On day-three of MIPCOM, discussions on the FAST phenomenon gathered pace at the FAST Roundtable Breakfast; women exchanged views did some business at the International Women’s Mentoring Breakfast; and at MIPTV’s dedicated Diversity & Inclusion roundtable session there were frank and open discussions on representation in the industry…
‘Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you do’
There was an unexpected development at the International Women’s Mentoring Breakfast, organised by MIPTV with Paris-based women’s organisation MédiaClub’Elles, in Cannes on Wednesday.
At one of the eight mentoring tables, hosted by Caroline Petit of the United Nations — a new partner in the mentoring event — Claudia Kessler, an aerospace engineer, spoke of her ambition to put the first German woman into space. It hasn’t happened yet so she decided to make a TV series about it. As Petit said in her summary, “sometimes telling stories can create change”. During the roundtable discussion Kessler found likely partners for her series, titled the Astronaut, about a woman whose ambition to launch the first German woman into space but who is constantly discredited by the “grey masters” of the European Space Organisation and the German Space Institute.
The eight mentors took turns to summarise their table’s findings and conclusions with messages including: “Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you do”; “Know your value”; “Learn how to negotiate properly”; “In difficult situations it’s important to find an ally in the room”; and “Determine what it is you want and then stick to your goals”.
At the start of the session – pointing to the packed room – MédiaClub’Elles founder and president, Florence Sandis said: “We are a victim of our success. There are many more women here this year; we will need more mentors next year.”
‘FAST is part of a wider content universe…’
Following on from MIPTV’s FAST & GLOBAL Summit, Wednesday morning saw a well-attended FAST Roundtable Breakfast workshop. Global Media Consult’s Christian Knaebel, the session’s chair, said: “Originally we had planned to have around eight-to-10 tables at the event. We ended up with 22.”
Speaking to the MIP Blog ahead of the session, Knaebel said the event would give delegates the opportunity to work with key executives who are currently driving innovation in the sector. The ambition for the event is that “operational experience, learnings, and benchmarks” are shared.
In his introduction, Knaebel referred to the rapidly-growing sector as “a FAST galaxy. I like that description because it reminds us that FAST is part of a wider content universe that continues to expand. It connects to other monetisation opportunities and should never be treated as a standalone operation. You need to integrate your FAST services into other parts of your business, otherwise it won’t work for you.”
FAST is currently biggest in the US, but in the next phase it will gain greater traction in the international market, Knaebel said. Helping him explain the implications of this growth were table hosts including: All3Media International’s Gary Woolf; Video Solutions’ Philipp Rotermund; Playground TV’s Daniel Nordberg; The Local Act Consultancy’s Marion Ranchet; rlaxx TV’s Teresa Lopez; Okast TV’s Cédric Monnier; Insights TV’s Natalie Boot; MyZenTV’s Nela Pavlouskova; ZDF’s Linette Zaulich; and Media Worldwide Limited/TravelXP’s Sumant Bahl.
Delegates discuss diversity and inclusion
There was a strong turnout for MIPTV’s dedicated Diversity & Inclusion roundtable session on Wednesday morning. The format of the event saw experts in different areas of D&I host frank and open discussions on six distinct themes ranging from minority representation to neurodiversity.
Roundtable leaders for the one-hour session included Fathima Beckmann, global inclusion thought leader; Hanan Lacanster, executive producer In The Zone Films; Karim Mahdjouba, producer and director KMH Media Production; Sandra Nduna, director, sales and international distribution, Dick Clark Productions; Adrian Smith, co-founder, producer and presenter, The Three Drinkers; and Dixi Stewart, managing director, Sandstone Global.
After six years The Traitors is ‘an easy sell’
To the casual observer, IDTV’s hit format The Traitors looks like an overnight sensation. But a stimulating panel at MIPTV underlined just how much time and effort really went into creating this year’s most talked about unscripted format.
Kicking off the session, IDTV creative director Jasper Hoogendoorn explained how his first discussions with the show’s creator Marc Pos took place six years ago. It wasn’t until 2021 that the show secured its first commission from Dutch channel RTL4 – by which time it had already been piloted and passed over by another broadcaster.
During the session, RTL director of content Peter van der Vorst said: “When it came to us it was set in a desert and called Treason of Marrakesh. We liked the idea but didn’t like the desert so we suggested it should be set in a castle. I then played the game in my backyard with my team and we knew straight away we had to have it.”
Since then, the format has never looked back. Just this week at MIPTV, another six adaptations have been announced by All3Media International – taking the total to 20. A3MI also used MIPTV to announce a raft of tape sales for finished versions.
A3MI EVP format Nick Smith said the unusual premise of the Traitors format would have made it hard to sell off-paper, but “the original Dutch version worked so well, it’s actually been an easy sell. That said, it is keeping me really busy.”
ITV Studios restructures to meet buyer needs
Ruth Berry, managing director, ITV Studios global distribution and global entertainment, delivered a media mastermind keynote at MIPTV on Tuesday afternoon. Discussing her recently expanded role, she told delegates it was about serving clients more efficiently: “My new role brings together formats and finished programming into one multi-dimensional business. Our clients are interested in both, so the new structure means fewer conversations about how we can meet their needs.”
Aside from streamlining buyer relationships, she said the division will explore innovative ways to maximise revenues around brands and IP: “In addition to tape sales and formats, areas like brand extensions, merchandising and the metaverse will be managed in one place. We will also be able to respond to emerging opportunities like AVOD and FAST.”
Berry now oversees a 90,000-hour programming catalogue and more than 250 formats including The Voice and Love Island. She also discussed new content coming through, for example the formats Scared Of The Dark and My Mum, Your Dad. She also spoke of the firm’s plan to expand into natural history via its acquisition of Plimsoll Productions.
It’s the end of the world and we love it
The Wit’s popular Fresh TV franchise turned its attention to scripted series and kids/tween content on Tuesday, with one well-attended session taking place in the Debussy Theatre at lunchtime and another included in the Future of Kids TV Summit line-up.
In Fresh TV Fiction, The WIT CEO Virginia Mouseler used HBO’s success with dystopian drama The Last Of Us as a springboard to discuss series where the narrative focus was “the revenge of nature, dictatorship and rebellions. The more we watched fiction, the more we identified a pattern of nature’s revenge and individual rebellion.”
Examples that backed the point included Beta Film dramas The Swarm and Snow. In the former, a series of deadly happenings coming out of the ocean threaten humanity. Mouseler also showcased Arcadia, a Belgium-Netherlands co-production distributed by The Wild Bunch TV. Here, survivors of a catastrophe find themselves saddled with an authoritarian rule that measures obedience to its regime by giving everyone a real-time score out of 10.
At the Kids Summit, delegates learned about the latest inspiring content trends in The Wit Kids Garden: What’s Fresh in the Kids & Tween Space?.
Sony is back in Cannes with Pixomondo
Sony hosted a MIPTV seminar on Tuesday, exploring a number of new technologies that the company has developed for visual artists – specifically the virtual production services developed by VFX company Pixomondo, which Sony acquired in Q4 of last year. Pixomondo is best-known recently for its work on Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Sony also presented its Venice Rialto camera extension system during the seminar.