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Variety: Beta Film to Stage Live Virtual Beta Brunch, ‘La Unidad’ Q & A with Movistar Plus

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Mar 27 2020

MADRID — In one of the first detailed breakdowns from a major European company of marketing strategies in the Series Mania/MipTV online marketplace, Germany’s Beta Film has announced that it will stage a virtual Beta Brunch on March 31.

Nobody will be offered virtual food, but the event will retain some of its flavor, going live at the same time at the traditional event, which also always takes place at midday on the markets’ Tuesday.

It remains to be seen how much of another highlight remains: Jan Mojto taking the stage to deliver a highly entertaining, anecdote-laced, 10-minutes-or-so speech. Mojto is billed this year, but as featuring along with Beta colleagues in an initial video presentation which will explain who is who at the ever-expanding Beta Film empire.

To retain the essence of a live event, however, clients will be provided with a personalized link, which will expire after the live-streaming of this introduction.

That will then segue into a 25-30-minute streamed trailer, featuring Beta Film’s lineup.
The trailer will drill down on a dozen or more Beta Film series highlights, led by true-facts based and large-scale “Atlantic Crossing,” starring Sofie Helin (“The Bridge”) as Crown Princess Märtha of Norway whose friendship with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Kyle MacLachlan) helped turn the tide in WWII.

Another WWII tale also makes the cut: “The Turncoat,” about a young Wehrmacht defector, directed by Florian Gallenberger (“John Rabe,” “Colonia”), and compared to “Generation War” (“Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter”) which worked very well on primetime BBC2 some years ago. Further streamed highlights take in Dramacorp-produced “Cryptid,” a short format high-school horror trailblazer for Viaplay; and anti-terrorist special forces thriller “La Unidad.”

A step up in full-throttle action and geo-reach for Movistar Plus, with which Beta Film holds down a multi-title production-distribution alliance, “La Unidad” receives its own virtual, live presentation on Monday, March 30, the day it was set to bow at MipTV as a world premiere screening.

Kicking off Monday with a bang, the “Unidad” event will be streamed by YouTube and Beta Film, via an open link made available by Movistar Plus and Beta Film execs. A three-minute trailer will be followed by a TV program-style presentation and discussion led by Movistar Plus head of contents Domingo Corral, series director Dani de la Torre and screenwriter Beto Marini, and Beta EVP Christian Gockel, who heads up Beta Films Spanish operations.

Corral will then read out in real time and field with the rest of the panel questions posed via YouTube chat from international distributors and members of the press. “La Unidad’s”-screener will be made available after presentation via Beta Film’s homepage login-area.

Like many companies, Beta Film will keep its MipTV meetings schedule, but take them via video conference.

As major European players’ plans for a virtual marketplace become clearer, several preliminary conclusions are also emerging:

1.The industry is rapidly building a far broader digital armory of marketing tools to reach partners online. Some will remain after COVID-19. If you can stage a company presentation during MipTV, for instance, why not at another select time of the year? Even if you have a physical event at a festival, why not make that available and market it to a far-larger online client base, including in international?

2.“Live” may refer to the temporary availability of material, not always its presentation in real time; which of course allows executives to counter home-isolation presentations with the polish of editing;

3.Video conferences are in vogue as executives attempt to establish the sense of personal contact lost from not having face-to-face meetings.

4.None of which will substitute the value of physical events, whose time focus, critical mass and filter mechanisms – festival competitions, industry showcase, selection or premiere screenings – are vital for a still fast growing and ever more competitive industry.

“Obviously there are some learnings and a part of our business will be done differently,” said Moritz von Kruedener, Beta Film managing director. “But we will never give up the direct relations to our partners and clients, which we think is the beauty of our business.”