The ninth edition of MIA—International Audiovisual Market, is slated for October 9 to 13 in Rome, Italy, promising to be a hotbed for discussion, debate and networking among international executives. Created in 2015 by ANICA (National Association of Film, Audiovisual and Digital Industries) and APA (Italian Audiovisual Producers Association), MIA was conceived as a curated market, a physical and digital space for feature-length films (fiction, animation and documentary), series (drama, documentary and animation) and factual entertainment. Today, it has solidified its place as a destination for the global audiovisual communities.
“Both associations (ANICA and APA) bring their respective skills to produce the most important audiovisual market event in Italy, which has now fully entered the international agenda thanks to its lineup of panels and events focusing on co-production, financing strategies and models, the sale and distribution of finished works, content showcases, talent and project circulation,” says Gaia Tridente, director of MIA.
“Last year, we started a new path for MIA, really bringing content at the heart of business,” she adds. “Our purpose is to give the right visibility and opportunities to all audiovisual works—presented at MIA in all genres and formats and different stages of development and production—of great artistic value, supporting the freedom of artistic expression and representing cultural diversity and cooperation. In particular, the most wide-ranging ones are those most suitable for co-production, aiming to represent as many independent and plural views as possible.”
Since its launch, MIA has continuously built up interest from European and international professionals—from top decision-makers, producers and distributors to networks and platforms—as a place to discuss the opportunities and challenges of audiovisual production and distribution in today’s international content paradigm. “One of MIA’s main goals is to create a network and ensure a platform that facilitates and supports the creation and viability of original content through a careful system of valuing IP and supporting producers’ preparation for the market,” Tridente says. “The market aims to facilitate, encourage and accelerate new business opportunities for the development, creation and circulation of new works on an international level.”
MIA is at the heart of the industry practices, she adds, “facilitating co-production deals and fostering the circulation of finished works, nurturing talents with specific activities designed for the whole ecosystem taking part in MIA.
It has also positioned itself as a destination for producers seeking new IPs. “The discovery of new stories is one of our key missions,” Tridente says. “We work to secure the best and widest range of projects selected by an impressive lineup of committee members, composed of a roster of industry professionals called upon to ensure that our content is always up to date, highly profiled, qualifying, engaging and respecting the main values of MIA.” Another aim is to foster creativity, nurture talent and promote environmentally sustainable practices in audiovisual production.
Last year, the event organizers planted some of the seeds that will have bloomed in this edition. The Innovation for Creative Industries Program is poised for significant growth this year, offering new experiences, content, workshops and presentations. This year MIA will double its spaces at Palazzo Barberini as well. “In one of the wonderful halls, we will have a futuristic technological pavilion, allowing the presentation of various types of content and, above all, guaranteeing a unique experience (within a content market like ours) for all industry professionals who want to see up close and test all the possible support that technology and innovation can offer to the creative and productive industry,” Tridente says. “We are talking about virtual production, visual effects, artificial intelligence and immersive content in a program full of meetings and activities exclusively for registered participants.
“Furthermore, our strong approach based on reinforcing production patterns, analyzing the market from artistic and business perspectives, allows us again to offer a robust program, deliberately focused on a dual level of content and participants,” Tridente continues. “On one hand, major market players will participate in panels and conferences on trending topics, and on the other hand, projects in development and production, as well as finished works, will find space at MIA for presentations and B2B meetings that will take place during the five market days.”
Among main events, MIA will host the second edition of Spanish Screenings on Tour, a hands-on version of Spanish Screenings XXL, an international market for Spanish audiovisual production designed to boost and open new global opportunities for the Spanish audiovisual industry.
“What makes MIA unique in the market landscape is its strong editorial approach, addressing all segments of the audiovisual ecosystem: animation, documentaries, factual entertainment, drama and film, as well as innovation for the creative industry and sustainability projects that MIA is offering this year for registered participants,” Tridente says. The five-day event culminates with an awards ceremony and closing party at the MIA venue, on the roof of Cinema Barberini and in the nymphaeum of Palazzo Barberini, which will open for the first time at night to host the participants. The Green Film Lab workshop, hosted by MIA and held in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab-National Museum of Cinema and Green Film-Trentino Film Commission, will run from October 13 to 15, concluding the activities of the ninth edition. In this workshop, participants will learn how to apply to audiovisual production the current best practices in terms of sustainability.
“Italy has been steadily showcasing its wealth of creative, production and business talents to the world, and this year’s MIA will serve as a platform to explore the depth of Italy’s opportunities,” Tridente says. “MIA represents a platform for understanding the Italian audiovisual system: financing incentives, trade associations, institutions, creative minds, producers, distributors, platforms and networks. All the key players in the market participate in the offerings that MIA puts forward this year as well.”