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HBO Europe on Wednesday named Ana Balentovic development executive, HBO Adria in an effort to strengthen its production activities in Central Europe.
The move follows last year’s expansion of its production activities into Scandinavia and Spain.
Her focus will be identifying and developing local talent and projects from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. “Balentovic will seek quality original series that reflect the HBO brand whilst having resonance with local audiences,” HBO Europe said.
She will report to Johnathan Young, vp original programming, HBO Central Europe, and Steve Matthews, vp and executive producer, drama development, HBO Europe.
Balentovic brings TV fiction development experience to the newly created role, having led writers’ rooms across South East Europe as head of development for talent incubator ContentLAB & Factory and as a producer on various primetime fiction series at Croatian commercial network RTL Televizija.
“Central Europe is rich in storytelling and talent, and having embedded ourselves in the local industries over the past few years we’re looking forward to the next phase of production in the region,” said Antony Root, executive vp original programming and production, HBO Europe. “Ana’s appointment reflects our continued commitment to discovering new and original voices, and our wider ambition to expand the breadth and range of programming across our Central European territories.”
Balentovic will be attending the Sarajevo Film Festival, which runs Aug. 11-18 to meet industry and talent. Matthews will at the festival be leading sessions on writing for series in the MIDPOINT TV workshop, part of the festival’s TV strand.
HBO Europe earlier this year restructured its senior original production team and promoted three executive producers to vp posts as it continues to push into originals. It elevated Young and Matthews to their posts and promoted Hanka Kastelicova to the role of vp and executive producer, documentaries.
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