Let's take a #CoffeeBreak with... Georgina Twiss, Managing Director of Western Europe and Africa at SPI International ☕
1. What is the first post-pandemic movie you've seen in theaters and did you like it?
- The latest James Bond, #NoTimeToDie, was the first movie I saw post-COVID as I knew it had to be seen in a cinema. It was a #Bond for the ages with finally a little more power in women’s hands.
2. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received and why?
- The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to #listen actively. It applies to your clients, your colleagues, and your friends and is transformational.
3. Which SPI product/service do you think has the biggest potential for Western Europe and Africa in 2022?
- #Dizi is definitely finding its place in our product portfolio. It's always a case of rising with the tide and Turkish drama is starting to educate viewers about its beauty, production levels, and great storylines which are now starting to touch a chord across my region.
Let's take a #CoffeeBreak with... Georgina Twiss, Managing Director of Western Europe and Africa at SPI International ☕
SPI’s streaming service FILMBOX+ which boasts a catalog of over five thousand titles and multiple linear channels was the go-to address for watching #GoodMovies this month for many viewers across the globe. Here’s a look at what’s popular in some of our key territories in January, 2022.
SHELTER - SLOVAKIA
Slovakian subscribers of FilmBox+ had a spooky start to the new year with Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers led thriller Shelter (also known as “6 Souls”). Moore, who placed 11th in New York Times’ “The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century” list in 2020, plays forensic psychiatrist Dr. Cara Harding in the movie. When Dr. Harding discovers that all but one of her patient’s multiple personalities are murder victims, she embarks on a dangeorus journey to find out what’s happening before her time is up. Directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, Shelter is perfect for mystery and thriller enthusiasts.
CHEF - TURKEY
FilmBox+ subscribers in Turkey opted for more lighthearted entertainment where Jon Favreu’s delicious adventure comedy Chef topped the charts this month. The movie follows Favreu as Carl Casper, a head chef who quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. This movie is perfect for those in search of inspiration to embark on new adventures in the new year. Favreu is accompanied by a stellar cast in this heartwarming movie, including Robert Downey Jr. Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo and Sofia Vergara. Another piece of trivia that’s enough to make your mouth water is that Favreu did his own cooking in the movie by training with food truck chef Roy Choi. Choi sent Favreu to a week of intensive French culinary schooling in preparation and the food in the movie looks absolutely delicious!
SECRETARY - ROMANIA
Romanian FilmBox+ subscribers preferred the steamy, critically-acclaimed dramedy Secretary which brought Maggie Gyllenhaal numerous awards for her portrayal of Lee Holloway, including the Best Actress trophy at Boston Society of Film Critics Award. Lee Holloway is a young woman recently released from a mental hospital who gets a job as a secretary to Mr. Grey, a demanding lawyer played by James Spader. When Lee and Mr. Grey’s employer-employee relationship takes a wild turn, things get more complicated than they could have ever imagined. In a 2018 interview Maggie Gyllenhaal recalled the role of Lee as an opportunity to "explore something that's on the edge of what I know about myself but with the protection of fiction." Think 50 Shades of Grey but better, funnier, more realistic and definitely with more character development.
GHOST IN THE SHELL - CZECHIA
This month, FilmBox+ subscribers in Czechia went for the gripping sci-fi movie Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson, based on a manga and anime of the same name. In the near future, Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. The movie generally garnered good reviews from critics. The Telegraph’s Tim Robey compared the movie to Momoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell (1995) and said: “There are moments which directly recreate Oshii’s best scenes, with real sets and actors performing a balletic kind of stunt-karaoke. But the story is far more graspable – more streamlined – and the gracenotes, action-free, tend to be the highlights.” This movie is a must-see for science fiction enthusiasts.
FilmBox+ combines the “lean-back” and on-demand viewing experiences by providing instant access to an extensive VOD catalog and live channels on any internet-connected device. FilmBox+’s well-curated selection of content from major global distributors features Hollywood blockbusters with world-famous stars, independent world cinema gems, TV series, documentaries, lifestyle programming, and much more. In addition to its vast VOD library, FilmBox+ also offers a variety of channels covering movies and thematic content that cater to all kinds of tastes to help viewers avoid the hassle of choosing what to watch. www.filmbox.com
**Content and channel selection on FilmBox+ may vary depending on the region.
Follow FilmBox International on social media for news and updatesread more »
#WorkplaceChat is a series of bite-sized interviews with SPI International executives about their jobs, media industry trends, and their professional, SPI-related success stories.
We start off the series with Tamás Fülöp, our CEE Director of Operations.
1. How long have you worked for SPI and can you briefly tell us about your job?
I joined the SPI family in mid-2014. I’m responsible for the CEE operation, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.
2. Linear TV consumption is still going strong in Central and Eastern Europe while SVOD is also growing. How do you expect the market to shift/evolve in the next five years?
I guess the linear TV consumption will stay significant in the following years as well. Currently, the daily usage is 4h 32 minutes (Nielsen). The daily consumption is significant also within the younger age groups (18-29 target group with 2h 21minutes per day, Nielsen).
The trend of cord-cutting has also been increasing in the last three years with TV subscriptions decreasing by 4%. We are also receiving growing SVOD usage/consumption data from our business partners which supports this trend.
3. FilmBox has been the leader in the pay-TV market in one of your key markets, Czechia, for almost two years and counting. To what do you attribute this success?
