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Carolyn McCall DBE, CEO, ITV


Ben Stiller’s TV directorial debut, Escape At Dannemora


Sreda’s Russian drama Trigger, distributed by Beta Film



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STARS ALL SET FOR THE MIPCOM SHOW THE BISEXUAL’s Desiree Akhavan, Syrian refugee Rania Ali and members of MIP Markets’ Diversity Advisory board, as well as some of this market’s digital pioneers, are all set to take part in The MIPCOM Show, a series of diversity and innovation-focused interviews, to be live-streamed from the Palais from today until Wednesday. Each day, from 16.00-17.00, they will be interviewed by virtual show host David Fox, with the show broadcast live on MIP Markets’ Twitter (@mip), Facebook and YouTube accounts (both /mipmarkets), from the stand of Imagination in Motion. Viewers can take part in polls and ask questions ahead of and during the interviews, via partner Zender, here: http://bit.ly/themipcomshow18

JOSEPH Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) was in Cannes with writer Tracy Ann Baines (Origins, Humans) of The Artists’ Partnership to pitch Cyrano, their radical re-imagining of the French classic Cyrano de Bergerac, to Atrium TV. Atrium is the commissioners’ club launched in April 2017 by Howard Stringer and Jeremy Fox to develop high-end drama for delivery by regional OTT players and telcos. The Development Partnership works with clients of talent agency The Artists’ Partnership to produce projects in film, TV and theatre. Pictured are: Ed Clarke (The Development Partnership), Joseph Fiennes, Tracy Ann Baines and Robert Taylor (The Development Partnership). More news inside...

8 NEWS Early MIPCOM deals; star profiles; news from MIPJunior; and more



Multiplatform content from around the world brought to Cannes


101 FEATURES Know your audience 101 Our screens should reflect the reality of all viewers’ lives...

What’s on the menu for MENA? 109 The TV sector in the MENA region is on a roll, triggering demand for content

No rules, no borders, no limits 115 The challenges and opportunities for content creators in the streaming age

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Brand New Drama Coming Soon

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AT SATURDAY night’s MIPJunior Opening Party, sponsored by Millimages, party-goers had fun with guest of honour Molang, the cuddly star of Millimages’ hit pre-school series. Molang is a humorous look at the relationship between an eccentric, enthusiastic rabbit, and a shy and emotional chick. The series explores Molang and Piu Piu’s everyday life from camel rides to fishing trips with friends. The characters were originally created by Hye-Ji Yoon.

A COUPLE of unannounced visitors joined the production talent and broadcast partners of Gigantosaurus at the MIPJunior World Premiere TV Screening. Gigantosaurus is based on the bestselling book by Jonny Duddle and follows the adventures of four young dinosaur friends and the fierce Gigantosaurus. The 52 x 11 mins series from Cyber Group Studios will launch worldwide on Disney Junior (excluding India, China and Taiwan) in early 2019. “My characters are moving and talking, they look fantastic,” Jonny Duddle said.

SATURDAY’s MipJunior Networking Lunch was hosted by CTC Media’s head of animation, Natalia Ivanova-Dostoevskaya (left) and deputy CEO of special projects Lev Makarov. CTC is celebrating the success of its new animated series, Little Tiaras, which launched on its CTC Kids channel in September, and is now available internationally. Little Tiaras (26 x 6.5 mins), billed as adventure, magic and girl power, trebled the channel’s average ratings for its slot.

GO-N International has sealed a deal with Japan’s NHK for its series Simon. The pre-school show (52 x 5 mins), made by Paris-based Go-N Productions with France Televisions, is based on the bestselling series of books by Stephanie Blake. They follow Simon the rabbit as he grows up and learns about the world. It will air on NHK in 2019. Pictured from left: Go-N International’s Anne de Galard and Marie Conge; Simon; NHK Enterprises’ Mayumi Akane; and Go-N’s Eric Garnet.


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NEWS 1 Monday 15 October 2018 www.mipcom.com


EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Editor in Chief Julian Newby Managing Editor Debbie Lincoln Reporters Stuart Braun, Ben Cooper, Andy Fry, Juliana Koranteng, Isobel Lee, Max Leonard, Rachel Murrell, Gary Smith, Joanna Stephens, Editorial Assistant Hannah Stephens Sub Editors Clive Bull, Neil Churchman, Nigel Willmott Web and Social Media Sunnie Newby Editorial Management Boutique Editions Head of Graphic Studio Herve Traisnel Graphic Studio Manager Frederic Beauseigneur Graphic Designers Muriel Betrancourt, Veronique Duthille, Carole Peres Head of Photographers Yann Coatsaliou / 360 Media Photographers Christian Alminana, Phyrass Haidar, Olivier Houeix, Michel Johner PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT Publishing Director Martin Screpel Publishing Manager Amrane Lamiri Printer Riccobono Imprimeurs, Le Muy (France). ADVERTISING CONTACT IN CANNES Silvia Ferreira: +33 7 78 35 43 99 Reed MIDEM, a joint stock company (SAS), with a capital of €310.000, 662 003 557 R.C.S. NANTERRE, having offices located at 27-33 Quai Alphonse Le Gallo - 92100 BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT (FRANCE), VAT number FR91 662 003 557. Contents © 2018, Reed MIDEM Market Publications. Publication registered 4th quarter 2018. Printed on PEFC Certified Paper.

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MAKING DIVERSITY THE MAINSTREAM KIDS’ content is getting more diverse with regard to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability, but there’s still lots to be done, said delegates at a highly interactive session on diversity at MIPJunior. For Tanzanian producer Doreen Kessy of Ubongo, kids’ animation is a vehicle for empowering girls. “When we have girl characters playing football and being good at maths, we’re saying this is what is possible.” North American and European broadcasters and producers are increasingly open to ethnically diverse characters, but can struggle to cast them. “Ethnically diverse child actors are out there,” said Ashley Rite of Sonar Entertainment. “But they often aren’t represented or they aren’t trained. How do we find them?” “Onscreen portrayal is only part of the story,” said Lois Randall, producer of Grace Beside Me, a drama series about an indigenous Australian teen whose ancestors take an active role in her life. “In the indigenous screen area, there’s a move away from consultants towards active collaboration. Authenticity requires minorities on the writing team, in producing roles and elsewhere.” David Levine of Disney Channel UK agreed. “One of the lead characters in our autism-themed series The A Girl is played by a girl on the autism spectrum, and everyone on the show has a connection with autism,” he said.

Doreen Kessy speaks at the diversity session

Keynoter Cohn sets out vision for DreamWorks Animation TV IN HER MIPJunior Keynote, Margie Cohn, president of DreamWorks Animation Television since its inception, charted its rise to a multi Emmy award-winning TV animation powerhouse. It had benefited, she said, from Netflix’s huge initial commitment for 300 hours of content: “We had overall series commitments with multiple seasons, a pipeline and no renewal anxiety. Plus, in Puss in Boots [from Shrek] and King Julien [from Madagascar], two beloved characters who had more stories to tell.” However, DreamWorks Animation Television was branching out to other platforms (Amazon, Hulu), and linear TV — this latter an exciting part of integrating with its parent company. “We’re getting closer and closer to the NBC ecosystem,” she said. “We feel that’s going to open up new IP that will make everything bigger.” New IP included the animation of The Fast And The Furious (executive-produced by Vin Diesel

Margie Cohn

among others) coming to Netflix in 2019. And for the forthcoming She-Ra reboot, DreamWorks had deeply researched the new audience: “What they want from adventure is very different,” she said. “Their idea of the most glamourous, perfect hero is Beyonce. She has great hair and she controls her world!” Cohn was enthusiastic about the marketing potential and

the reach of linear TV, but she was sure that kids’ viewing habits would remain constant, and that DreamWorks would cater to them: “Kids invented binge-watching. They would watch the same thing over and over until the VHS tape wore out,” she said. “Now, instead of watching a 90-minute movie over and over, we’re taking them on extended adventures.”

Perfect pitch wows MIPJunior jury JOE Moroney of Fourth Wall Creative won the prestigious MIPJunior Pitch this week for Milo, his animated series about a little black kitten role-playing grown up jobs. Milo lives in a dry cleaning shop, and when he tries on some work clothes, he is transported into an imaginative world of work. The jury liked the show’s flair and because Milo is a trier. “And even though he is a boy, he tries on all uniforms, including those of jobs conventionally associated with women,” said juror Lila Hannou, head of children’s at M6. South Farm by Yarki Studios (Ukraine) was commended for its great premise: a character exploring a new world. The Borrowers from Blue Spirit

Productions was warmly endorsed as a new take on a classic IP. Michael Stumpf of ZDF said the whole jury liked Orbiteers: Rescue Team, a comedic show about some hapless UFO fixers. “It’s great to see some original IP,” he said. “I envy the broadcaster that has picked this up.

Oh, look. It’s ZDF!” Cheryl Taylor of CBBC said Billy The Cowboy Hamster from France’s Dandeloo is “delightful, clear but unusual design, with very apposite music, and some very interesting characters. The whole package was inviting and enjoyable.”

Joe Moroney (centre) with the jury of the MIPJunior Pitch

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MARBLE BROTHERS’ GREAT ADVENTURE THEY MADE IT! The Marble Brothers escaped the clutches of the ruthless Black Ball Army to come to Cannes this week and launch their new show, The Marble Brothers’ Great Adventure. The multi-award-winning film, which follows three heroes as they are pursued through a devilishly complex marble run by the merciless Black Ball Army, was painstakingly recreated in the Marriott hotel this week by Mai Sasayama, a senior producer at NHK Educational. The Marble Brothers’ Great Adventure is a spin-off from PythagoraSwitch Mini, NHK’s science-entertainment series for pre-school kids. Both shows are being launched this week by NHK Enterprises, alongside Bodypedia (26 x 10 mins), a kids offshoot of primetime science show The Body. Bodypedia presents a unique perspective on the human body aimed at a younger audience. Each episode is made up of segments of one to three minutes, some of them animated and some using comedy. One of Japan’s top creative talents work on the segments, using 4K microscope images and CGI from the parent programme. PythagoraSwitch Mini teaches pre-schoolers to think about how things work in an entertaining way, using the experience of their daily lives. The popular Pythagora devices use everyday items such as balls and stationery to trigger the movements of different objects.

