Welcome to the latest in a series of posts from selected industry influencers — producers, distributors and buyers — who’ll be sharing their insights in the run-up to MIPCOM and MIPJunior 2017!


Debbie Macdonald: Could you please introduce yourself?

Tania Gilinski: I am the creative director of Juana la Iguana, an entertainment platform based on Juana, a fun-loving character from Latin America, with an award winning live-action tv series. Juana is now an animated character and at its core there are good stories, beautiful designs, thrilling adventures, fun music and a clear identity.  After 25 years working across several disciplines including education, television, technology and product development, I am still a kid at heart and very passionate about what I do.


> What do you think is the most innovative thing in TV now, and why?

Television has dramatically changed in the last few years as a result of new channels emerging and new platforms for the viewer to see them. Today, the word television reaches far beyond a living room screen and one set format. This is a two way process, the medium has changed, and the viewer has changed too. One of the most remarkable aspects of this big move is the ability viewers have to judge content in the first five seconds. Producers have been pushed to be as creative as they can be. There is no room for luck or destiny; today everything relies on quality content, as has always been the case. It’s about telling amazing stories.


> What opportunities does the development of new platforms and business models open up for content creators or producers today?

This new digital era allows us to go directly to our viewers, challenging us to think out of the box… literally! We can be very creative by addressing audiences in non-traditional avenues, and we can grow our brand, and grow revenue, by creating “products” with a lower cost than in the past which allows us to experiment and iterate. Our experience  with Juana has been to grow the brand across media channels, mobile apps, books, webisodes, videoclips and theater.  Thanks to technology and global distribution, we can micromanage our specific audience and communicate directly with them.


> Is the playing field more level in the digital age? To what extent is the ‘traditional’ system (pitching to a Commissioner) still important and how do you see that system evolving?

To a certain extent  this is the age of creators given the global demand for programming, including unlimited demand and exposure through Youtube. But in children’s TV, in particular, pitching to a commissioner will continue to be important because they take risks on ideas and help them become a reality. Commissioners are ambassadors; they are essential in the media ecosystem to nurture talent and develop it.


> What is your favourite TV show/IP today and why?

My favorite children’s TV show is Peg and Cat. I love the math theme, beautiful illustrations and well conceived stories. There is so much simplicity and good content that this show has the possibility of growing into a 360 Brand. I love that it has a higher purpose, encouraging kids to think mathematically featuring a female heroine. Ultimately, this is a fun story about a girl and her cat.


> How will TV’s golden age continue post Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones has raised the bar for creators and has created a new genre of historical fantasy. It will continue to happen. As viewers become more sophisticated and demanding, creators must come up with better stories and many of them, as the Thrones series has shown, are rooted in history. Since the time of the minstrels, keeping your audience hooked is rooted in interesting character and defying the rules!


This is the latest in a series of posts from MIPCOM 2017’s MIPBlog Ambassadors, a group of industry experts coordinated by consultant Debbie Macdonald, who’ll be sharing their insight here in the run-up to MIPCOM this October. Stay tuned for more!

About Author

Debbie Macdonald is a children’s media consultant. She was formerly VP, programming director at Nickelodeon UK, having worked in acquisitions at the BBC.

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