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Mipcom 2016 sets new records

MUMBAI: Record attendances at the television trade events MipJunior and Mipcom, more World Premiere TV and international screenings than ever, a remarkable Japan Country of Honour programme, a Personality of the Year, Shonda Rhimes, who packed delegates into her keynote interview and a tour de force opening keynote from Sony’s president, CEO Kazuo Hirai, combined to make for a highly successful and memorable MIPCOM 2016, said the event’s organiser Reed Midem.

MipJunior (15-16 October) set the tone for the week with a record 1,600 participants including more than 630 buyers (+10 per cent), 1,200 programmes in the screening library and 260 new development projects presented to potential partners. Delegates were treated to a double helping of World Premiere TV Screenings with ‘Splash And Bubbles’ (produced by the Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises) and ‘Grizzy And The Lemmings’ from Studio Hari Production.

Illustrating the wide international appeal of programming for kids, MipJunior hosted presentations covering new animation from Finland, animation co-production opportunities with India, hot kids shows in Norway, how to work in China and how to co-produce with Mipcom Country of Honour Japan – where animation accounts for 62 per cent of the country’s television exports.

At the main Mipcom event, which drew delegations from 108 countries, attendance reached some 14,000 with 4,900 buyers registered including 1,500 acquisition executives working for digital platforms and SVOD.

2,000 exhibiting companies packed the Palais des Festivals with new national pavilions bringing together companies from Chile, New Zealand, Morocco, the Philippines, Russia and Japan. Outside the Palais des Festivals exhibition hall, ITV Studios’ two-storey stand was made of containers.

Following the launch of the MipDrama Screenings in April 2016, Mipcom hosted a record number of major drama launches in the World Premiere TV Screenings and International Drama Screenings.

Among the mega-productions on view, the World Premiere TV Screenings showcased ‘Mata Hari’ (presented by Red Arrow International), ‘The Halcyon’ (presented by Sony Pictures Television), ‘The Same Sky’ (presented by Beta Film), ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s do the Time Warp Again’ (presented by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution’) and an exclusive episode of ‘The Catch, Season 2’ (presented by Disney Media Distribution). For the first time, two of the Screenings, ‘Mata Hari’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ were open to the Cannes public who reacted enthusiastically to both shows.

“The interest in the World Premiere TV Screenings and the International Drama Screenings continues to grow and it was great to be able to invite the Cannes public to ‘Mata Hari’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s do the Time Warp Again.’ This bodes well for our plans to expand the 2017 MIPDrama Screenings next April and helps us as we continue to look at bringing a high-end drama festival element to our future events,” noted Reed Midem’s television division director Laurine Garaude.

With Japan as Mipcom’s Country of Honour, 500 Japanese executives from 104 companies attended Mipcom. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, sent a special video message to the international television community in Cannes welcoming the Mipcom Country of Honour programme and the possibility to promote the best in Japanese tech skills and content.

Delegates enthused that the Japan-themed Opening Party, complete with a host of Japanese chefs, specially-imported Japanese food and beverage and Japanese live music, was one of the most memorable MIPCOM openers in recent years.

On the conference front, Sony Corporation President and CEO Kazuo Hirai, opened proceedings with his keynote during a Mipcom which saw the spotlight turned on Japan’s tech prowess with the latest developments of HD, 4K, 8K and Virtual Reality showcased alongside the newest animation programmes coming to the international market from Japan.

Undoubted star of Mipcom 2016 was Personality of the Year Shonda Rhimes. In her various (and often combined) roles as creator, writer, showrunner or executive producer, Shonda Rhimes is the driving force behind ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ and ‘The Catch.’
With so much high-end drama at Mipcom, international talent was in abundance as stars accompanied their respective shows to the market. Household names in Cannes included keynote speaker and actor Kiefer Sutherland with ‘Designated Survivor,’ Kyle MacLachlan promoting the new ‘Twin Peaks,’ Dennis Quaid for season 2 of ‘Fortitude,’ ‘Unreal’s’ Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby, ‘Conviction’s’ Hayley Atwell, ‘Victoria’ star Jenna Coleman and representing ‘Mata Hari’ Christopher Lambert and Vahina Giocante.

As part of the Country of Honour programme, Japanese star Kento Hayashi flew in for a special screening of ‘Moribito 2: Guardian of the Spirit.’

French thespians in town were also numerous with Leila Bekhti, Tcheky Karyo, Emma de Caunes, and Clementine Poidatz all attending Mipcom.

“This has been an excellent edition of Mipcom. Through the central theme of New Television we have showcased technical innovation, discussed how to reach out to younger audiences who consume entertainment when, where and how they want and brought together traditional television leaders with newer online companies. This year has seen a combination of plentiful deal-making, celebration, exchange of knowledge and keynotes from major industry leaders,” concluded Reed Midem’s Laurine Garaude.