Mai Sasayama of NHK Educational

Local content, global standard key to publicly-funded kids TV BIG THEMES, big ambitions and big ideas are at the core of public-service broadcasting for children, was the message from speakers at the MIPJunior session The Future Of Public Funding In Kids Content. “The big change for us will be when France 4 goes online,”

Change coming said France Televisions’ Tiphaine de Raguenel

Tiphaine de Raguenel, executive director of France 4 and director of children and youth activities at France Televisions said. “This will dramatically reduce linear television for us.” She added: “Nevertheless, we will still promote content that kids don’t choose by themselves,” she said. “We will promote local content and ensure it’s of global standard, that it keeps pace with the international shows, and that we build strong relationships with kids.” “As public broadcasters we major on original content that commercial channels wouldn’t make,” said Luca Milano, director of Rai Ragazzi. “This year we made The Star Of Andra And Tati, an animated special about two real-life sisters who survived Auschwitz. Our series Jams, which launches in January, is a drama for eight- to 12-year-

olds that teaches kids to recognise adult behaviour that could lead to sexual harassment. “And Max And Maestro is an animated series with Daniel Barenboim about a young man who wants to play classical piano.” Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s, said that the strategy of “fewer, bigger, better” is paying off at the UK public broadcaster. “We are children-led, and we reach 85% of the children in Britain,” she said. “However, it’s not just about what we create, but where it is placed. And that’s an interesting issue. We have to be where children are.” And increasingly, YouTube is where children are. “YouTube is incredibly popular, but it’s not a platform for under-13s,” Webb said. “Our linear channels will be with us for the foreseeable future.”

Tweens main programming challenge EURODATA TV Worldwide’s Binge Watching – Kids Audience Successes Across The Globe MIPJunior session showcased the different trends animating the kids space. Avril Blondelot, the company’s head of content insight, pointed to an increased focus mixing cultural codes, as in Toei Animations anime The Butt Detective, based on a book featuring a crime-solver with a butt-shaped face and his sidekick dog named Brown. Conte-Nous, by Ivory Coast’s Afrika Toon and on TV5 Monde, meanwhile, was an interesting take on the oral storytelling tradition. Blondelot focused particularly on the tween audience, where TV audiences are still declining worldwide: “It’s a tricky

age group both for parents and broadcasters,” she said. “The threat of them leaving the small screen is larger.” To keep them watching you need laughs, as seen in The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle (rebooted on Amazon Prime Video). Or the new “badass girl” role models, as seen in Glitcher, which was about a girl trapped in a computer game, or the She-Ra reboot. She also highlighted issue-based dramas like Joe All Alone, in which a kid abandoned by his mother goes on holiday, and Grace Beside Me, about an indigenous Australian 13-year-old who sees ghosts. Cooking shows were strong, as were shows that got inside kids’ worlds. Esther’s Notebooks,

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based on French cartoonist Riad Sattouf ’s strip in Charlie Hebdo, was a sassy take on a little girl navigating playground politics. And NRK’s Bli Med Heim was a documentary taking viewers inside interesting kids’ homes — immigrants, for example, or kids growing up with a blind parent.

Eurodata TV’s Avril Blondelot

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KIDS’ TV AND THE FORTNITE EFFECT THE CHILDRENS’ TV industry needs to talk about Fortnite, digital-media journalist Stuart Dredge told the audience at Saturday’s MIPJunior session, Child’s Play: Tech For Kids Roundup. “Fortnite Battle Royale is the elephant in the room at any conference focusing on kids and entertainment in 2018,” Dredge said. The addictive game, which contains high levels of violence, is currently the hottest kids game in the world. And, despite being age-rated 12, it is pulling in viewers as young as seven. “But Fortnite is not just a game children love to play,” Dredge said. “It’s also a game they love to watch other people playing on YouTube. Videos like this are the new Saturday-morning children’s TV for young Fortnite fans. That’s something the kids’ TV industry definitely needs to talk about in terms of what it means for the appeal of their own shows, which understandably steer clear of such content.” Dredge also addressed the fear that AI could replace human writers, animators and showrunners. “But the technology could perhaps have a role as a creative foil for these people — or even as a creative tool for children who want to come up with their own stories.”

Journalist Stuart Dredge

Creators on Superpanel share ideas driving children’s shows “I MUST be some sort of masochist: we’re often pushing the envelope,” Jonathan Shiff said, about the challenges of bringing his idea for H2O – Just Add Water to the screen. It took a team of 22, including stunt people from James Bond, to execute the underwater scenes. “The stories are often driven by empowered young women, because I started making up stories for my daughter,” Shiff said. “Young females need empowering stories in a world that is trying more and more to disempower them.” All of the speakers at The Creators’ Superpanel MIPJunior session shared stories about creating their famous properties: Ben Bocquelet, the brain behind The Amazing World Of Gumball was inspired by his family, while Angela Santomero of 9 Story Media Group said she used the learning from her masters’ degree in child development: “I didn’t like much of what was on TV,” she said.

Angela Santomero (left), Ben Bocquelet, Jonathan Shiff and Tom McGillis, with moderator Anna Carugati-Guise

Everyone agreed that humour was essential. For Santomero, laughing together was “a bonding tool… my favourite kind of humour is when we’re all laughing as one”. For Bocquelet, there was “a clear relation with slapstick, which works immediately for kids, but we want it to work for older people too”. Shiff said that live-action characters “have to face adversity with a little bit of sass and wry humour”. Tom McGillis

of Fresh TV, meanwhile, didn’t believe that humour always had to be shared. “We want to write the jokes that parents don’t get,” he said. “Jennifer reaches deep into pop culture for our characters,” he added, referring to his creative partner, Jennifer Pertsch. At the end of the session the panelists were each given a World Screen Trendsetter Award, to recognise their contribution to the TV industry.

Detectives serve up winning pitch

DINNER Detectives, a children’s property that helps kids explore and understand cooking from around the world, has won the MIPJunior IP Pitch. Based on a series of books by Yves Stening, author and director of PublishCreative books, it sees the heroine Clementine travelling to different places and back in time to discover the stories and history of the food we eat — the end goal being to help her little brother widen his tastes. Stening envisaged a 52 x 11mins narrative series aimed at 4- to 7-year-olds, as well as an animated cooking show, an app and a game, all of which would promote curiosity about other cultures, healthy eating and learning from other children. The judges called it “enjoyable” and praised its “strong design”.

The other contenders were Monsters’ Kitchen, an animation from Beijing’s THS International, and Acti And Friends, from Montreal’s K6 Media Group. This projected 26 x 11 mins animation for 4- to 7-year-olds connected to the Bfly concept stores took kids into a magic alternative reality with four colourful butterfly guides. Wolkenlenker’s Little Fox, meanwhile, was based on an app creat-

ed by Academy-award nominee Heidi Wittlinger, and was praised for its lo-fi approach to getting kids inventing things and solving problems. And Sirenz Of Truth featured four female roller-derby superheroes who spread messages of body positivity, camaraderie and multiculturalism as they fought a vampire foe. “There’s nothing like it out there,” said the creator of the original web comic, Kim Gitzel.

Creative executive Phil Molloy (left); Hasbro Studio’s Finn Arnesen; IP Pitch winner Yves Stening; Beano Studios’ Chris Rose; and Reed MIDEM’s Lucy Smith

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BBC PRE-SCHOOL channel CBeebies has premiered the series Moon And Me at MIPCOM. Inspired by tales of toys that come to life when nobody is looking, Moon And Me (50 x 22 mins) comes from Teletubbies and In The Night Garden creator Andrew Davenport. It combines the latest production methods with traditional storytelling, comedy and music to create a picture-book world. Moon And Me is being produced by Foundling Bird, set up in 2014 to produce Davenport’s work, and distributed by Sutikki, the family division of Bento Box Entertainment.

GUILLAUME Hellouin of TeamTO (left), Clara Yang of UYoung and TeamTO’s Patricia de Wilde and Corinne Kouper celebrate the longterm output deal struck between French independent animation house and the Chinese kids entertainment company — a codevelopment and co-production partnership for five series over 10 years, starting with Jade Armor, the tale of a young female kung-fu fighter. Previously UYoung had acquired properties including Mighty Mike, a slapstick 78 x 7 mins photorealistic animation about a pug; and the computer-animated fantasy My Knight And Me.

FOLLOWING the premiere screening of CTC Media and CTB Film Company’s Little Tiaras, Alexandra Modestova of Expocontent presented a range of kids animations under the Made In Russia banner. These included Woof-Meow from AA Studio, a co-production with Rai Com and Vveee, about two pairs of adventurous puppies and kittens; and Weatherville, from Riki Group, a pre-school show about the town that controls the weather. Other participants at the Made In Russia: Future Hits session included Aeroplane, brand4rent, Masterfilm, Melnitsa, Parovoz, Project First and Soyuzmultfilm Studio.

PRODUCERS from 10 leading Chinese studios shared selections of their work at China’s animation showcase at MIPCOM. Companies included Happytoon, (Happy Friends), UYoung (P.King Duckling), Beijing Escape Velocity (Kim And Jim’s Wormhole), Tianjin Northern Animation (Mangwa), Zhejiang Zoland Animation (Rubi The Arrival Of Little Bro and The Magic Eye Is Back) and CCTV Animation (Panda Series). China is this year’s MIPCOM Country Of Honour.

