Larry Tanz

Source: Netflix

Larry Tanz

Netflix has over 40 European productions shooting in Europe, said Larry Tanz, the streamer’s vice president of EMEA Content, at Series Mania today (March 19).

This comes at a time when more European countries, such as Germany, are introducing investment obligations to ensure streamers invest in more European content.

Meanwhile, many rival streaming platforms have slowed down commissioning amid a downturn in 2024 production. Paramount+ has said it is cutting back on local originals, while Sky has stopped commissioning originals in Germany.

Asked for his view on the investment obligations being introduced by EU countries, Tanz said: “We are investing. We need to invest to bring amazing stories to our members. In our opinion and my opinon, flexibility is a great way to encourage creativity. When we have restrictive sub-quota limitations, it can stifle creativity.”

He cited Spain as a good example, noting Netflix’s investment in the Tres Cantos studio facility outside Madrid where Kaos has filmed. “We do so much in Spain. It is a country that has obligations, but there is a lot of flexibility in those.”

On rights, he said Netflix has become more flexible. He said in the early days, Netflix followed the “Hollywood model” of rights ownership but that Netflix now only owned the IP on 25% of its European content. [This figure comes as Netflix increasingly bolsters catalogue with licensed content.]

Tanz, who has worked out of Netflix’s European HQ since 2019, said the biggest evolution since he started has been local series and films being pitched and developed and produced locally. “When I started in this everything was commissioned out of LA,” he noted.

Tanz said Netflix has 40 shows in production in March and is working with over 400 producers. The streamer now has 11 local offices in the region.

He also announced two new series titles. The first is an as-yet-untitled thriller from France starring Isabelle Adjani, created by Nils Antoine Sambuc, directed by Marie Jardillier and produced through Itinéraire Productions/UGC. It is described as about a young mother on the run who becomes a picker on a flower farm in Provence who becomes the prime suspect after the mysterious death of the family patriarch.

The second is crime drama Amsterdam Empire from the Netherlands starring Famke Janssen set around the city’s cannabis scene. It is about the founder of a coffee shop empire whose livelihood is threatened following the revelation of his affair – by his betrayed wife. The series is created by Nico Moolenaar, Bart Uytdenhouwen and Piet Matthys and produced through Pupkin Film and co-produced by A Team Productions. The director is Jonas Govaerts.

Tanz showed clips of upcoming shows including drama Istanbul Encyclopedia from Turkish director Selman Nacar; UK writer Charlie Covell’s mythological dark comedy Kaos; and Polish maritime disaster series Heweliusz.

Tanz also said Netflix has grown its non-fiction offer with shows such as Love Is Blind across the region, having commissioned almost no non-fiction two to three years ago. It has grown its documentary series, often focused around sports people, on the likes of David Beckham and the Tour de France.