By William Jones, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The ninth International Television Festival, the biggest event of its kind in Latin America, takes over Oi Futuro Ipanema from November 11th-14th. Across the four days, workshops, courses and seminars will showcase the ever-evolving and exciting future of Brazilian television and discuss the future of television with the industry’s leading experts.

Next to workshops and speeches, screening of pilots is part of the program, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Next to workshops and speeches, screenings of pilots are all part of the program, photo by Luke Garcia/Festival Internacional de Televisão.

While the event is expected to unearth the stars and household names of the future, contemporary talent will also be on hand as the festival looks to educate visitors about the changing face of the multi million-dollar domestic market.

“Events like the International TV festival help build the foundation by giving market knowledge,” says American Mark Lassie from Tchau For Now, a Brazil-based video production company. The producer set up here almost three years ago and is currently supplying original content for Globo, Record, and SBT television networks, as well as international productions for Bloomberg, Global Dignity, Operation Hope, AMFAR, and CBS.

In terms of helping non-Brazilians find their way in the industry, the festival is extremely important in supplying information in a strong, yet rapidly evolving market.

“The television and cinema markets in Brazil are healthy and thriving with opportunities for foreign productions,” says Lassie, yet admits that foreign content does have a few limitations on entering the scene.

“It is very important to understand the certain laws that exist to promote domestic productions. The Lei Rouanet law for example, went into effect in September 2012 and limits the number of foreign productions Brazil can buy and air. It requires all Brazilian open and closed television stations to air a minimum of thirty percent Brazil-produced content.”

Workshops and discussion forums are held at the International Television festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Workshops and discussion forums are held at the International Television festival, photo by Luke Garcia/International Television Festival.

The knock-on effects for international TV productions in Brazil are obvious, but not all of them are negative. “Gone are the easy days of buying antique dramatic series from the U.S., slap on some subtitles and air it. This has caused a shake-up in vision and provided a healthy independent market like the one the U.S. experienced in the early to mid ’90s,” Lassie explains.

The festival will also feature a host of new television pilots, with judges voting on which get the chance to be aired and could become the next hit series. The competition registered a record submission of 165 entries this year from across Brazil, of which 51 pilots were selected.

MTV’s Viva Leticia Muhana, Marcio Motokane from Canal Futura, Monica Albuquerque of TV Globo, Multishow’s Christian Machado, Anthony Doyle Turner, James Hildebrandt of Universal, The History Channel’s Krishna Mahon, Fox’s Marcello Braga and former footballer Zico make up the jury that will decide the winners of each category.

The three winning pilots in the categories of Best Fiction, Best Documentary and Judge’s Pick will take home R$5,000 worth of production equipment.

Hosting the event is the  Instituto de Estudos de Televisão (Institute of Television Studies), a nonprofit organization founded in 2001. The IETV promotes the development of intellectual reflection on televisual activity in all its forms, and the continuous updating of the professional environment and the growth of production quality. Its focus ranges from product marketing and television law, to digital journalism, soap operas and programming strategies.

What: The International Television Festival
When: November 11th-14th, Tuesday to Sunday from 1:30 PM to 10:30 PM and 12PM to 7PM on Thursday
Where: Oi Futuro Ipanema, Rua Visconde de Pirajá 54, Ipanema
Entrance: FREE (tickets will be distributed 30min before each sessions, as seats are limited)

More information can be found on the festival’s homepage.

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