produce in improvised "last minute" projects, which are still quite common in our part of Europe."


Martina Petrović, Head, CED MEDIA Office Croatia, introduced the Creative Europe MEDIA program, after which she moderated the panel TV series and Creative Europe MEDIA: Our Success Stories! It talked about the challenges shared by countries with languages of low distribution, smaller territory and challenging conditions for production.


The future of co-production of CEE countries with high production capacity countries was discussed during the High-production Countries and CEE: How Can We Work Together panel?


The gaming and TV industries are overlapping more intensely every day. The future and symbiosis of these two industries were talked about during the panel Gaming and TV: A Match Made in Heaven or a Recipe for Disaster? Helene Juguet, Managing Director, Ubisoft Film & Television shared: "The world of video games is huge. There are so many stories in video games. But what we most often lack is an emotional connection to the characters. Turning these elements into movies or TV shows allows us to bring depth and extend the time people want to spend playing with these characters."


The Difference Between Corporation-led and Public Broadcaster Co-production panel discussed how cultural regulations affect co-production in the television and film industries. Moderator Jonathan Broughton, TMT Strategy and Insights, moderated the discussion between the panelists:


When adapting a book into a script, can all the elements of the story be effectively conveyed, or are some of them inevitably lost? Panel Book to Screen: Navigating the Unique Challenges of Book Adaptations in Film and TVanswered exactly these and numerous other questions related to this specific process.

Filip Bobinski, Producer and Showrunner, CEO of Dramedy Productions: "We're looking for great IPs mostly books, but it can also be video games, podcasts... everything that is significant and has great value. That's what the market is looking for. You need to feed the beast, but the market lacks ideas. Books and IPs are very useful for creating quality audiovisual content."


During the panel NEM Success Story "WOOL" last year's winner in writing the best script in the category scripted Milena Džambasović, Owner and Producer, Film Road Production, spoke about the details in the success of the project, and Dana Stern, Global Content Executive, explained that the project is in the phase of negotiations with several national televisions and in preliminary talks with distributors, co-producers and financial experts in order to achieve the production of the first Episodes.


Detailed information about the event is available on the official website of NEM Zagreb 2023.

NEM Zagreb 2023 is co-financed by the European Union, through the Creative Europe MEDIA sub-programme.

Sanja Drakulic, representing Duart at NEM Zagreb, at the Contest Gathering