MIPTV Steps Up Kids’ TV Focus

Reed MIDEM’s Laurine Garaude and the International Academy’s Bruce Paisner tell TV Kids about the new and returning elements delegates from the children’s content space can look forward to at Junior@MIPTV, which will feature more sessions, a dedicated kids’ zone in the Palais and the International Emmy Kids Awards.

Last year, Reed MIDEM formed its first MIP Markets Kids’ Buyers Advisory Board. The group, which includes Nickelodeon’s Jules Borkent, Cartoon Network’s Adina Pitt, Sprout’s incoming Deirdre Brennan and BBC’s Jackie Edwards, among others, has been ***Image***advising Reed MIDEM on MIPJunior and bolstering the kids’ programming lineup at MIPTV. From the children’s content space, some 1,300 buyers and 1,200 production and distribution companies are expected to attend MIPTV.

Based on the suggestions offered by the advisory board, Reed MIDEM incorporated several enhancements, including a new recommendation engine for the online MIPJunior library. Ahead of MIPTV, distributors will be able to update their MIPJunior screenings library with their new shows, Laurine Garaude, director of the television division at Reed MIDEM, tells TV Kids.

Also new will be a dedicated kids’ zone in the Palais where execs from the children’s programming community can screen titles and network. “We will have quite a number of new kids’ program launches,” Garaude says, including a world premiere screening.

The kids’ advisory board also suggested that MIPTV launch a digital short-form children’s series pitch. The jury—BBC’s Edwards, France Télévisions’ Julien Borde, Super RTL’s Janine Weigold, Disney’s Vincent Aricco and Anuradha Javeri from India’s YoBoHo—will be assessing the entries, which should be between 5 and 10 minutes in length, animated or live action, targeting kids 6 to 11 and made specifically for digital platforms. The deadline for entries is February 3.

Following the success of the closed-door Future of Kids’ TV Summit over the last two years, Reed MIDEM has expanded the Junior@MIPTV conference strand, slating sessions from Monday to Wednesday and opening it up to all delegates. Sessions will explore online strategies, VR and AR, commissioner wish lists and, in collaboration with Eurodata, the “newest, hottest, highest-rated kids’ shows from around the world, including online content from YouTube and others,” Garaude explains.

There’s also a “full-fledged matchmaking/networking program,” including a recommendation system and meet-ups in the kids’ zone where delegates can discuss co-productions and meet with panelists.

Another one of the key highlights of the Junior@MIPTV strand is the International Emmy Kids Awards, organized by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with presenting partners Shaw Rocket Fund, WDR mediagroup, TV Kids, EY and Junior@MIPTV. Set for Tuesday, April 4, the International Emmy Kids Awards is now in its second year in Cannes, and fifth overall.

“The second year is always a milestone,” says Bruce Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy. “We had a very good event last year. It sold out quickly and I’d really love to see it grow [this year]. We have lots of nominees, from every continent. And I think it’s a very good thing we moved it to MIPTV. There is a major kids’ focus at MIPTV, so you have an awful lot of people at the Emmys and surrounding events who wouldn’t be there otherwise. The weather in Cannes is so much better than in New York! And we love working with Reed MIDEM—we think they are a great partner. We’ve been doing lots of things with them ever since I got to the Academy.”

For Paisner, celebrating the best of kids’ programming from across the globe is particularly important given the turbulent times we’re living in today. “With everything that’s going on now, the world is clearly embarking on a more difficult period. In the wake of WWII, all the Western democracies built this amazingly stable world order, and that world order is collapsing in some places, changing in others. I don’t think anybody can feel that there’s not a rough period ahead. One thing we know for sure is that lots more kids are going to be born and grow up during this period. We owe them a bigger obligation than ever. They will continue, as they have for many years, to get most of their entertainment and a lot of their information, broadly speaking, from television. So I would argue that for those of us who care about getting through this period to the next period of calm, because we will, we have an even deeper obligation to the kids. Everybody can meet that in their own professional way. For us the key to the obligation is great television that really makes a difference, that really means something. The Emmy stands for that and promotes that more than anything in the world. I think we have an even bigger responsibility than we envisioned five years ago. One way to meet that obligation is to make the Emmy stronger than ever and more meaningful to people who make kids’ television. It’s an important time for us to be here doing this.”