MIA Unveils Lineup for 2021 Event


The MIA—International Audiovisual Market is returning for its seventh edition next month, with director, writer and producer Joe Russo among the featured guests.

Russo, co-chairman of AGBO, will be the protagonist of the opening keynote interview for the MIA Scripted Division, curated by Gaia Tridente. He counts among his credits four movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Sean Furst, president of film and TV at Skybound Entertainment, will interview Russo for his fireside chat at MIA.

Producer and writer Alon Aranya (Your Honor), whose production company Paper Plane Productions is under a first-look deal at Apple TV, will be the subject of a keynote interview that will explore his innovative producing career. Guest moderator of the keynote will be Michael Gordon, global television agent at CAA.

The Co-Production Market & Pitching Forum will feature a preview of 28 feature film and TV series projects.

On the film side, there are 14 feature film projects from eight countries that will be exhibited to domestic and international players, with five of the 12 projects from women directors and half the titles from directors on their first or second project. Selected titles include After the Hurricane by Julian Jarrold, Arturo’s Voice from Irene Dionisio, Forough: A Lonely Woman by Tina Gharavi, Last Chord in Thessaloniki by Eran Riklis, Les Italiens by Silvio Muccino and Today… Tomorrow… by Ray Yeung.

In addition to the international selection, for the second year, the Film Co-Production Market & Pitching Forum is presenting Wanna Taste It?, a section dedicated exclusively to Italian film projects in development.

Fourteen international TV series projects will be showcased at the Drama Co-Production Market & Pitching Forum, by producers from 12 different countries: Italy, the U.K., Canada, Cyprus, France, Finland, Belgium, Ukraine, Germany, Iceland, Spain and Bulgaria. Highlights include Coverdale (Pinball London), Farpoint (Caretta Films, Three River Fiction; ZDF Enterprises) D’Artagnan And Co (AT-Prod), Nest of Snakes (Film.UA Group), 177 Days. The Kidnapping of Farouk Kassam (Bim Produzione), Gangs of Rome (Minerva Pictures Group), Fireworks (Fandango, Matrioska), The Recruiter (Sienna Films) and The Trip (Glassriver).

Panels and talks in the scripted section include the New Business Models in Television panel featuring Stuart McLean, CEO of Fast Studios; Cristina Sala, senior business development for Italy for TV Plus ESBO Samsung; and Tobias Queisser, co-founder and CEO of Cinelytic. Rick Jacobs, CEO of Skybound Galactic, is the session co-curator and is moderating.

The Film Financing Bundles will have as speakers: Carolyn Steinmetz, executive VP and head of content finance for STX Entertainment; Alexandra Hoesdorff, co-founder and CEO of Deal Productions; Maxime Cottray, VP of finance and production at XYZ Films; Matteo Perale, co-founder at WIIP; and Andrea Scrosati, COO of Fremantle. Andrea Scarso, director of investments for Ingenious Media and panel co-producer, is moderating.

MIA’s scripted division has partnered with TorinoFilmLab for a Hosted Pitch session of the nine projects realized at the fifth edition of SeriesLab. Under the guidance of Head of Studies Nicola Lusuardi and tutors, the 2021 participants developed pilot treatments and concept pitches to be exhibited during MIA.

C EU Soon is a program dedicated to first and second works of European directors for which five films were selected. Curated by Francesca Palleschi, the program’s selected projects include Nasim by directors Ole Jacobs and Arne Büttner; Temps Mort (Time Out), produced by Belgium’s Kwassa Films, co-produced with Les Films de l’Autre Cougar and from French director Eve Duchemin; the debut film by Slovakian director Michal Blaško, Obet’ (Victim); Māsas (Sisters), the feature debut of Latvian director Linda Olte; and Berdreymi (Beautiful Beings), directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson.

The MIA unscripted section, curated by Marco Spagnoli, will include a keynote by producer and director R.J. Cutler (The War Room, American High, Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry). Also featured are the director and editor duo Cosima Spender and Valerio Bonelli, who will discuss how to develop characters and construct a narrative in a documentary.

The Doc Pitching Forum will include 13 feature documentaries and docuseries projects, ranging from sports to music, environment issues and politics. In the feature category are Live Till I Die, directed by Anders Teigen, Oscar Hedin, Gustav Ågerstrand and Åsa Ekman and produced by Film and Tell; Topper Headon, I Fought the Law by Lionel Guedj and produced by To Be Continued; Slave Island, produced by Harald House Belgium BV and directed by Jimmy Hendrickx and Jeremy Kewuan; The Mayor—Me, Mussolini and the Museum, by Piergiorgio Curzi and Sabika Shah Povia and produced by Maurizio Carta for Road Television; and Stonebreakers by Valerio Ciriaci and produced by Awen Films.

Also among the selected projects are Sunken Memories, produced by Leonardo Baraldi for Schicchera Production and directed by Luca Manes; 5 Nanomoles—The Olympic Dream of a Trans Woman by Elisa Mereghetti; I Don’t Forgive, by Simone Spampinato and Elisa Faccioni and produced by Manuel Grieco for Jumping Flea; and Wanted: Roni Kalderon, directed by Erez Laufer and Hilla Medalia.

In the docuseries category are Queen of Chess, by Bernadett Tuza Ritter and produced by Queenside Pictures; Radicals, directed by Matteo Ferrarini and produced by Matteo Pecorara for Small Boss; Odyssey: Behind the Myth by Massimo Brega and produced by Camilla Tartaglione for Kepach; and Remaking of Love, produced by Zenit Arti Audiovisive and directed by Lucio Basadonne and Anna Pollio.

Additional MIA 2021 highlights include a new program dedicated to the latest technologies applied to the audiovisual sector, Innovation for Creative Industries. The section Next Generation EU, in collaboration with the Lazio Region, is once again accessible as a market incubator for young professionals and talents of the future. There will also be in-depth studies related to business models, the industry and Italian products.

MIA is being held in Rome from October 13 to 17. The event is a joint venture between ANICA—l’Associazione Nazionale Industrie Cinematografiche Audiovisive e Digitali, presided by Francesco Rutelli, and APA—Associazione Produttori Audiovisivi, chaired by Giancarlo Leone. It has the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, ICE, and MiC (Ministry of Culture), Ministry of Economic Development, Lazio Region, MEDIA program of the European Union. Partnerships were also confirmed with UniCredit, Fastweb, Fondazione Cinema per Roma and Alice nella Città.