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Wayne Garvie – President, International Production, SPT

Wayne Garvie, president of international production at Sony Pictures Television, called on European producers to make better use of Europe’s “treasure trove of global intellectual property”.

Speaking at the AVP summit in Italy, Garvie said Europe has a huge wealth of stories, from Greek tragedies, Roman emperors, Nordic gods, French musketeers, Spanish conquistadors to German fairy tales. “They have all entertained the world in different forms for thousands of years, and each generation reinvents these stories.”

He noted, however, that American filmmakers have traditionally been better at reinterpreting European stories for an international audience and then capitalizing on their success by building worlds and franchises around their series and characters.

Garvie pointed to upcoming Netflix series The DecameronInspired by the 14th century short story collection by Giovanni Boccaccio, is a US production from showrunner Kathleen Jordan. British director Tom Shankland is the supervising director of the upcoming Netflix adaptation of the Italian classic The leopard whose screenplay was written by Richard Worlow together with Benji Walters. He added that Italian stories from gladiators and the Borgias to Gucci and Ferrari have been reinterpreted by non-Italians.

The London-based Sony executive said: “Isn’t it time we evolved? Reimagined our own stories? Finding ways to reimagine them in ways that resonate with audiences around the world. And seeing some of the stories and characters not as ends in themselves but as the basis for new worlds.”

Elsewhere, Garvie dismissed the notion that the golden age of television was over, saying dramas were still “at the heart of every free-to-air broadcaster” and there were “a dozen global platforms commissioning dramas from virtually every country in the world”.

“The days of television may be over, but ‘plateau television’ is better than anything we have ever known,” he said.

Sony Pictures Television includes production companies such as the British Left Bank (The crown) and Eleven (Sex education).

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