People to Meet: Gonzalo Cilley, president, Resonant TV

Gonzalo Cilley founded Resonant TV three years ago to produce series and telenovelas in partnership with broadcasters and production companies across Latin America. In 2011 the company will produce 240 hours of prime time scripted programs in Colombia and Argentina. Before Resonant TV, Gonzalo head of Formats & International Production at Argentina’s Telefe.

What was the defining content trend in the TV business in 2011?

I would say the tremendous growth in content development for new platforms: the internet, tablets and mobile.

Is there now a greater level of cooperation between companies based in Latin America and Europe/Asia? How is Resonant capitalising upon that opportunity ?

The cooperation between Latin American and European companies has been increasing and expanding well beyond the traditional distribution of Latin American telenovelas in Eastern Europe. Latin American series are being adapted in Western European countries, Italian and French series are being shot in Argentina, etc.

At resonant , we have partnered with Elastic Rights to coproduce a teen series [Lola, Muse in Training]that will be produced in Latin America in 2012 but that will first air in Europe, where half of the funding comes from.

Latin companies have a tremendous record of producing and exporting telenovela content – but less of a track record in the formats business – is that situation changing and what role does Resonant have to play in that respect?

Actually, Latin American companies don’t have a strong track record in the non-scripted formats business only. The reason is that in Latin America most of the primetime is captured by telenovelas, that air in the same slot Monday to Friday, leaving limited space to non-scripted shows, which hinders innovation in this segment.

But, on the other hand, Latin American productions companies and distributors have been extremely successful in the scripted format business. Latin American scripted series and telenovelas have been adapted in more than 30 territories outside the region. A hit telenovela like Ugly Betty has been adapted in 22 territories so far.

Resonant TV’s role is to develop series that from the outset have the potential to be adapted in several markets. Our international expertise helps us single out and develop TV concepts that can be relevant for networks in different territories.

Resonant is still a relatively young company, what achievement are you most proud of so far and how will it grow and develop over time – what are your main aims for 2012?
Our main achievements in the less than three years since we started the company is that we have managed to get commission for prime time telenovelas Argentina and Colombia, the two most creative and competitive markets in Latin America.

We have also developed a scripted series in Argentina that has been sold as a format to Spain, France, Holland, Mexico and Chile. Our aim for 2012 is to start production on our new teen telenovela which is funded in equal parts between European and Latin American channels.

What do you hope to gain from attending NATPE this year – how important an event is it now?
We hope to continue to expand our business with our current clients and partners in the region. NATPE is a key event for the Latin American TV business.

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