This is a real success story and here, I would like to thank especially our acquisition and programing department for their hard work and a job well done. Increasing the viewing figures relies on delivering great content and a well-prepared grid/EPG that reflects the needs of the local markets.
4. Both digital and linear content consumption has increased during the pandemic but there were many challenges faced by media industry professionals, as well, during this time. What were some of the challenges brought forth by the pandemic?
We had to understand that the world was changing completely and we had to change as well. Working from home, personally, was not a big issue, but the lack of personal meetings and negotiations was a challenge during the first couple of months. Now, these challenges seem so far off in the past considering how quickly companies -including SPI- adapted to the new world. We have all gotten so used to working via Teams, Zoom, Skype, etc that it feels like a more simple routine when compared to how we used to work.
5. SPI unveiled their revamped digital service FilmBox+ earlier last year. In your opinion, what are some growth opportunities for the service in the CEE region?
Due to the growth in digital content consumption in CEE, we expect a significant increase in FilmBox+ usage, as well. We are working towards launching our service with all of our key partners to ensure the widest household reach and accessibility of our service in the region. FilmBox+ has already integrated with multiple European operators and we continue to embark on new partnerships that we support with 360-degree marketing activities from onboarding onward.
6. Turkish series and SPI's Dizi brand are immensely popular in another one of your key markets, Romania. What do you think is the reason behind this trend?
The success of this brand is the content that is extremely popular in Romania. The Turkish content consumption is contingent upon local taste, which changes depending on the country.
7. If you didn't work in the media industry, what would you have wanted to do as a profession?
I have been in the media industry for over 25 years so this seems like a bit of a difficult question to answer. I guess I would work in the real-estate or automotive sectors.read more »
A new year has already begun, and if you are like me, you’ve probably come up with a long list of resolutions to accomplish in 2022. To be honest, the phrase “New Year, New Me” is a bit ambitious and unrealistic for my taste so, in light of having set *attainable* goals this year - fingers crossed! - I have decided to change this motto to “New Year, Improved Me”. We all have areas that can use a little improvement in our lives, whether it be personal or professional, and the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to self-reflect and take action.
If you have "taking up a new hobby" or “trying new things” in your list of resolutions but don’t really know where to start, SPI’s documentary and lifestyle channels can help ignite that spark of inspiration.
LEARN HOW TO SKI
One of my resolutions for the new year is to try an adrenaline-filled sports activity. In fact, my exact words were, “I want to do something where I can feel the wind in my hair.” What better way to feel the wind in my hair than to take up skiing? Before I put on my ski boots and hop onto the snow for real, I have decided to virtually travel to Andorra, Austria and Switzerland to witness the thrilling world of professional skiers and snowboarders with Freeride World Tour on Fast&FunBox this month.
If you are an adrenaline seeker but skiing is not your cup of tea, Fast&FunBox can lead you to your next big adventure with hundreds of hours of programming dedicated to an impressive array of disciplines such as racing, motocross, boating, sailing, skateboarding, skydiving, rock climbing, and more. Take your pick.
PLAN A FOOD TRIP
Sometimes the best way to learn about a country is to eat your way around it. As an impatient Sagittarius with the travel bug running laps in my system, I love exploring new cultures through their local delicacies and cuisines. That’s why food and travel series such as Max Foodie on FunBox UHD are my favorites as they allow the viewers to discover the places they have never been by providing a glimpse into the lives of their people and their culinary culture.
Maximum Foodie is a food and travel series in search of stories and experiences on the cutting edge of the culinary world. It showcases the best chefs in different countries, tackles the most interesting culinary topics that thrill, fascinate and intrigue food lovers worldwide. It's a series full of hands-on exploration, spanning across all the continents and proving that food is the common thread that unites us all. Maybe this show will inspire you to book your next trip to somewhere you haven’t even heard of yet. The possibilities are endless!
In Buddhism, the human mind is described as a drunken monkey running wildly within six windows - five of which represent our sensory impressions and the sixth that stands for our mental state, including our thoughts and memories. The monkey is all over the place and with meditation practice the meditator can learn to tame the monkey and elevate his concentration. If you are curious about the concrete effects of meditation on the brain, check out Mind in Motion on DocuBox this month, a documentary series that takes the viewer on a journey into the depths of the brain and to the very sources of consciousness.
Mind in Motion proposes scientific answers to some of the most enigmatic questions about our brain, our mental mechanisms and the connection between body and mind, such as: How can we decide whether a person in a coma is likely to return to consciousness? How can a person see with the tongue? Why do amputees experience phantom sensations in missing limbs? What do we have in common with the fruit fly?
JAZZ UP YOUR WARDROBE
If you are like me, you tend to complain from time to time about “having no clothes to wear” which obviously translates to “I actually do own quite a substantial amount of clothing. I just don’t want to wear any of them right now because I want something new.” Since buying something new everyday is practically impossible without breaking the bank, why not jazz up what you already have with a little bit of creativity? Social Fabric on FunBox UHD might help you on this quest.
Social Fabric is a documentary/lifestyle series led by millennial designer Kyle Ng who travels the world to find out what certain garments, fabrics and clothing mean, its cultural significance, origins and its future.
***Check your listings to see if Fast&FunBox, DocuBox and FunBox UHD are available through your TV provider or contact your operator to learn more.
**Fast&FunBox and DocuBox are available on-demand via FilmBox+ app or filmbox.com in select territories.read more »