Paprika Studios CEO: Quality entertainment is probably more important now than ever
Europe is facing several challenges that take a toll on everyday life, from war to economic and political problems and energy supply issues. In this situation, the responsibility of the entertainment industry is more pronounced. Over the past decades it has probably never been this important to have a chance to get away from the challenges of day-to-day life with some entertaining shows, as Ákos Erdős, CEO of Paprika Studios, tells us in this exclusive interview.
Ákos Erdős, CEO of Paprika Studios
Ákos, what is happening to television productions in this economic turmoil?
The past decades were all about growth, continuous financial advancement, and intellectual prosperity. Everyone felt they could succeed personally, with their families, within the society, and that we could create a better and more liveable future for our children. However, the very foundations of this idea were shaken by the pandemic, and uncertainty has gotten only worse since. In situations like this, entertainment becomes more important offering an escape from everyday problems. We feel this responsibility when we produce all kinds of entertainment shows for audiences.

As a market leader production company with presence in 10 countries in Central Eastern Europe, we must adapt more than ever and stay afloat and be successful in today’s economy. The CEE region has always been quick to respond to the challenges of a changing environment: local storytelling and content production are still alive and well and growing dynamically.

One such exciting story is our series Tiger Daddy, which was developed by Paprika in Hungary, and is now also in production in the Czech Republic. This gripping and moving dramedy is about a father raising his three daughters alone. His everyday struggles, their happy and sad moments and difficulties are presented in a light-hearted way with humor. We are currently working on the third season in Hungary, and it has received several awards. In the Czech Republic, we are shooting a double season, and I see its chance popping up also in other markets soon.

You also entered the Polish market. What are your projects there?
We’ve been active on the Polish market for almost a couple of years. I’m very proud of our enthusiastic and passionate team at the Paprika Poland office, led by Kristoffer Rus. We’ve started incredibly exciting projects in Warsaw, and we are producing the first Polish-language fiction series for Viaplay. We are also working on several international productions. In addition, we’ve started working on different documentaries and docuseries, which is a new area of content creation for Paprika. Soon, we will be presenting exciting and socially important topics to the Polish audience.

Are you planning more international co-productions?
Paprika Studios has always been a trailblazer in international cooperation. Almost all bigger shows are created in international cooperation. Just to mention a few current productions: I’m a Celebrity, Dancing with the Stars, Big Brother, Power Couple and many more which we produce from Slovenia and the Czech Republic to the Baltics, Malta, or even Columbia. This is all done with professionals from various countries and with diverse cultural backgrounds.

Are you happy with the results of this year’s Hypewriter pitching competition?
A few weeks ago, the 4th Hypewriter Pitch Forum, created by Paprika Studios and RTL Hungary in 2018, was held in Budapest. We are very proud that this year, when we know that plenty of content is being created and a lot of productions are underway, we still had almost 300 drama series concepts from over 25 countries. Our selected script doctors chose the 8 finalists, and the international judging panel chose this year’s winner of Hypewriter. This initiative also shows our commitment to talent, talent nurturing and storytelling. This is our passion, this is what we believe in, and we have big plans for the coming period.
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