NATPE-the National Association of Television Program Executives -Miami Beach Jan. 20-22 , 2015 -The True Spirit of the Media Business Traveled Beyond the Itinerary

February 06 16:32 2015

Photo Caption & Credit: 1. Tony C. Lesesne, Chief Creative Officer-LMG Entertainment. 2. Norman Lear, photo by SWpix – 3. Eva Langoria and friends, photo by 3.Opening night at the Thompson Hotel, with host Jorge Anaya – Lopez photo by WorldRedEye. 5. NATPE sign & Tony C. Lesesne-photo by Federico Quevedo.
by Cristiane Roget, edited by Gilley Hebert for release on ABNewswire.

Celebrating over 50 years, NATPE’s annual market and conference set the stage for top drawer storytellers, content makers and distributors to come together in the wake of this century’s most unspeakable assaults on free speech. Organizers doggedly pursued NATPE’s mandate to create an open forum where traditional TV syndicators and new digital innovators coalesce and are given free reign.

NATPE-Miami’s annual global gathering of the linear and digital content communities navigated world news with a cogent theme ‘Content Without Borders’. Television executives, purveyors of product integration, distributors of traditional and second screen internet platforms delved ever deeper into the unknown terrain of convergence. ‘Camacol’s 2012 Producer of the Year’, Tony C. Lesesne described the proceedings, “as a disarming collaboration in the wild wild West where face time trumped Facebook™.”  “It was the barnstormers and storm troopers who had a marked advantage over the behemoth media conglomerates in getting the deals done,” confirms Ivan Parron, Esquire of Parron Law, specialists in Entertainment, Media and Sports.     

As a non-for-profit, member driven association, NATPE serves as a catalyst in the ongoing content revolution. Harvey Weinstein spoke out in last week’s Variety Magazine op-ed, “This is a time for the messengers of the media to unite.  No one can defeat the ability of great artists to show us our world”. This synergy was evidenced in talks featuring television and film stalwarts Jay Leno, Eva Langoria, Donald Sutherland, Phil ‘Shark Tank’ Gurin and nonagenarian Norman ‘All in the Family’ Lear speaking out against the tyranny of ageism. Almost in unison they stressed the importance of interaction between the generations.  Longoria spoke out about cultural interaction, as well, to further a sense of social balance. “Diversity means more than black people on television. We’ve seen an amazing increase in black writers, and other talent. “It’s about content, with a lot of the shows we develop happen to have interesting, diverse characters, a lot of female characters, hispanic” with ‘talant’ trumping ‘tokenism’ any day. 


Also upbeat about the future of content and programming was Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix and recipient of this year’s Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award. He readily admitted, “We are getting into a regular drumbeat with consumer expectations”. Audiences are demanding authentic narratives that embrace society’s diversity. The back beat is audiences are leading from behind, with the advent of VOD and streaming wil see regular scheduled programming go the way of Blockbuster and Movie Gallery.

While the internet has not subsumed scheduled, linear TV, the gap is closing.  With multi-screen no longer pervue of just theaters but wristwatches to laptops ; today’s audiences are for the first time in history in control oftheir entertainment fix.

“The specter of global connectivity through social media bodes well for solidarity among the 99% that here to fore had no voice,” opines Michael Guinzburg, Director of last year’s critically acclaimed indie ‘Hollywood Seagull’ starring Russian actor, Lara Romanoff in the Anton Chekov adaption.  “That same connectivity was evidenced with an estimated 6000 attendees representing 87 countries a virtual Babel with one common language, the art of the deal,” said the award winning author of Beam Me Up, Scotty with the screenplay currently in development.  

With consistent growth since the conference relocated from Las Vegas to Miami Beach four years ago, the three day confab unspooled over an ever greater swath of Miami Beach. The luxurious Fontainebleau-Miami Beach was at the hub with the ‘white glove’ personnel attending to the NATPE guest’s every wish and whim while The Bleau Bar Lounge served signature cocktails and sophistication in equal measure.  Bleau General Manager, Maykel Escalona was one of the Fontainebleau’s many unsung heroes keeping the fine tuned proceedings impeccably orchestrated.   

The adjacent Eden Roc’s lush oceanfront resort – a CD toss from the famed Fontainebleau – caught the spillover.  The Nobu, Eden Roc’s vibe pulsed with a melding of slick modern meets mid century classic. The Eden Roc is that aspirational Miami Beach va-ca and resort experience. The historic, Legendary Tower bookends the ultramodern Ocean Tower with 631 spacious guest rooms and suites beckoning.  Even with four exclusive pools, why bother? The sugar sands and wavelettes of the famed Miami Beach are lapping at your door. 

A hop-skip south of the Fontainebleau is the breath-taking, brand spanking new Thompson Resort-Miami Beach. A Commune Hotel, the Thompson served as the luxurious backdrop for the opening night Meet & Greet and with the world renowned Michelle Bernstein, donning a toke behind their culinary curtain.  

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau co-hosted the thousand guests with many having just arrived shivering from the dead of winter.  Ice was broken literally & figuratively on the sandy seashore frontage with Botran™ Aged Rum warming up the gathering with their six step mojito.  

The Thompson grounds are a ‘luxury, lifestyle oasis’ that feels both intimate and inviting throughout.  The gala was impeccably overseen by Jorge Anaya- Lopez, General  Manager of the Seagrape, a delectable eatery and lounge.  The vast labyrinth of pools, fountains and lush landscaping should keep this property on the short list of future Miami Beach engagements. 

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