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#MeToo: women in TV take stock of a momentous year A YEAR since the #MeToo movement shone a light on sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment business, leading women in the industry will be speaking up in Cannes. “It’s an important moment of debate about the role of women in the workplace, the role of women in society, the sexual assault that women suffer and don’t report, and why they don’t report it,” said Elizabeth Vargas, speaker at this year’s MIPCOM Women In Global Entertainment Power Lunch, held in partnership with A+E Networks. One year since Catherine Zeta-Jones spoke at the event as the #MeToo campaign came to life amid a storm of sexual assault

allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Vargas will reflect on the state of the movement alongside French women’s rights activists Elise Goldfarb and Julia Layani, and Marisa Guthrie, East Coast TV editor of the Hollywood Reporter. As some of the most influential female figures in TV and entertainment gather at Cannes, male industry figures continue to be outed over accusations of sexual abuse as women fight for their right to be heard. “We have the heads of major networks being forced to resign because of allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault,” Vargas said, referring to the former CEO of CBS, Les

Moonves, and TV journalist Charlie Rose. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Marisa Guthrie said: “We are now in the throes of the second wave of the #MeToo reckoning, and it is in many ways much more ferocious.” After almost 15 years with ABC’s 20/20 programme, Vargas is now the host of A&E Investigates, which will soon air a two-hour documentary, Child Brides, that investigates how underage girls are being forced into marriage in the US.

Elizabeth Vargas

Is this your first time at MIPCOM? A “First Timers’ Welcome Corner” manned by our dedicated team is available throughout MIPCOM in the Participants’ Club Green (Palais -1) with a daily programme to meet peers at the market. Please pop in and say ‘Hello’.


Sunday 14 October 17:00-18:30 First timers’ ‘How to’ presentation with The Pitch Doctor, Paul Boross, followed by discovery tours of the exhibition floors and MIPCOM services. Meeting point: Main Croisette Entrance N°3, Palais des Festivals.

Monday 15 & Tuesday 16 October 09:30 & 16:00 First Timers’ tours on demand. Upon request at the First Timers’ Welcome Corner in the Participants’ Club Green (Palais -1).

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Monday 15 Wednesday 17 October 08:30-10:00 First Timers’ Welcome Breakfast, Participants’ Club Green, Palais -1


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REED MIDEM’s Matthew Rosenstein welcomed MIPCOM first-timers in the Palais last night. In his presentation he explained the many ways that the show’s organisers help newcomers to navigate the event. A First-Timers Welcome Corner is open throughout MIPCOM in the Participants’ Club Green.

ITV’s McCall in Cannes to outline strategic vision CHIEF executive of UK broadcaster ITV, Carolyn McCall, will lay out her vision for the company at a MIPCOM Media Mastermind Keynote session later today, with a greater emphasis on content production likely to be at the core of the message. Addressing delegates at the session this morning — at her first MIPCOM since taking over the British broadcaster in January — McCall will discuss the company’s increasing shift towards producing original and directto-consumer content to satisfy demand from broadcasters and digital platforms, as part of the ‘More Than TV’ strategy unveiled in July. Through the c o m p a n y ’s production arm, I T V S t u d i o s,

McCall aims to find new producers and content-makers capable of delivering “brand-defining” programming suited to modern viewing habits.

Outlining the vision for the strategy, McCall said: “There is a demand from people to have that content and they are willing to pay; there is a bit of a gap and a bit of a window.” McCall has previously hinted that ITV is considering a new subscription streaming service for UK viewers, saying in July that the company was in talks with “a range of potential partners”. Hers will be one of a number of Media Mastermind sessions taking place during MIPCOM, featuring leading industry figures including BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie, Kay Madati, global head of content partnerships at Twitter, and Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s hit show Insecure, who is 2018’s MIPCOM Personality Of The Year.

ITV’s Carolyn McCall

Focusing on consumer connections YESTERDAY evening Paul Boross — aka The Pitch Doctor — delivered the How To MIPCOM session, which gives first-timers “tips and tricks for making the most of their visit”. Boross told MIPCOM News: “The world is divided into Notworkers and Networkers. Notworkers ignore people who don’t appear to be important. Networkers know that the most important person may not be who you think it is. So what should your goal at MIPCOM be? Connect with as many people as possible. In the end, it’s not just who you know that delivers value, but who the people you know know.”

Salesforce’s Ronnie Brant

IN THE wake of its groundbreaking Connected Audience Report, customer relationship management (CRM)

platform Salesforce is hosting a special breakfast and panel at MIPCOM on Tuesday morning in the Verriere Californie at 08.45 entitled How Consumer Trends Are Transforming The Media Industry. “It’s all about how consumers are changing the way they watch content,” said Salesforce marketing executive Ronnie Brant. He told MIPCOM News about the inevitable switch from traditional TV or cinema to streaming and on-demand content models. While older generations are also making the switch to streaming, Brant said that generation X and millennials have already shifted to non-traditional mediums such as mobile digital devices so that they can consume content at any

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time — even if they have a paid cable-TV subscription. Salesforce is partnering content creators and entertainment companies to help them “connect with these consumers in new ways”, Brant said. The breakfast and media industry panel on Tuesday will dive deep into how changing consumer preferences have flipped media and entertainment business models on their heads, and will be lead by the Salesforce Media and Entertainment Industry team members John Carney, senior vice-president, communications and media; Stan Sugarman, senior vice-president, global strategic customer advisor; and Brian Vellmure, managing partner of Salesforce Ignite.


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Sreda’s psychological Ben Stiller in Cannes thriller draws crowds for directorial debut MIPCOM delegates packed the Palais’ Grand Auditorium last night for the MIPCOM Pre-Opening TV Screening of Trigger, the latest series from Russian producer Sreda for Channel One in Russia. Fans were able to catch a glimpse of the show’s lead actors, Maxim Matveev and Viktoria Maslova, as they walked the red carpet before the event which was supported by export umbrella brand Made In Russia. Distributed globally by Beta Film, Trigger centres on uptown Moscow where psychologist Artem practices “provocative therapy” — a risky method which involves confronting patients with their deepest fears. Artem’s practice is successful until he tries to heal a suicidal patient by taking him to the roof and telling him suicide is the right course of action,

hoping the therapy will have the opposite effect. But something goes wrong and Artem is sentenced to eight years in prison and his wife and friends turn their backs on him. When released from jail, he still believes in his method and wants to prove his innocence while simultaneously rebuilding his business and family life. Series producer Aleksandr Tsekalo said the idea was brought to the company by executive producer Alexandra Remizova: “There’s not much left from that version, but I believed in the idea. It’s always interesting to work with Alexandra so it was obvious we should produce Trigger.” Made In Russia is an initiative of the Russian Export Centre. It presents a wide range of new drama series, films and animation, and supports flagship events at MIPCOM.

Viktoria Maslova arrives at the Cannes screening of Trigger

ACTOR, producer and director Ben Stiller is in Cannes for tonight’s World Premiere TV Screening of prison-break drama Escape At Dannemora, hosted by the show’s distributor CBS Studios International (18.30 in the Grand Auditorium, Palais des Festivals). Stiller executive-produced and directed all eight episodes of the show, which debuted on Showtime in the US. It is based on the true story of a prison break-out in upstate New York in the summer of 2015, which led to a manhunt for two convicted murderers. Escape At Dannemora is the movie man’s first foray into series television. He told the MIPCOM News: “Right now TV is the place where you can make the kind of movies we’re not making anymore. You have the freedom to tell these kinds of

stories, and work in a way that is not just about bringing in a huge audience to the theatres.” The series focuses on convicted murderer Richard Matt, played by Benicio del Toro. Patricia Arquette plays Tilly Mitchell, a wife and mother who becomes sexually involved with both Matt and his fellow escapee David Sweat. Sweat, played by Paul Dano, is a convicted cop-killer who may have genuine feelings for Tilly and becomes a reluctant partner in Matt’s plot. Escape At Dannemora is not the type of storytelling that audiences might associate with Stiller, whose filmography consists mainly of comedies. “It’s the kind of story that I’ve wanted to tell, but I’ve never done it until now. For me, the experience of directing it and not acting was really freeing.”

Paul Dano, as David Sweat in Escape At Dannemora

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Japanese TV has more to offer than cartoons and Pokemon

Makiko Yamada of Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

JAPAN’s MIPCOM 2018 mission is to “present the strength and diversity of Japanese television content to the world”, according to Makiko Yamada, director-general of information and communications at Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. In Cannes for the first time, Yamada is heading a delegation co-sponsored by the ministry and the Broadcast Program Export Association of Japan. Much of the appeal of Japanese content lies in the world’s fascination with Japanese culture, Yamada added, “specifically those things we call ‘kawaii’”. But she stressed that Japan has much more to offer buyers than cute cartoons and Pokemon: Japanese variety shows are also popular around the world, as are

NHK ready with new image formats JAPANESE state broadcaster NHK is on the verge of a “new chapter” in its long history as it prepares to broadcast in 4K and 8K for the first time, according to NHK executive director and chief of broadcasting Yukinori Kida. Kida said that 4K and 8K represented a major step forward towards offering “superior vision and sound” to anything seen before. NHK is currently producing content for both image formats. “Their biggest appeal will be the immersive image and enhanced surround-sound,” Kida said. “Our 4K channel will be for the viewers to enjoy the finest resolution image at home, and the 8K will be our best-quality flagship channel to provide the most advanced image and sound. “The familiar activity of watch-

ing TV is about to evolve into a breathtaking experience, with significantly improved immersion and a feeling of ‘being there’.” NHK is in Cannes to talk to executives and companies from around the world about the rollout of its new technologies. The company is at the final stage of a long-term strategy to deliver the formats, and a new wave of content powered by the higher-resolution imaging that they will bring. “In addition to the natural history, or music and arts content we have previously showcased in Cannes, we are now in production of mainstream entertainment shows and dramas as well,” Kida said. Among the slate of shows scheduled for NHK’s 8K launch are concerts by the Vienna Phil-

harmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Netherlands, an international co-production series with the Musee du Louvre, and travel shows featuring Versailles and the Colosseum. Kida said that while the technology required for a mass take-

Japanese entertainment formats, a prime example being America’s Funniest Home Videos, which is based on a Tokyo Broadcasting System Television format. Now, Japanese TV dramas, such as Nippon TV’s new fashionista millennial drama, Way Too Kawaii!, are generating interest on the global market. “There have also been a number of international co-productions,” Yamada said. “For example, Fuji TV is working with a German broadcaster on a drama about the soccer business. And we also have strong content that focuses on nature, and content for children. Whatever you want, we have everything already in the drawer.” Yamada believes Japan’s content industry has a key role to play in helping the world to gain a better understanding of Japanese culture. This, she added, could lead to more inbound tourism, “help promote other Japanese products, especially agriculture” and ramp up interest in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

up of 4K and 8K by domestic TV viewers was still evolving, advances in tablets and other devices, as well as mobile data infrastructures, should accelerate the prevalence of the higher-grade image formats. “We expect 8K to take off in non-broadcasting fields such as online streaming and largescreen public viewings at the same pace or even faster than the upgrade of TV broadcasting,” Kida said.

