PROOF that Formatland is truly a borderless state comes from the latest name on FRAPA’s new-member list: The Format Factory from Uruguay.
A new unit of OZ media, an ambitious Uruguayan production company with a growing international reputation for multiplatform content, The Format Factory launched in February of this year. Reflecting the skill sets now required to produce next-generation formats, its multi-disciplinary team comprises communication and creative professionals, educational psychologists and economists.
“The format market in Uruguay has only just begun,” said company CEO Pablo Arriola. “But we can offer interesting opportunities for the production of new formats at low cost. And one thing we are quite clear about is that the world is our market.”
To this end, Arriola and his team were at MIPCOM last month with The Format Factory’s first creative fruits — 20 paper formats — several of which generated considerable interest. Tipped to do well are the reality/make-over show SOS: My Husband’s a Mess, in which two women compete to transform their slovenly husbands into Prince Charming; the reality/travel format, The Perfect Night, which constructs dream evenings in some of the world’s most exciting cities; the dating property Prove Me You Love Me, in which contestants go to extraordinary lengths to win back their sweethearts; and I Want A Star To Cook For Me — which delivers exactly what it promises.
One of the safest and most egalitarian countries in Latin America, Uruguay is blessed with a vibrant multicultural population, which arrived from all points of the compass during the waves of mass immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. “Our creative process is enriched by many different points of view,” Arriola said. “We respect other cultures and have a taste for diversity. And this all takes place in the context of excellent value for money and a serious respect for contracts.”
So why, given The Format Factory’s legally enlightened home market, has it decided to join FRAPA? Jose Alonso, the company’s chief financial officer, cited three key reasons: access to a worldwide community, networking and protection.
Alonso added: “We are proud to be the first Latin American members of the FRAPA family and it would be great if other countries in our region followed in our steps. That way, we could show the international market that this part of the planet has an endless supply of talent and creativity, while opening the doors of our region to colleagues from all over the world.”