In many ways, it was business as usual in Cannes. Participants (about 10,500, according to Reed MIDEM) were treated to sunny skies, a little bit of Croisette glamor and some 25 drama screenings. Plus, plenty of distributors kept newsfeeds humming all week with deal announcements across a wealth of genres.
“Scripted and unscripted, along with a huge VR buzz, defined what was a very productive market,” Laurine Garaude, the director of the television division at Reed MIDEM, tells World Screen. “We had more screenings, more formats and many deals reported in all genres. In many ways we experienced the launch of the VR international marketplace, which is very exciting.”
But clearly the market, just like the industry itself, is changing. There was a fair bit of open exhibition space in the Palais bunker and traffic in the aisles appeared thinner than usual.
Looking ahead, the city of Cannes is aiming to bring a new element to MIPTV with the Cannes International Series Festival. “Bringing the industry to new heights, doing for TV what the film festival does for film, is something we have wanted to do for a long time, and the festival, Cannes Series, was announced during a press conference here at MIPTV,” Garaude says.
Cannes Mayor David Lisnard revealed details for the new event, which will run concurrently with MIPTV. “The market will reinforce the festival, and the festival will reinforce the market,” Lisnard said.
“It is a major new and game-changing initiative,” Garaude adds. “As explained during the press conference, it has many components. One of them is a fan-based public part which will host screenings throughout Cannes. Another part is an international competition. And yet another part is a screenwriters’ incubator. There will also be a co-production forum. The festival itself is being run by an independent association similar to the Cannes Film Festival. MIPTV together with Cannes Series is a fantastic way to drive the industry forward.”
MIPTV also broadened its horizons this year with a pre-L.A. Screenings showcase, with Disney and Lionsgate presenting their slates, “which we are intending to develop going forward,” Garaude says.
Also new this year was a Latin American showcase and the first-ever Asian World Premiere Screening of the Japanese drama Crisis. This followed the second annual MIPDrama Screenings on Sunday where some 450 buyers sampled 12 selected projects. Catch up on the week’s major drama stories here.
VR also took center stage at MIPTV, with demos in the Palais and a keynote by Rikard Steiber, the president of Viveport at HTC Vive. In his conversation with World Screen’s Anna Carugati on the Grand Auditorium stage, Steiber talked about how VR “democratizes experiences. You can go to Syria, you can go to Mars before Elon Musk. Things that were only available to the few are now becoming available to everyone. That’s the power of VR.”
MIPTV followed a productive weekend for those in the unscripted business, as 1,800 delegates participated in MIPDoc and MIPFormats. You can read our formats and real recaps to find out more about the highlights of those events.
The week was also marked by several companies expanding their portfolios. FremantleMedia invested in Bend It TV, Keshet International bought Tresor TV in Germany, Sky acquired the social content producer Diagonal View on the eve of the market and ITV Studios invested in Jason Blumhouse’s TV studio.
Catch up on all these stories and more on WorldScreen.com.