NHK’s executive director and chief of broadcasting, Yukinori Kida

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TEAMTO TEAMS WITH UYOUNG TEAMTO has sealed a five-series output deal over 10 years, with Chinese company UYoung. The partnership, which follows the recent acquisitions of TeamTO animated comedies Mighty Mike and My Knight & Me, will kick off with the co-production of the superheroine action show, Jade Armor. “As one of the largest kids companies in China today, UYoung has the relationships and expertise necessary to place our shows on the best platforms in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, both on television and in terms of licensing. We look forward to a long and rewarding partnership,” said TeamTO president Guillaume Hellouin. Negotiated through its Beijing office, the farreaching agreement is a direct result of TeamTO’s strategy to expand into China by setting up a local office in 2016. Headed by international executive Shu Ye, TeamTO Beijing was established to develop partnerships with Chinese animation companies to co-produce premium content for global audiences.

Mighty Mike (TeamTO)

Nat Geo and Bilibili take a walk on China’s wild side FOX NETWORKS Group’s Nat Geo Wild has inked a co-production deal with Chinese entertainment platform Bilibili for its new series, China’s Hidden Kingdom (5 x 60 mins). The show explores diverse habitats and iconic animals native to China, visiting the mountains, high plateaus, jungles, bamboo and forest regions to find pandas, snub-nosed monkeys, wolves, skywalker gibbons and elephants in the wild. “In my job as head of development and production for Nat Geo Wild, I look for unique angles to tell incredible stories that haven’t been told before, or where the scenario has changed,” said Janet Han Vissering, senior vice-president, development and production, Nat Geo Wild. “The evolution of cameras and technology has also created completely different storytelling opportunities to those available just a few years ago.” “When you have such an inter-

esting project in the works, we like to look for an equally engaged partner to co-produce,” said Julius Toh, vice-president content sales Asia Pacific and Middle East, Fox Networks Group. “This time, Bilibili stepped forward in a new venture for the platform, a factual co-production. Bilibili has typically been skewed to a much younger audience with video and games content, but they thought this series was a perfect match and they were keen to

come in early,” he added. This year’s Country Of Honour at MIPCOM, China “holds a unique fascination”, Han Vissering said. “People aren’t perhaps aware of what a diverse country it is in terms of its landscapes and habitats,” she added. “China is also this incredibly powerful country, headlining the news, but I wanted to look at the other side.” China’s Hidden Kingdom will be delivered early 2019 and broadcast later that year.

Nat Geo Wild’s Janet Han Vissering with Fox Networks Group’s Julius Toh

Blue Ant is CCTV’s natural choice BLUE ANT International, the nature and wildlife distribution unit at Canada-based Blue Ant Media, is celebrating the selection of China as MIPCOM’s Country Of Honour with two major deals with CCTV, China’s biggest state broadcaster. CCTV has picked up more than 60 hours of Blue Ant’s premium 4K natural-history content and documentaries. Programmes bought for CCTV1, the flagship channel, include three titles from Camp Zambia, a library comprising 50-plus hours of shows specially made by UK-based Plimsoll Productions for Blue Ant’s Love Nature catalogue. The Plimsoll productions include works shot with military-grade

innovative tech, such as Selex thermal-imaging cameras. CCTV-1 also nabbed Blue Ant shows made by Off the Fence, the Amsterdam-headquartered factual producer/distributor, and Germany’s Taglicht Media. Additionally, sister channel CCTV-10 bought shows by Plimsoll, Off the Fence and Blue Ant’s inhouse production team. “China is material to our growth strategy because of its huge appetite for content,” said Solange Attwood, Blue Ant International’s executive vice-president. “Working with a country that dynamic is really important for us, so we have to be very pro-active and reactive to stay on track.” Kate Blank, Blue Ant Media’s

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senior director, international sales, is at MIPCOM with 250plus hours of new programming. “We make it a mission to offer buyers a plethora of opportunities,” she said.

Blue Ant’s Solange Attwood (left) and Kate Blank


Worldwide hit dramas confirm first CANNESERIES a success SIX MONTHS on from the inaugural CANNESERIES, which took place alongside MIPTV in April, the success of the

Les Miserables star Dominic West will be presented today with the inaugural CANNESERIES Excellence Award


international festival for TV series continues to resonate. Several of the series that launched in Cannes have achieved both critical and commercial acclaim. Notable among these is Sid Gentle Films’ Killing Eve, the thriller from Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which has received two Emmy nominations and been renewed for a second season by the BBC. Following its CANNESERIES world premiere, it was picked up by Canal+, which also acquired Movie Plus Productions’ Israeli series Miguel. Benoit Louvet, managing director of CANNESERIES, said Killing Eve was the perfect example not only of the calibre of today’s top series, but also of “the international exposure, recognition and impact” that CANNESERIES delivered to an “ultra-creative form of entertainment and art”. At MIPCOM, CANNESERIES’ commitment to celebrating the on- and off-screen

talent behind the world’s best series is again in evidence. UK actor Dominic West (The Wire) will be presented today with the inaugural CANNESERIES Excellence Award by the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, Benoit Louvet and Reed MIDEM’s CEO, Paul Zilk. In the role of wise-cracking detective Jimmy McNulty, West broke new creative ground as the face of David Simon’s The Wire. “I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some of the best producers, writers and directors in television, so I’m truly honoured to receive this award,” said West, who is in Cannes to promote Andrew Davies’ upcoming adaptation of Les Miserables for the BBC and Masterpiece. Louvet added: “Dominic West is an actor who encapsulates our values of quality and creativity.” For CANNESERIES 2019, Louvet said there would be a couple of tweaks to the format; it will be two days shorter, feature more content, and will be easier for MIPTV delegates to access and include catch-up sessions during MIPTV. “CANNESERIES 2018 was a great success. Our ambition is to make next year’s festival even bigger and better,” Louvet said.


CARLOS Martinez, president, Fox Networks Group Latin America: “As active generators of content, we celebrate the decision to create CANNESERIES in a city that traditionally gathers and honours excellent content from all over the world. We believe it’s an essential space for series — a format that, thanks to the power of compelling stories developed, produced and performed with the highest standards, has won the attention of critics and audiences all over the world. We’re thrilled to have been part of its first edition with Aqui En La Tierra and strongly support any initiative to promote and highlight the best international content and entertainment.”

LORENZO De Maio, partner and head of television sales and advisory group, Endeavor Content: “We debuted Killing Eve at CANNESERIES and it was a fantastic international launch. The CANNESERIES audience was incredibly supportive and having Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Phoebe Waller-Bridge walking down the pink carpet was a wonderful moment in the promotion of the series.”


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MORITZ von Kruedener, managing director, Beta Film: “CANNESERIES has been a great platform for the world premieres of two of our highend series, which started to travel worldwide right from the pink carpet. We are looking forward to the next edition.”




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GUSTO COOKS UP SBS FOOD DEAL LIFESTYLE and culinary producer Gusto Worldwide Media has secured the sale of 40 hours of original programming to SBS Food in Australia. The deal includes 86 episodes of five cooking shows that will be available to four million viewers on Australia’s only free-to-air 24/7 cookery channel. The shows will also be available later on SBS On Demand. The sale includes One World Kitchen, Bonacini’s Italy, The Urban Vegetarian, The Latin Kitchen and Spencer’s BIG 30. “SBS and Gusto Worldwide share the same global sensibility when it comes to food television,” Corey Caplan, senior director of international sales, said. “And our diverse, multicultural programming is a great fit with SBS Food.”

Gusto’s One World Kitchen

CANNES WELCOME FOR PIRANHA BAR MIPCOM first-timer Piranha Bar is a multi-award-winning animation studio established 18 years ago as a commercials production company, and past projects include the animation for Emmy award-winning documentary Last Hijack. Piranha Bar is currently developing original content in both short and long-form including MyaGo, a new animated series, premiered this year. Creators Alan Foley and Sam Morrison (Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly) lead the writing team. Piranha Bar’s slate also includes CG action-comedy series Monsta Trucks, and Doom Newt, a subversive comedy series.

ITV’s The War Of The Worlds goes global with raft of sales ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) has arrived at MIPCOM with pre-sales for one of its key drama launches, The War Of The Worlds, secured across over 80 territories. The drama is a Mammoth Screen production for the BBC co-produced with Creasun Media in association with Red Square, and has pre-sold across Europe, including France, Spain and Russia, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and across Africa. “The War Of The Worlds is an internationally-recognised story and this is the first British television adaptation of HG Wells’ classic tale,” said Ruth Berry, managing director, ITVS GE. “It is an incredible and truly ground-breaking production full of mood and atmosphere, which is bringing to life some of literature’s most notorious foes. It is event television at its best that viewers won’t want to miss.” Adapted by Peter Harness (Wallander, Jonathan Strange

The War Of The Worlds from ITVS GE stars Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall

and Mr Norrell), it will air in Europe on TF1 (France), Movistar+ (Spain), LaF via Sky Italy, Channel 1 (Russia) RUV (Iceland), YLE (Finland) and on Epic Drama, in key territories across CEE. It has also been picked up by Foxtel in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand and Blue Ant Media in Canada, while a deal in Africa with M-Net, means the

show will be available in over 50 countries across the continent. Set in Edwardian England, the series (3 x 60 mins) stars Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Loving Vincent) and Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Big Short) alongside Robert Carlyle (T2:Trainspotting, Once Upon A Time) and Rupert Graves (Swimming With Men, Sherlock).

