The barriers between film and TV are continuing to erode, according to Laurine Garaude, director of the TV division at Reed Midem, which organises the forthcoming MIPCOM (Oct 4-7 in Cannes).
“We’re seeing more and more cinematic quality in TV production, for instance The Pillars of the Earth, that’s a cinematic look and produced by film producers – Ridley Scott is involved,” she says. “And there are projects like The Pacific, and Spartacus — more and more we see film producers involved in TV. And TV is larger than just TV, it’s cross platform. There is a crossover, in terms of quality and approach.”
As such, she’s seeing more interest from the film business at MIPCOM and MIPTV. Though each conference is geared toward TV, Garaude notes: “At MIPCOM over 35% of delegates are involved in film and that’s a growing number. MIPCOM is really of growing importance for the film sector.
“What we see is that lot of our clients are theatrical distributors as well, Gaumont, Scanbox, Revolver, Telemunchen, StudioCanal — all these companies are involved in film and sell movies direct to TV. MIPCOM can be the ideal place to make direct to TV sales with terrestrial channels, cable and satellite. It’s a really good time of year to make decisions if you haven’t found a theatrical deal, now is the time to sell to TV. Its also the place to understand the value of TV markets as a way to maximise all-rights sales; it’s a great place to follow up on discussions of the theatrical distributors, and it’s a great place for sales of library titles, as well as new platforms and new opportunities.”
In all, MIPCOM expects to welcome at least 12,000 attendees this year. There are at least 60 new exhibitors, including YouTube and Deutsche Telekom. “It’s looking very active and optimistic,”she said.
Working across multiple platforms also takes centre stage at MIPCOM for a slew of panels and presetntations. “It is absolutely key, people are doing deals across all content today,”Garaude adds. “It has changed from a selling finished product mode, which of course still exists, to working from the very early stages to find the right partners in order to be able to deploy content across the different windows. Digital has been an important topic for us for many years, and now it’s becoming a source of revenue in an important way.” Special MIPCOM sessions will be devoted to new publishing models and apps.
Film attendees will also be served by a “meet the film commissions and media funds”session, that could have more than 30 representatives attending, from the likes of France, Brazil and Singapore.
MIPCOM and MIPTV have been known more for meetings and seminars than screenings, but that tide could be changing, Garaude says. This year, MIPCOM will host its first World Premiere TV Screenings — on Oct. 4 with an unaired episode from Mad Men’s fourth season and the first international previous of the second episode of Running Wilde. Cast members will be in attendance.
“We certainly have the right platform for that. The goal is buyers, industry and also international media, including consumer media, so we have more and more stars coming to MIPCOM and MIPTV, and that helps introduce new programmes internationally and to audiences before they reach their screens. So that’s something that’s going to happen more and more at MIPCOM and MIPTV.”
The Asia-Pacific region will play a key role at MIPCOM 2010. Australia will be the focus territory and Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly) will give a keynote. Garaude says: “It’s an important country for developing new innovative content traditionally, and across all platforms.”
And also MIP will host the Asia Content Exchange, screenings of documentary, animation and formats programmes from China, Korea and Japan that are of most interest to the international market.
“We’re trying to help the introduction of Asian works internationally by making it easier for buyers to see the works that would be most appropriate for their channels,” she added.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer is the MIPCOM Personality of the Year and will deliver a keynote. Other keynotes will come from Facebook’s Joanna Shields, and MSN’s Scott Moore and Geoff Sutton.