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Event Review: MIA


The eighth edition of MIA | International Audiovisual Market took place in Rome from October 11 to 15, wrapping with “impressive achievements,” according to Gaia Tridente, director. “More than 2,400 accredited people from 60 countries around the world literally flooded the Cinema Barberini and Palazzo Barberini during these five days,” she adds.

The number of participants was up 20 percent, and all the halls and conferences at the Cinema Barberini were sold out. Palazzo Barberini, the hub for the B2B meetings of the co-production market and international sales, was buzzing. For the first time, there was a demo room of virtual production that attracted several industry professionals, Tridente adds. “This represents a breakthrough edition, with truly significant international participation, and Rome was transformed in these five days into a hotbed of discussion, debate and confrontation among the most important international executives from Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa, South America, Asia and Australia.”

Tridente notes that organizers built a strong editorial program to represent the entire ecosystem and its paradigms. “MIA is the destination for the global industry, which is going through a phase of rapid evolution and explosion of new content production,” she adds.

The event saw engagement from top international players, including platforms such as Prime Video, Apple TV+, Netflix, Paramount+ and Tubi, along with an ensemble of producers, authors, distributors, agents and studios—all taking part in a rich program of activities aimed at supporting international co-productions, the circulation of projects and talents and the many opportunities for discussion and debate that emerged in the panel sessions.

“The audiovisual ecosystem represents an industry defined as intangible and difficult to measure, but at the same time, recognized as bringing great value not only to economies but also to the global cultural imaginary and growth,” Tridente says.

“MIA is a lens through which to focus on the future of the audiovisual ecosystem, to discover talent and ideas; it is a physical and digital space of reasoning, conversation and strategy. MIA is a content market that focuses on content first in every activity, offering an ambitious and highly [curated] program able to attract professionals from all over the world. Fully conceived as a curatorial marketplace, it is nurtured by a specific desire to mirror industry models, on one hand, and to know how to direct this industry toward future perspectives.

She adds that MIA is a place to find new IPs, seek financing partners and commissioners for the development of new projects, foster international co-productions and participate in technological breakthroughs and ecological changes of the entire film and audiovisual industry. “Never as much as today do we feel the vibrant attention around market events such as MIA, and never as much as today do we feel the responsibility to recognize how to give space and value to content and professionals, who are the creators of the booming of content thriving around us. With them, we board the journey toward discovering the future scenario of our industry.”

Among the highlights of the 2022 edition was a panel on the global production landscape. The session “Time to Stop Saying ‘Foreign-Language’” saw an ensemble of international series producers—consisting of Anne Thomopoulos (Legendary Global), Matthew Brodlie (Upgrade Productions), Erik Barmack (Wild Sheep Content), Françoise Guyonnet (STUDIOCANAL) and moderated by Carlo Dusi (Endor Productions)—discuss trends, experiences and plans for the future of high-end drama production and strategies based on local content.

MIA presented Netflix’s high-profile Italian original documentary series Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, written and directed by the director Mark Lewis (Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer) and produced by Chiara Messineo. Messineo and Lewis talked at MIA about the series, which is an intriguing and powerful piece now available on the platform.

The Tinder Swindler, one of the year’s most talked-about documentaries, was also a topic of focus. Director Felicity Morris (also producer of Don’t F**k with Cats) and producer Joel Zimmer (president of AGC Unwritten at AGC Studios) spoke exclusively at MIA about the challenges and potential of unprecedented and contemporary storytelling based on stock footage taken primarily from social media.

In a panel on multinational co-production and future-proofing creative business models in the independent film business, a group of U.S. producers, funds and financing agents discussed the global ecosystem of independent film production, including private equity, government funds and tax incentives. Among the speakers were Carlo Cresto-Dina (producer and CEO of Tempesta, Italy), Frédéric Fiore (president and partner of Logical Pictures, France), Maren Olson (executive VP of film at 30West, U.S.), Casey Sunderland (agent at CAA Media Finance, U.S.) and Julie Viez (producer at Cinenovo, France). Through examples and best cases, panelists considered the current film financing and production scenario and shared their perspectives on the future.

Through the example of a co-production from Africa, MIA presented the “Defining the World Markets” panel, in which speakers discussed a new view of the international audiovisual landscape from the perspective of animation producers from Morocco, South Africa and Ghana. Among them, Mounia Aram (MA Company), Sithembiso Mpehle (Tshimologong) and Francis Y. Brown (AnimaxFYB) talked about how to navigate the global animation industry.

The “Creative Industries Innovation” program is just one of the many lenses through which MIA offered a fresh look this year, providing a pathway to insight into the topic of technological innovation and digitalization related to the audiovisual industry. It looked at filming without creative limitations, as safely as possible, with the use of technology. Thanks to the collaboration with OneExtra group, all registered professionals had a chance to enter a real virtual production demo room inside Palazzo Barberini.

Among the new features of MIA 2022, the B2B Exchange is a program to support the Ukrainian audiovisual industry with content, events and market activities that involve Ukrainian professionals, aiming to bring them back to the heart of the global audiovisual industry.

MIA 2022 enjoyed for the first time the patronage of Eurimages, the cultural support fund of the Council of Europe for the co-production, distribution, exhibition and digitalization of European cinematographic works, which aims to promote the European film industry by supporting its production, distribution and cooperation among professionals in different countries.

MIA also hosted a conference sponsored by EBU (European Broadcasting Union), the world’s leading alliance of public service media, which was attended by executives from the scripted arena.

MIA—born in 2015 thanks to ANICA (Italian Association of Film, Audiovisual and Digital Industries), chaired by Francesco Rutelli, and APA (Audiovisual Producers Association), chaired by Giancarlo Leone—has the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, ITA—Italian Trade Agency, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Lazio Region. Moreover, MIA is also supported by the official sponsor Unicredit and by Fastweb, technology partner.











About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at kbrzoznowski@worldscreen.com.

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