Wildlife docs fly to Latin America SCORPION TV has sealed two documentary package deals with Latin American broadcasters. Argentinian public channel TV Publica has acquired a package of four natural-history docs: Wild Carpathia; Alamto: A Reptile Wonderland (1 x 60 mins), produced by Irib in Iran; The Pulse Of The Atlantic Forest (1 x 52 mins) from Tico Tico Films in Brazil; and Zapped: The Buzz About Mosquitoes (1 x 45 mins) produced by Burke and Burke in Canada for CBC analyses the battle to prevent mosquitoes from spreading disease. Zapped has also been acquired by YLE in Finland, Al Jazeera Qatar, RTP in Portugal, TG4 in Ireland, SVT in Sweden and

ZDF in Germany. TNU in Uruguay has acquired Wild Carpathia, Alamto and The Pulse Of The Atlantic Forest along with Flying Rainbow (1 x

Flying Rainbow (Scorpion TV)

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52 mins) which studies a year in the life of one of the most enigmatic and rarely filmed birds in the world, the extraordinary oriental dwarf kingfisher.



MAJOR GROWTH IN 4K HDR IN 2019 WITHIN the next 12 to 18 months, 4K HDR will explode on the big 24/7 North American linear networks — and global 4K distributor Vivicast Media intends to help boost demand with its expanding pipeline of premium 4K HDR and UHD content. “4K hasn’t quite turned the corner into the mainstream,” said company president and co-founder Stuart Smitherman. “But we’re having a very good peek around that corner and, in the next 18 months, I believe 4K will explode on linear networks across the planet, particularly in our home market of North America.” But before that can happen, a couple of issues need to be addressed, Smitherman said. The first is that, while the sale of 4K HDR big-screen sets is at an all-time high, “there remains a lack of understanding on the part of the average consumer as to what 4K content actually is, and how to access it”. And secondly, until relatively recently, there has been a dearth of quality 4K content on the market. “Consumers need to educate the cable operators by telling them they know premium 4K programming exists and they want to be given it. When those two things happen, 4K will really take off.” Smitherman said.

Vivicast Media’s Stuart Smitherman

AMC’s premium streaming services head to Australia and New Zealand SHUDDER and Sundance Now, AMC Networks’ direct-to-consumer premium streaming services, will launch in Australia and New Zealand later this year. AMC announced the move at MIPCOM and said the expansion builds on the services’ growth in subscribers in existing territories, which includes the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria. “Our continued expansion of

Shudder and Sundance Now speaks to our success in offering audiences original content along with unparalleled user experience,” said Paul Rehrig, executive vice-president of business development for AMC Networks. Shudder is currently the world’s largest premium streaming service for fans of thriller, suspense and horror content, and has been steadily adding original series to its large selection of

Terrified (AMC Networks)

new releases and classic titles. Sundance Now, which builds on the legacy of Robert Redford’s Sundance brand, offers original dramas and true-crime series, in addition to movies from every genre, including foreign-language and documentary features. Shudder and Sundance Now’s expansion comes on the heels of a host of new programming on both services, including Jonestown: Terror In The Jungle. This docu-series executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way Productions explores the biggest mass suicide in American history and premieres December 20. Shudder’s Terrified, directed by Demian Rugna, uncovers a nightmare scenario in an ordinary suburban neighbourhood in Buenos Aires and is available now.

Expanding VOD365 eyes new content UK-BASED OTT channel operator VOD365 is at MIPCOM looking for content for its existing VOD channel line-up and a series of planned new services. Key content requirements, said company CEO Paul Coster, are kids, sport and factual/motoring programming. VOD365 launched in 2012 and now has three channels up and running – Ketchup TV (preschool), Planet Knowledge (docs) and Sports Channel Network. A motoring channel, The Gas Station, is due to launch in the next few months. All the channels are launched using an AVOD model, Coster said, with content deals a mix of acquisitions and revenue shares. The channels are available via mobile devices and smart TV. But the big breakthrough came when the channels secured a position on the EPG of UK free-to-air broadcast platform

Freeview. Working with Google DFP (Doubleclick for Publishers), it then pioneered a way to integrate digital advertising into its offering. “That has had a dramatic impact on content monetisation,” Coster said. “We introduced our approach to media agencies and now our ad inventory for Q4 2018 is sold out.” Further positive news came this summer when Ketchup TV, which carries shows including

Miffy, Maya The Bee, and Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom, secured distribution on the YouView digital platform, opening up a further three million connected set-top boxes in the UK. Warehouse 51 managing director Carl Hall bought into VOD365 in 2015 and sees potential for new content offerings. He says areas like lifestyle, e-sports and a service for older kids are on the horizon.

Warehouse 51’s Carl Hall (left) and Paul Coster of VOD365

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CYBER GROUP AND TURNER LAUNCH TAFFY IN CANNES FRENCH independent Cyber Group Studios has joined forces with Turner International to create Taffy, a new animated series for Turner’s second flagship kids’ channel Boomerang. The series will also be broadcast on France Televisions networks. Inspired by the classic HannaBarbera cartoons, Taffy will have its special World Premiere at MIPCOM in a session titled The Making Of A Modern Classic today at the Majestic. Series co-creators Pierre Sissmann and Mike de Seve, and director Ahmed Guerrouache plus Patricia Hidalgo, chief content officer, Turner EMEA and international kids strategy, and Tiphaine de Raguenel, executive director of France 4 and director of children & youth activities France Televisions, will introduce the series and share the motivation behind its creation. “We were on the look-out for an original series for Boomerang inspired by the Hanna-Barbera classics and that’s how we came to work on a development project, followed by this fantastic coproduction with Cyber Group Studios,” Patricia Hidalgo said. “Taffy perfectly matches our ambition and we’re confident it will be an instant hit when it premieres on Boomerang from the end of this year.”

Taffy (Cyber Group Studios/Turner)

Endemol shines light on enduring appeal of dance and talent shows EVEN though they are historically hard to launch, Endemol Shine Group’s CEO of creative networks Lisa Perrin is expecting a slew of dance shows to emerge at this year’s MIPCOM. “They’re high risk and they’re expensive to produce, but they are also warm and funny and there’s an appetite for them. Likewise food shows are a genre that just keep on going,” she said. “Whether it’s MasterChef which genuinely changes people’s lives, or more standard ‘how to’ shows,

lots of territories cannot get enough.” ESG’s slate is headlined by the singing competition All Together Now, alongside Big Bounce Battle, Family Food Fight, new factual thriller Heist and The Talent Project. Cathy Payne, CEO of Endemol Shine International says the search for new, breakthrough talent shows is never-ending: “Multi-episode, cost-effective primetime that you can get a lot of hours from are always in demand because viewers

The Fall

love to see underdogs coming through.” She also highlights local versions of hit shows such as The Fall and The Bridge as an expanding side of the TV business: “The Bridge Malaysia features two investigators, one from Singapore and one from Malaysia, who have to work together to catch a killer bent on highlighting social problems plaguing people on both sides of the border. It has already been sold to HBO Asia which was encouraging and a big help as the budget is high.”

The Bridge Malaysia

TF1 focuses on the unconventional AN ARRAY of risk-taking dramas and TV movies that have rated strongly in France has been brought to Cannes by TF1 Studio. Sabine Chemaly, head of international distribution, is confident that their bold narratives will now help them appeal to international buyers. “Our headline series have been doing well in TF1 primetime, despite the fact that they do not feature the kind of characters you would have seen in traditional French dramas. The dramas coming through now are more in the manner of Profiling, which we sold to 88 countries.” One key show, Munch (18 x 52 mins) reflects the current trend towards strong female leads, Chemaly said. “Munch is a law-

yer who takes on tough cases, defending the innocent against all odds. Bold and irreverent, she will stop at nothing to defend her clients.” Munch is also an example of a trend for film talent to work in TV, with Isabelle Nanty in the lead: “There used to be a big barrier between the two, but French film talent is increasingly seen in TV drama.” Another key show is mini-series Louise, currently in production. Comparing it to Transparent, Chemaly said the series is a comedy drama about a transsexual who moves in across the road from her former family so she can be closer to the children she fathered. TF1’s reinvigorated approach

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is also illustrated by TV movies Special Honors and Jacqueline Sauvage. The first features the real-life case of Yasmine, a young woman with Down Syndrome who passes her High School diploma; Jacqueline Sauvage, tells the true story of a woman who is jailed after murdering her abusive husband.

TF1 Studio’s Sabine Chemaly





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Inspector remorse:

Oyelowo plays Hugo’s tortured cop


BC STUDIOS is in Cannes with Les Miserables, a six-part adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic tale of 19th-century France. A screening will be attended by writer Andrew Davies, director Tom Shankland and leading cast members including Dominic West and David Oyelowo. Oyelowo, best-known for his powerful performance as Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, plays Javert — the single-minded policeman who is determined to put hero and protagonist Jean Valjean back behind bars. Explaining the attraction of the project, he told the MIPCOM News “it started with Andrew Davies’ scripts. Like most people, I knew Les Miserables exclusively from the musical and film, so his scripts blew my mind in terms of the complexity of the story and characters. Then, after I read the book, I was fascinated by how well he distilled the essence of it into six hours of television. He has a gift from above.” As for the opportunity to depict the tortured Javert, he was intrigued by “how to play a character so driven and malevolent in his pursuit of one man. The opportunity presented by six hours of television was to really try and understand why his pursuit of Valjean was rational to him. If I had just focused on him as a villain it wouldn’t have been interesting, but the raw materials reveal a really complex human being. The audience may not subscribe to his

David Oyelowo as Javert

course of actions, but I wanted to help them understand what compelled him.” The production involved around six months on location in Belgium and northern France, longer than he had ever been away before. “I’m a family man based in LA, so that’s a long time,” he said. “To be away that long, it really has to be a price worth paying. But this is a huge sprawling book and we needed to go to those places to be authentic. One of the great achievements of the show is its sense of scale.” While Davies’ script was a big attraction for Oyelowo, the involvement of Shankland as director was another high note. “He directed it all, which is no mean feat when you consider this was like a six-hour movie. The really impressive thing about Tom was the way he has a handle on everything, all the

time. He might have been forgiven for losing track of a few aspects occasionally, but he never did. If you had questions about the script or the book itself, he had answers. I’ve seen a rough rendition of the show now and couldn’t be more proud.” Oyelowo has plenty of TV experience, having appeared in Spooks earlier in his career and starred in HBO’s critically-acclaimed Nightingale in 2014. But after Selma, did he not see himself primarily as a movie actor? “I’ve always been agnostic about TV, film or theatre — I just go with stories that interest me,” he said. “But there is a difference in TV these days. Because audiences can watch what they want how they want, a show’s quality has to rise above the plethora of rivals.” Close attention to the production credits reveals that Oye-

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lowo and West are also executive producers on Les Miserables. Explaining the logic, Oyelowo said: “It gave me a real voice at the table. I came in early in the process and they saw my genuine passion for the project. So in addition to being an actor, it meant I could do everything in my power to give the project the best chance of success.” Les Miserables is a Lookout Point/BBC Studios production for BBC One and Masterpiece. It will be presented to international buyers at a special event today. Paul Dempsey, president, global markets, BBC Studios, said: “With Dominic West and David Oyelowo leading an all-star cast and with Andrew Davies at the helm of another remarkable adaptation, Les Miserables will be a bold, refreshing and modern take on one of the most famous and epic stories of all time.”



