Interview: Sanja Božić Ljubičić, NEM’s CEO
In a few days begins the fifth edition of New Europe Market, a conference that brings together media professionals from the region as well as the entire world. For the fifth year in a row, NEM will take place in Dubrovnik and its participants will have the opportunity to take part in seven thematic panels, six presentations by leading TV industry companies, a workshop by the Institute of Innovation, inspiring case studies with Izzet Pinto of Global Agency and Nebojša Taraba of Drugi plan. This year’s NEM will be held from June 12th -15th and its special guest – whom participants will have a chance to hear at the opening ceremony – is the famous actor Michael Weatherly.
On the occasion of NEM’s fifth anniversary, we had a little chat with Sanja Božić Ljubičić, NEM’s CEO.
Our goal was to create a stimulating environment and place for making business deals, conducting meetings, exchanging ideas, a place where people could not only meet in a relaxed atmosphere, but also find out about new things and trends in the industry. I think we have succeeded in our aim – proof of this are not only speakers that are experts in their fields, but also a large number of guests that are in fact creators of the TV industry. The very beginnings of NEM weren’t easy because it’s always hard to establish something new on the market. Nevertheless, I think that we wouldn’t have made it to the fifth year if we weren’t relevant, fresh, beneficial to professionals and needed in the CEE region. If you’ve never been to NEM and you are somehow involved in the TV business, trust me – you’re really missing a lot!
I’ve always believed that if something is good, everyone will eventually recognize it. It might take some time for you to get on your feet and for people to hear about what you’re doing, but if people have only positive experiences with NEM, the good word spreads quickly. We really believe in what we’re doing, which can only lead to good things.
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing actor Michael Weatherly, who will open the conference on the terrace of the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, by the sea and the sunset. I’m delighted with NEM in its entirety and I’m very happy for having worked with the best team in the world.
We have plenty of creative and innovative people, but they often don’t have the “fuel” necessary to realize all that energy. Fortunately, it has been decided that the so far unprecedented amount of funds will be allocated for the growth of Croatian production, which I’m delighted with! The worldwide sale of TV series “Novine” is proof that Croatia has something to offer and that it produces high-quality content. And NEM is here to make sure that people from the TV industry notice these products.
I look at it this way: Croatia, and the whole region, needed a product like Pickbox and an event like NEM. They could have been named differently and could have been started by someone else, but the point remains the same. Pickbox has its audience and NEM brings together a significant group of people from this part of Europe that are in various ways connected to the world of media. Although all this required a lot of courage, today I’m extremely proud of having started two such important projects. And from now on it can only get better.
I’m a huge fan of TV series and since I sleep less and less, I binge watch them during the night. At the moment, my favorite series is “Billions”, and if I were to go to an island, I would bring along a tablet with Pickbox on it, that way I wouldn’t have one, but dozens of TV series.
The great thing about Pickbox is that it has mostly new, freshly released series. Our goal at Pickbox is to allow our viewers to watch the latest TV series. We also love the classics, but most of our attention is focused on the hit series that are being followed throughout the world at this exact moment. The one I’d like to recommend is the country-drama “Nashville”, which is in its fifth season and has an army of fans. Later in June we’ll also have the fourth season of “Power”, a fan-favorite drama series produced by 50 Cent. In short, we have series for every taste and age, including a lot of Disney animated movies for children.
Of course, the direction NEM is going in is the one of improvement. Our goal is not to attract a large number of people. What is important is a good program, good speakers and that the entire team believes in the project. NEM attracts a variety of experts from different fields and we are really satisfied with the continuous turnout of all those that are active in the important areas of the media business.