The 60th MIPTV opened with a series of events that together made up the first MIPTV Super Sunday. Beta Film launched season four of flagship series Hudson & Rex; Cannesseries presented the MIPDrama Screenings; MIPDOC presented the International Buyer Screenings and Coup de Coeur; and the day closed with a packed MIPDoc Opening Cocktail, in partnership with Paramount Global Content Distribution.
The MIPDOC International Buyer Screenings
The winners of the MIPDOC International Buyer Screenings Coup de Coeur are Prison Project ‘Little Scandinavia’ from Swedish television; and The Caravan, from Cabal Films. The projects were selected by buyers at the end of the Screenings event held in the Debussy Theatre.
The Screenings gave key factual TV decision-makers an exclusive first-look at a selection of 10 non-scripted projects chosen from 70 projects from 20 countries.
The event was moderated by Beatrice Rossmanith, managing director of Glance-Médiamétrie Tape Consultancy, who gave an overview of the key factual trends. She pointed to “a 17% rise in factual co-productions in 2022”.
Paramount Global Content Distribution (PCGD) rounded off the Screenings by showcasing its own true crime/sports hybrid Catching Lightning. PCGD senior vice-president content partnerships and brand strategy Lauren Marriott said that MIPDOC and the Screenings “an ideal opportunity to highlight the strength of our slate,” adding: “We’re pleased to be sponsoring the MIPDOC Opening Party as part of this.”
The MIPDOC Co-production Summit
The first day of MIPTV 2023 saw factual decision-makers gather in the Palais des Festivals for the MIPDOC Co-production Summit.
As well as networking opportunities, the event featured a keynote by Susan Zirinksy, former head of CBS News and the driving force behind See It Now Studios. There was also a case study of A Year In Ukraine, a co-production involving Blue Ant Media, Film UA, TF1, ZDF Studios and GTV Doc Ltd. The Summit wrapped with a series of roundtable discussions. Addressing MIPDOC delegates, Zirinsky said the company is keen to co-produce and can bring several important assets to creative partnerships: “We have free access to the CBS news archive. We can also promise strong promotion across a wide range of CBS entities – all for free.”
‘Stop looking at the TV business in silos’
Industry thought leader Evan Shapiro delivered a challenging keynote on Monday and he also revealed insights based on an exclusive research partnership with MIPTV. Shapiro, professor of television at New York University, urged delegates to “stop looking at the TV business in silos” and “start thinking like consumers”. His stark warning was that media companies need to shift their mindset radically to survive: “There’s a major shift coming in the next 36 months and companies that don’t react will fail.”
He said that audiences do not consume content with a binary mindset: “Content owners… need to stop thinking about the gatekeeper and creator economies as separate, because they co-exist. Streaming and linear, social and TV, pay and free are all colliding in the minds of consumers on a day to day basis.”
Shapiro also said that generating value in the new media landscape is about more than reach — it’s about the “engagement, passion and love” driven by communities.
A walk through the Fresh TV Garden
Fan of The Wit’s Fresh TV sessions were treated to a double dose of insights on Monday. First came the company’s popular formats analysis and later, Fresh TV Garden, a new addition to the series.
The Wit CEO Virginia Mouseler said the latest wave of fiction and formats displayed high levels of quality and originality – and “an incredible amount of creativity”. Dating shows are still in strong demand – and innovative ideas are emerging, recent global hit The Traitors being a perfect example.
Explaining the rationale for Fresh TV Garden, she said: “We have been looking for what we consider to be the non-scripted shows of tomorrow. As a twist, they will all will be submitted to an AI evaluation of their market potential.”
Producers must ‘embrace innovative distribution models’
Anna Marsh, CEO, StudioCanal and deputy CEO of Canal+ Group, used her MIPTV keynote to urge producers to embrace “innovative distribution models”. She also announced investment in indie Strong Film & TV — and a new project,
How To Stop Time, a StudioCanal and Sunnymarch production. The six-part scripted series, based on Matt Haig’s novel, stars Benedict Cumberbatch.
Strong Film & TV is a UK indie led by Broadchurch director James Strong, along with Loretta Preece and Matt Tombs. Marsh said: “We are committed to aligning ourselves with the best creatives who embrace our mission to bring prestige drama to our many clients across all platforms”.
The partnership kicks off with the joint development of The Out, a social thriller set against the volatile backdrop of a juvenile prison.
‘Everything we do is about content and talent’
Sister co-founder and chief creative officer Jane Featherstone was at MIPTV on Monday to collect the Variety International Achievement in TV Award on behalf of herself and the company’s co-founders Elisabeth Murdoch and Stacey Snider.
Afterwards, Featherstone took part in a fireside chat, during which she outlined the company ethos that has helped Sister become a leading producer, with credits such as Chernobyl and Landscapers. Describing the company as ‘fiercely independent”, she said “everything we do is about content and talent. We are always looking to break ground and be innovative. We do that through instinct and working with great people.”
Featherstone founded Sister Pictures in 2016 and restructured it as Sister when Murdoch and Snider came on board as partners in 2019. While the core mission is still scripted storytelling, the company has now expanded into new areas including factual production and podcasts. “The company has evolved, but it is still all about the relationships you make. That’s why events like MIPTV are so valuable. Being able to break bread with people is critical to growing our European business.”
Sister recently took a stake in Richard Bacon’s Yes Yes Media. Explaining why, she said: “Things change quickly, so we need to work with creators like Richard who can see the future. We have to keep taking risks and surprising the audience.”
The MIPDOC Project Pitch
The winners of the 2023 MIPDOC Project Pitch are Diana Maria Olsson and Egor Olesov of Ukraine’s United Heroes Group – for their pitch Let Me Go Home.
Following a widespread call for entries, five finalists were selected by a jury of decision-makers from the factual business to present in Cannes on Monday in a session moderated by ITV Studios senior vice-president, global content non scripted, Cecilie Olsen. “The fact that MIPDOC allows for all voices big and small, from different backgrounds, to be heard in front of an international audience of buyers and platforms, is a fantastic fit for us.” Jury member Kristina Hollstein of ZDF Studios in Germany, said the Pitch has proved itself to be a highly relevant addition to the market “that gives projects international visibility”.
FOX renews partnership with the MIPFORMATS Pitch
The winner of the 2023 MIPFORMATS Pitch is The Show Must Go On from Turkish company Formatworkshop. Fox Alternative Entertainment teamed up once again with MIPFORMATS to host Monday’s Pitch that aims to seek-out entertainment formats with global potential. As well as a prize of $5000 for development, the winners get the chance to see their format pitched to global buyers by Fox Alternative Entertainment as part of its $US100m Unscripted Format Fund. Allison Wallach, president of unscripted programming, Fox Entertainment, was among the selection Jury and spoke live to the event from Los Angeles: “It’s exciting to see strong formats coming back,” she said. “Tried-and-tested formats like Survivor and Masked Singer are still working on linear networks and new titles like Traitors have bubbled up.”
The Talk of Tokyo
TBS hosted an independent format pitch event The Talk of Tokyo — to the international buyer market in the Palais des Festivals on Monday. The event revealed details of three of the company’s formats for 2023 — two new non-scripted entertainment shows and one stand-out scripted title. The two non-scripted formats are cash prize competitions Kamiwaza: The Superhuman Skill Show and Outsing the Choir!. The scripted format is the award-winning thriller, My Family, which is currently streaming worldwide on Disney+. Goshu Segawa, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television’s manager, global business, said ahead of the event: “All three of these ideas not only bear the hallmark of the creative spark and fresh thinking that is now synonymous with our region but are surefire current hits on Japanese TV screens.”