TURBO HEADS FOR DISNEY XD CHILDREN’s channel Disney XD has licensed a third season of Beyblade Burst from New York City-based entertainment rights management company Sunrights. The deal greenlights 51 episodes of Beyblade Burst Turbo, introducing wild child Aiger Akabane, who has set his sights on becoming an invincible Blader. Since the first season of Beyblade Burst debuted on Disney XD in December 2016, Sunrights has struck deals for the animated series with streaming giant Netflix, as well as Mexico’s Televisa, France’s Gulli, Spain’s Boing, Germany’s Nickelodeon, Ukraine’s PLUSPLUS, the Netherlands’ RTL-B.O.Z., Belgium’s Kadet-Medialaan and Latin America’s Cartoon Network, among others.

Masha to speak to the world in the universal language of music ANIMACCORD, which holds the global licensing rights to the hit Russian animation series Masha And The Bear, is using music to propel the brand’s global ambitions. Vladimir Gorbulya, Animaccord’s vice-president and head of licensing, said musical versions of Masha would help break down language barriers to reach an even bigger international audience. There are already three seasons featuring songs in some episodes. Next year, Animaccord will introduce the first season with songs in every episode. Masha And The Bear, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on TV and has more than 39 billion YouTube views, is currently strong in Europe and Latin America. “We’ve been able to drive growth in those

regions because of our long relationships with the strongest local free-to-air and public-service broadcasters,” Gorbulya said. He cited the company’s partnership with France Televisions, in a country where Masha books are bestsellers. In Latin Amer-

ica, agreements with Brazil’s STB and Mexico’s Televisa have helped extend the brand’s reach. Masha is on Netflix and Spanish-language network Univision in North America, and is present in the Middle East, North Africa and India. Animaccord is now targeting China.

Animaccord’s Vladimir Gorbulya: more music for Masha And The Bear

ZDF admits to Sommerdahl Murders Beyblade Burst Turbo (Sunrights)

GURU AND D-RIGHTS BELIEVE IN FAIRIES GURU Studio has entered into a co-development deal with Japan-based D-Rights, which produces entertainment content for a wide range of media. Guru Studio and D-Rights will co-produce a new property called Fairy Stones, which will be available in 2019. Fairy Stones tells the story of five very different young girls, who are brought together by their magical gems and taken on a journey by their fairy guardians. Following Fairy Stones, Guru Studio plans to extend the partnership with D-Rights for additional projects.

GERMAN public broadcaster ZDF has come on board to co-produce The Sommerdahl Murders, an adaptation of Anna Grue’s best-selling Nordic crime novels that will be distributed worldwide by Dynamic Television. Commissioned by TV 2 Denmark, The Sommerdahl Murders’ other co-producers are Dynamic, German independent production house ndF and Sequoia Global Alliance, a new Scandinavian entertainment company. The series, set in a picturesque coastal town, chronicles the criminal investigations led by Detective Dan Sommerdahl. The head writer is Lolita Bellstar. Production is scheduled to kick off in early 2019, with delivery due at end of the year. “The Sommerdahl Murders take a fresh and compelling approach

to the Scandinavian crime genre,” said Simone Emmelius, ZDF’s senior vice-president of feature films. “We have tremendous confidence in our collaboration with Dynamic, Sequoia and ndF to create an excellent series that perfectly fits our current programming needs.”

The original Dan Sommerdahl novels are popular in Grue’s native country of Denmark, and have a massive following in the rest of Europe, especially Germany and France. Conceived as a 12-book series, eight books have been published to date.

The Sommerdahl Murders head writer Lolita Bellstar

MIPCOM News 1 • 42 • 15 October 2018



MENA PAVILION MAKES DEBUT NINE major producers from the Arab world have joined forces with the award-winning Mena.tv Content Hub to create the first ever MENA pavilion at MIPCOM 2018. Located alongside the MIPCOM buyers’ club, the pavilion showcases highquality original Arabic drama, documentaries, lifestyle and kids’ titles from award-winning producers such as Cedars Art Production, Eagle Films, Rotana, Ro’ya and Abu Dhabi Media. “There have been exponential advances in quality from the region recently”, said Heba Korayem, client director, Mena.tv Content Hub. “Script development and production values have come in line with international standards, and we are now seeing a trend towards Arabic productions being made available in several languages.” Mena.tv Content Hub is an online marketplace helping content distributors and producers to build direct relationships with buyers from the 22 countries of the Arabicspeaking MENA region. Content vendors pay fixed fees to showcase their programming and formats in a secure environment. Buyers can browse free of charge in Arabic or English by title, genre, language and distributor. Over 350 accredited MENA buyers are already using the Mena.tv Content Hub from a wide range of companies including most major regional broadcasters as well as OTT networks, pay-TV networks and several major telecoms companies.

Heba Korayem, client director, Mena.tv Content Hub (centre) at the pavilion

Buyers provide insight into challenges of MENA market A GROWING TV audience plus a new generation of streaming-TV platforms are making the Arabic-speaking MENA region hungry for premium content, as today’s session, Middle East And North Africa: What Do Buyers Want? will demonstrate. “The evolution internationally towards SVOD services is leading to more affordable subscription pricing in MENA,” Nick Grande, founder and CEO of Mena.tv Content Hub said. “This change is opening premium content to a larger audience and more telcos are investing in content platforms and partnerships.” Grande is moderating the ses-

sion with speakers who include Lina Matta, MBC Group’s director of MBC 2, MBC 4, MAX and MBC Variety; and Zeinab Abu Alsamh, Saudi Broadcasting Authority’s chief commercial officer. “Platforms will be able to achieve higher penetration by focusing on the needs of domestic audiences,” he said. “Rights owners will be able to monetise at a country-by-country level, advertisers will be able to target domestic audiences, and viewers in each country will get a service that is relevant to them.” The region boasts more than 1,000 free-to-air channels, another 300-plus pay-TV net-

works, plus SVOD operators ranging from Netflix, Starz Play to Vuclip, iflix and the MBC Group’s Shahid.net.

Mena.tv’s Nick Grande

Xeinium tells new African stories KENYA-based Xeinium Productions is on a mission to bring Africa-based stories to the world, according to co-founders Salim Keshavjee and Hussein Kurji. “There are hundreds of narratives from Africa that are yet to be told. And we want to be the premium provider of that fresh, new enticing content,” Keshavjee said. “Global audiences can relate to stories that are multicultural and diverse in nature,” Kurji added. “Fictional tales of Africa have typically been dismal — portraying what I call ‘slums, guns and bleeding gums’. We wanted to get away from that and tell stories from an African perspective.” A few years ago, the duo attracted attention for a black comedy called The Samaritans, about a mis-managed NGO in Kenya, which sailed close to the wind in its portrayal of inexperienced charity workers. The uncomfortable theme of exploitation runs through many of their titles, including the latest project, The Colony, an epic retelling of the

British colonisation of Africa. It’s portrayed through the experiences of a Maasai family, an Indian family and an English family, and touches on “racial hierarchy, ethnicity and migration”, Kurji said. “Themes which are incredibly relevant today.” Another project on the slate, dubbed Ivory, dips into the murky world of “the economic scramble for Africa’s natural resources”, Keshavjee said. “Not just ivory, but diamonds, guns, child labour and coltan, the electronics min-

eral which is found in the Congo. Unstable African economies keep the prices low, and our fictional characters take us through the global supply chains.” The challenge in all of this is drawing attention to important issues without becoming worthy. “At the end of the day, it’s about entertainment and excellent storytelling,” Keshavjee added. “Audiences add their own values, perspectives and heritage into that, which helps us get the word out.”

Hussein Kurji and Salim Keshavjee, co-founders Xeinium Productions

MIPCOM News 1 • 44 • 15 October 2018





Sales: c-payot-lehmann@artefrance.fr



Slew of sales for series reboot of U-boat drama Das Boot PAINSTAKING production values for Das Boot, the new event series co-produced by Bavaria Fiction, Sky Deutschland and Sonar Entertainment, have inspired a raft of sales to more than 100 territories worldwide. Based on the Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated film by Wolfgang Petersen and Lothar-Gunther Buchheim’s bestselling novel, the $32.8m (€28.4m) production will bring the reality of the second world war to life with two storylines running parallel on land and sea. The series’ executive producer, Bavaria Fiction’s Moritz Polter, said that a punishing filming schedule had produced results. “We started in Prague, where we shot the French interiors that were later matched to the exteriors of La Rochelle. We then went to La Rochelle and shot the streets and towns, and the U-boat leaving and returning to the harbour. Then we

Tom Wlaschiha in Das Boot

went to Munich for a week on our way back to Prague, where we shot a brothel scene and one of the rooms of one of our central characters on stage.

Then we finished off in Malta,” Polter said. A cast of 79 characters, more than 1,000 extras and 105 days later, “we’re very happy”, he added.

