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MIPTV 2018: to be original is the key

With the launch of the brand-new CannesSeries, the city of Cannes saw a huge increase of the presence of the people that arrive to witness the glamour of Film Festivals, now on the TV and OTT industry.

The inclusion of the event fulfills two axes to the traditional MIPTV: by one hand, it gives the possibility to buyers and acquisition executives, to see in real time the reaction of their potential audiences. And by the other, it gives that audience the chance to feel themselves as a more active player within the industry.

The Official Competition, which includes an international jury headed by the US showrunner Harlan Coben, Michael Kenneth Williams, French screenwriter Audrey Fouche, Turkish actress Melisa Sozen, German actress Paula Beer, and TV composer Cristobal Tapia De Veer (“Black Mirror”), started with the presence of Patrick Dempsey and Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Regarding the two top Mip events of this weekend, the MIPFormats and MIPDoc, both have received good comments from the participants, especially in terms of the originality and quality of the shows presented. Today, Sunday 8, takes place the third edition of MIPDramas with 6 brand new drama series, one of the biggest hits of the tradeshow.

At MIPFormats, there were buyers mainly from Asia and Europe, as well as new producers offering formats that mix big stories with physical games or talent. The Japanese community took the scene at midday on ‘Treasure Box Japan’, which unveiled for its eight year in a row the brand new formats from Nippon TV, TV Asahi, NHK/NEP, TBS, TV Tokyo, Fuji TV, ABC and YTV. While China closed the day with the launch of its “Wisdom in China”, where nine TV professionals presented original and innovative formats to close 200 buyers.

Trends? The revival of classic shows from 20 or 30 years ago, compelling storytelling, famous people doing ordinary things, and ordinary people achieving the success remain on the top. In subgenres, according to The Wit, Quiz show (+11%), Celebrity shows (+11%) and Physical Challenges (+10%) where the only that grew, while Talent Shows (-1.2%), Adventure (-18%), Dating (-14%) and Cooking (-3%), shown a decrease vs. last year.

Opinions from buyers: Lauren Anderson, NBC/Snap: ‘In the transition from traditional linear to digital, you’re thinking about the audience from the very beginning concept, and having data about them available all the time allows you to shape shift much more quickly’. ‘TV has the power to change opinions and minds. That’s why we have to innovate, take risks and also represent diversity’, adds Alex Mahon, Channel 4 (UK). Anette Romer, TV2 (Hungary): ‘There are many individual takes, but the original twits are few and far between’; Pelin Akat, Antenna Group (Greece): ‘We don’t want shows that rip-offs pieces of ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing a format the fully original and big next thing’.

From the documentaries and factual side, the market showed two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, for big producers, the growing interest on this genre by digital platforms like Netflix, Amazon or Apple has became an opportunity to develop new businesses. However, for independent producers, the market is in a more complex situation.

‘People still watch documentaries, but the money we have to produce them is less year by year’, says to Prensario a producer from Africa. For this reason, most of the players, even the big ones, are watching new funding models with interest, and some are betting on new ways of bringing in money, including branding, crowd-funding, and co-production. But for the African producer, ‘with biggest companies receiving government funds, the gap with independent producers grow evens more'.

‘There are more players looking for factual shows and more opportunities, but we can’t think anymore in a show without a co-producer, and that’s not so easy in this industry’, adds another from Germany.

According to Ellen Windemuth, Off The Fence (The Netherlands), ‘indies’ survival relies on the access to great sotires and the creative to make shows look different’. But not everything is lost according to Christian Drobnyk, National Geographic: ‘There’s a sweet spot in the factual industry, and it is where authenticity meets originality and creative ambition’.

Nicolás Smirnoff, Fabricio Ferrara and Rodrigo Cantisano

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