Endeavor Content drums up sales for latest John le Carre spy thriller A NUMBER of the world’s leading networks have snapped up the broadcast rights to The Little Drummer Girl, the new spy thriller based on John le Carre’s best-selling novel of the same name, thanks to deals sealed by Endeavor Content. Endeavor Content, part of the Hollywood talent-agency powerhouse Endeavor, has signed up Canal+ in France, NPO in the Netherlands, TV4 for the Nordic region, New Zealand’s TVNZ, BBC First and SBS for Australia, plus Starz Play for Germany, Italy, UK, Ireland and the Benelux region, among oth-

ers, for the six-part mini-series. The Little Drummer Girl also makes industry history as it sees the TV debut of Park Chanwook, the South Korean director and scriptwriter. “The growing list of global partners coming on board reflects the anticipation of audiences and the international appeal of our incredible source material, director and cast,” said Gary Marenzi, Endeavor Content’s head of entertainment sales and partnerships. Set in the 1970s, The Little Drummer Girl follows the fate of Charlie, a left-wing British

actress who pays a heavy price when she agrees to be recruited as a double agent.

The series, which will have its world premiere in Sky territories in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK and Ireland beginning November 23, and reach Italy in December, will make its US debut on Hulu. Sonar Entertainment has international distribution for the world, excluding those Sky territories. Deals to date include Starz Play in France; AMC in Spain and Portugal; Epix/Viasat in Russia, Central & Eastern Europe; DI and MA in Serbia; Czech TV in the Czech Republic; VRT in Belgium; NRK in Norway; SVT in Sweden; YLE in Finland; RUV in Iceland; M-Net in South Africa; Starz Play in Latin America; SBS in Australia; and TVNZ in New Zealand. Das Boot’s international cast includes Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Tom Wlaschiha (Game Of Thrones), Lizzy Caplan (Masters Of Sex), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) and James D’Arcy (Marvel’s Agent Carter). Head writers are Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley, The Interceptor) and Johannes W Betz (Der Tunnel, Die Spiegel-Affare).

The production is by The Ink Factory — the film and TV content creator and financier behind The Night Manager, — in partnership with 127 Wall Productions, a London- and Hong Kong-based media investment firm.

The Little Drummer Girl (Endeavor Content)

MIPCOM News 1 • 46 • 15 October 2018


On aurait adoré être à Cannes mais on a trop de boulot... ( C’EST BALLOT ! )

W W W . K A B O F A M I L Y . C O M Le MIP est immanquable mais cette année c’était impossible pour nous. Nous sommes en production de 3 séries et 4 unitaires de prime time ; nous sommes également sur le pont pour nos séries d’access « Scènes de Ménages » et « En Famille ». Ajoutez à cela la post production d’un long métrage cinéma et de quelques web séries et pour nous la Croisette… c’est disette. On vous embrasse tous et on vous dit à l’année prochaine !

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OLLIE & MOON GO TO SONY’S TINY POP FEDERATION Kids & Family and its sister production company Cottonwood Media have sold animated pre-school series The Ollie & Moon Show to Sony’s pre-school platform Tiny Pop in the UK, adding an impressive new member to its global network. Now in its second season, the show has been airing in almost all English-speaking markets including Sprout in the US, Netflix for the US and Canada, TVO and Knowledge in Canada, and every major market in Latin America through Discovery Latin America. “Tiny Pop is the perfect platform for this show. We are sure these globetrotting cats will be an inspiration for kids in the UK to connect with other Ollie & Moon fans around the world.”

The Ollie & Moon Show (Federation Kids & Family)

NEW KID-E-CATS GOING GLOBAL APC KIDS has sold the second season of Kid-E-Cats to Nickelodeon International. The new animated episodes (52 x 5 mins) will be shown on Nick Jr.’s international channels in more than 170 countries including the UK, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, PALOP, France, Israel, Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, Arabia, South Korea, Russia and CIS. The series is based on an original Russian series produced by CTC Media and Studio Metrafilms and is the second-best performing pre-school series in Russia. The third season is currently in production following a commission from CTC last year.

Kid-E-Cats (APC Kids)

Rainbow’s expansion strategy takes on multiplatform world FOLLOWING its acquisition of Canadian animation studio Bardel Entertainment and Italian production, music and management company Iven Group, Italy’s Rainbow has repositioned itself as a production and distribution entity offering a broad mix of content and services. “The two acquisitions are very important for our creative and expansion process,” Rainbow founder and chief executive officer Iginio Straffi said. “They allow Rainbow to play a part in every stage of the production process, and integrate the inhouse production chain from the first sketches to the last frame. We can now work with a mix of European, Asian and North American sensibilities and expertise.” The acquisition of Bardel particularly strengthens the company’s presence in the North American animation services business, while the acquisition of Iven Group means the company can produce and distribute content for markets ranging from pre-schoolers to adults. “We are working towards being able to produce high-quality content for an international market with a 360-degree reach — from kids and families to tweens, teens and adults, from animation to live action, and from TV series to movies,” Straffi said. “We have always

Rainbow’s Iginio Straffi

had the international market in our sights and these acquisitions are part of an expansion strategy that includes new fields of entertainment.” New properties and sequels from Rainbow at MIPCOM this year include Shark4, a comedy revolving around the adventures of a team of shark lifeguards; Dancing Horses, in which dancers Isa, Sasha and Chantel fight against a villain who wants to deprive the world of music; preschool property 2 Happy Farmers; and Pinocchio, in which the puppet boy is now living in the real world. It was announced on the eve of MIPCOM that another new property, pre-school animation

44 Cats, will be seen across France on France Televisions. The company is probably best known for Winx Club which returns for “a new season of magic and unexpected comebacks”. Of the current television landscape Straffi acknowledges that “if kids don’t like a show, they can find something else, making it more difficult to gain and keep audience attention for a long period”. He added: “We aim to adapt to platform diversity, of course, but we must always focus on strong concepts and — something that is more valid than ever in a multiplatform world — put a lot of time and effort into producing quality content.”

Magic continues for Sunny Bunnies

LONDON-based content distribution company Media IM Incorporated has sealed another deal for the pre-school animated show, Sunny Bunnies, and has launched a brand new mobile game. HBO Europe has taken SVOD rights for the first two seasons of Sunny Bunnies (52 x 3.5 mins) for Portugal and Spain, launching

in Spain in December 2018 and Portugal in Spring 2019. The news comes swiftly on the heels of this month’s confirmation of the license of all three seasons of Sunny Bunnies (78 x 3.5 mins) in the UK to Channel 5’s pre-school programming block Milkshake! The show is now on air in more than 160 territories.

MIPCOM News 1 • 50 • 15 October 2018

Media IM selected award-winning Galway-based specialist games developer 9th Impact to create a mobile game. The new game, — Sunny Bunnies: Magic Pop! — is a puzzle where players tap three or more adjoining characters of the same colour in order to make them magically pop and count toward achievement of the level objective.

Nippon TV finalises new deal for Turkish version of drama JAPANESE broadcaster Nippon TV has sold the format rights for the romantic drama Oasis – A Love Story to Turkish production group Med Yapim at MIPCOM, a deal that continues a highly productive relationship between the two companies. The deal was sealed by Keisuke Miyata, Nippon TV’s head of sales & licensing, international business development, and Fatih Aksoy, Med Yapim’s CEO. Med Yapim will produce the Turkish-language version of Oasis, a 60-minute series about a young girl who discovers love after she is rejected by her own family. The agreement is the fourth such deal between the two companies. The first scripted format Nippon TV sold to Med Yapim was Mother (called Anne in Turkey). This was followed by Woman – My Life For My Children (titled Kadin in Turkey). Kadin was the

country’s top-rating show for 15 consecutive weeks when the first season debuted on Fox Turkey last October. The third deal was for My Son, but the Turkish production has

not started yet. Now comes Oasis. “We are proud that another one of our legendary dramas will be offered to the viewers in Turkey, thanks to Fatih Aksoy and his amazing team,” Miyata said.

TVNZ’s Volcano: Creation & Destruction

Nippon TV’s Keisuke Miyata (left) with Med Yapim CEO Fatih Aksoy

Banijay secures high-seas drama A MULTI-generational Englishlanguage drama produced by Denmark’s Marlowfilm Productions, We, The Drowned is an upcoming eight-part series from Emmy award-winning and Academy Award-nominated director, Mikael Salomon (Band Of Brothers). Having secured global distribution for the epic historical drama, Banijay Rights will be holding preliminary discussions with international broadcasters at MIPCOM. Based on the best-selling book by Carsten Jensen, We, The Drowned is a story of courage, betrayal and unexpected love on the high seas, stretching from the Caribbean to Australia, and from Shanghai to New York. “We, The Drowned is the perfect


example of a local story with a global appeal, focusing on timeless and universal themes of adventure, love, desire, grief and the passage of time, which we know will strike a chord with audiences,” said Chris Stewart, vice-president of sales and acquisitions, Banijay Rights.

“We are fortunate to have a wealth of gorgeous material to work with,” said Deborah Marlow, creative producer, Marlowfilm Productions. “Having the visual prowess of Salomon and support from Banijay Rights is quite the cocktail. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Marlowfilm Production’s We, The Drowned

MIPCOM News 1 • 51 • 15 October 2018

LOOKING Glass International (LGI) has established deals for TVNZ’s Volcano: Creation & Destruction (3 x 60 mins) with AMC Networks International for Southern Europe and with Viasat World for the CEE and Scandinavian territories. The three-part science documentary takes a close look at the role played by volcanoes in the genesis and formation of New Zealand and Australia as they are today. The series unpacks dense science to tell the story of the volcanic past, present and future and its impact on landscapes and people. Giving fresh insight into the causes and forces of volcanism, compelling actuality, archive and CGI is combined to visualise volcanic events over a timeline of millions of years, moving through three distinct geographic zones. “We have had a lot of interest in the show ahead of the market and now that it is completed and available for delivery, we’re looking forward to finalising more deals after MIPCOM 2018,” said Nha-Uyen Chau, founder and CEO of Looking Glass International.


MULTILINGUAL MASTERPIECE BASED on a true story from the 19th century, The Man Who Knew 75 Languages is an animated film that uses real backgrounds from the places Georg Sauerwein lived and travelled, blended with animated characters that recreate his story. The young genius’ linguistic skills resulted in an invitation to a small German court to be the tutor of the young Princess Elisabeth of Wied. Through his lessons he introduces her to the value of learning languages and how they carry an imprint of the cultures that created them. Their friendship, along with his increased affection for her, could not be tolerated, and he was banished from the Royal Court. The film is a co-production between Embla Film of Norway, Fralita Films of Lithuania and FUMI Studio of Poland. “Sauerwein had a gift for seeing the similarities between languages,” Reiner Moritz, CEO of distributor Poorhouse International, said. Moritz added: “It’s a highly unusual and true story, and it’s a real documentary, produced at a time when much of what is called documentary is really what I would term reportage.”

The Man Who Knew 75 Languages (Poorhouse International)

Brave new drama exploring bisexuality through comedy AN ALL3MEDIA International priority Cannes title is new series The Bisexual (6 x 30 mins), from Hootenanny (a Sister Pictures company) for Channel 4 in the UK and Hulu in the US. Desiree Akhavan, Grand Jury prize-winner at Sundance (The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behavior) is the co-writer (with long-term collaborator Cecilia Frugiuele), as well as director and star of the series, a comedy drama which offers a raw, funny and unapologetic take on bisexuality. New Yorker Leila (Akhavan) is feeling lost in London having taken a break from her 10-year relationship with girlfriend and business partner Sadie (Maxine Peake). She rents a room from neurotic novelist Gabe (Brian Gleeson), a Hackney-dwelling 30-something. The two become pals as Leila begins dating men

while struggling to come out as bisexual to her gay friends. Producer Naomi De Pear said: “I like to see truth and humanity in the TV I watch, and I like to be brave in the shows that I produce. But equally audiences are sophisticated and increasingly demand shows that are challenging. Even though several people have commented that they can’t believe that no one made this

type of show before, I hadn’t seen a series that looks at sex in such an honest and raw way, that sought to tackle the taboo around it, so clearly there was something to be done here.” She said The Bisexual had been receiving amazing reviews: “Ultimately the show is much more universal than you might think because we all have insecurities around sex,” she added.

The Bisexual (All3Media International)

Tims&B’s tale of a wronged woman DISTRIBUTOR Global Agency is at MIPCOM with Gulperi, a new drama from Tims&B Productions. It tells the story of a woman who encounters a series of misfortunes, mainly at the hands of men. Gulperi’s problems start when she is forced apart from her first love Kadir by an oppressive father. She then marries a man who dies in Syria. The bright spot in her life is her three children, but she becomes embroiled in a custody battle for them with an abusive brotherin-law and almost ends up in jail. The title’s producers are Timur Savci, founder and owner of Tims Productions, and Burak Sagyasar, co-founder of Bi Yapim. The two executives merged their companies in 2017

and now have three titles airing in Turkey. “Gulperi is a primetime drama with a universal core that can easily sell all over the world,” they said. “It would work especially well in markets where content with women leading the story rules, such as Latin America and the Far East, as well as Central Europe.” The show’s star is Nurgul Ye-

Nurgul Yesilcay in Gulperi

MIPCOM News 1 • 52 • 15 October 2018

silcay. “A mother’s love for her children is the purest form of love in this world, and this is usually mutual, but not in our story,” she said. “The children here have been poisoned against their mother. Gulperi struggles not only with them but with powerful men, and she has a lot of qualities that impress me as a woman and a mother.”


ROYAL SERIES DRIVES SALES PRODUCTION-funding agency and distributor Drive, has sealed multiple international broadcaster acquisitions for Queen Of The World, a documentary series that offers a unique insight into the role of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II as a figure on the global stage. RTL in the Netherlands, NRK in Norway and TVNZ in New Zealand have all picked up the landmark series, which looks at how the Commonwealth has been a central focus and passion throughout the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Of The World has also been acquired by YLE in Finland and ITV Choice in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Queen Of The World (Drive)

ME+YOU TARGETS NORTH AMERICA WME HAS signed Me + You Productions for representation, signalling the UK independent producer’s push into the North American market as it seeks to build on the success of its record in domestic and international comedy and drama. Me + You’s MIPCOM series headliner is Sky 1’s comedy-drama Sick Of It, currently on air to critical acclaim. An as-yet untitled anthology drama series, for Channel 4, was also announced this week. Billed as an “authentic, moving and deeply personal collection of stories about 21st-century womanhood”, the series is penned and directed by Dominic Savage.

APC seals international deals for BBC thriller Keeping Faith FRANCE-based international distributor About Premium Content (APC) has snapped up several key international broadcast deals for Keeping Faith, the BBC drama that arguably became UK television’s biggest sleeper hit this year. Amazon Prime Video in France, Israel-based Yes DBS, Portuguese network RTP, plus TV4 and C More for the Nordic markets are among the broadcasters and platforms to which APC has sold the gripping series’ first season and the confirmed second season. Acorn Media Entertainment, which operates UK-themed streaming platform Acorn TV in the US, had come on board as co-producer for the North American rights for season one. APC has now also extended that co-production agreement, giving Acorn Media the rights to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for season two. “Keeping Faith has resonated with audiences across the UK and the ratings have been in-

Eve Myles stars in Keeping Faith

credible,” Laurent Boissel, joint CEO and co-founder at APC, said. “We are thrilled that BBC 1 is furthering its commitment to the show, commissioning a second season, and look forward to introducing the show to new viewers across the globe.” Keeping Faith is an emotionally complex and tense story about a lawyer, wife and mother who is drawn into a mystery when her husband and business partner vanishes. Gap-funded by APC and made

by UK-based Vox Pictures, it became the highest rated programme in 20 years on BBC Wales, the regional channel that is also a co-producer. The series then nabbed about 20 million views on the BBC’s streaming platform iPlayer, the highest ever number recorded for a non-national network show. This prompted the BBC to push what had become an irrefutable hit to primetime on its flagship channel BBC 1, where it became successful yet again.

New destinations for giant hubs QUINTUS Media has concluded a raft of sales for the science and engineering-based documentaries Mega Pit Stops and Giant Hubs. Produced by German factual specialist Maximus Film, both series have been sold to RMC Decouverte (France), Welt (Germany), Discovery Networks Southern Europe for the territories of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Andorra and to Polsat in Poland. Going beyond the familiar motor-racing pit stops, Mega Pit Stops features areas designed for some of the biggest vehicles on earth. The five-part series shows what happens when a huge passenger airliner gets taken apart and stripped of its colours within a short time frame. It documents how stressful the fight

against the clock is when a Navy vessel arrives at its pit stop, and how one of the fastest trains in the world has to be completely overhauled in just ten days. Giant Hubs showcases some of the world’s biggest transportation hubs, shedding light on the planning and logistics required

Giant Hubs (Quintus Media)

MIPCOM News 1 • 54 • 15 October 2018

to move international freight and passengers to far flung destinations. The six-part series takes the viewer behind the scenes with first-hand narration from key characters, and uses cutting-edge CGI to explain the workings of these massive nonstop transportation junctions.





GRB PUTS SEAL ON BIG MIPCOM DEALS GRB STUDIOS has completed a raft of deals at MIPCOM. Game One/ Viacom (France) acquired two seasons of factual series, Man At Arms, in which host Danny Trejo and a team of expert craftsmen reproduce famous historical war weapons. Foxtel Australia also took Man At Arms along with the eighth season of investigative true-crime series On The Case for Foxtel C+I. Untold Stories Of The ER is heading to e.tv in Africa, which acquired 62 hours for the launch of their new channel later this month. Documentary Beyond Boundaries — The Harvey Weinstein Scandal was picked up by M6/Teva (France), TV4 (Sweden) and Discovery (Italy). “GRB Studios is having an extremely strong MIPCOM, with multiple major deals closing and many more on the near horizon. We’re very proud of the wide variety of programming that our catalogue provides — from factual crime and formats, to high-end documentary, dramas and comedies. Our partners’ diverse content needs, in this changing global media ecosystem, are of the utmost importance to us, as we produce and distribute new shows. This market is a very exciting one for the entire GRB team,” said Patrice Choghi, senior vicepresident, international, for GRB Studios.

Man At Arms (GRB Studios)

Keshet’s jungle thriller goes global in major Netflix deal WHEN Heroes Fly will air on Netflix following its recent a c q u i s i t i o n f r o m Ke s h e t International. The global deal will see all 10 episodes (1 x 80 mins, 9 x 40 mins) of the original Hebrew-language drama made available with subtitles to Netflix’s 130 million subscribers around the world early next year. Produced by Spiro Films for Keshet Broadcasting, When Heroes Fly is a thriller inspired by a best-selling novel and set deep in the Colombian jungle. Written and created by Omri Givon, the co-creator of Hostages, the drama centres on four friends — war veterans of a special forces unit — who reunite for one final and deeply personal rescue mission. It features an impressive ensemble cast including Tomer Kapon (Fauda, Hostages), soon to star in Amazon Prime’s The Boys, and singer/songwriter Ninette

Tayeb, one of Israel’s biggest entertainment stars. Having won the Best Series award at the inaugural CANNESERIES festival in April, When Heroes Fly debuted on Keshet 12 to rave reviews, increasing the slot

average by 35% in ratings and 21% in share, and making it the channel’s most-watched drama since the Channel 2 split in November. As a result, the series was recommissioned mid-run for a second season.

When Heroes Fly (Keshet International)

Rovio’s Angry Birds spreads wings CAKE has been chosen by Rovio Entertainment to produce a new long-form animated Angry Birds series. Based on the world of the Angry Birds franchise and aimed at six- to 12-year-olds — and Angry Birds fans of all ages — the first series is expected to launch in 2020. Currently in development with Cake, the new format marks the first foray by Rovio into longform series content. “Long-form content marks the obvious next step in extending the Angry Birds brand on the small screen. We hope this will be the first of many collaborations,” Tom van Waveren, CEO and creative director at Cake said. The deal extends Cake’s successful relationship with Rovio, which includes international distribution rights to Rovio’s existing library

of TV content, now airing in over 200 territories. Cake’s digital arm, Popcorn Digital manages the Angry Birds YouTube channel and has been working with Rovio to develop exclusive original content for the channel, which has seen significant growth in the past year.

Joe Lawson, senior vice-president of content licensing for Rovio said: “This is another major milestone in Rovio’s multi-year content licensing roadmap, our strongest ever, and we can’t imagine doing it with anyone other than our long-term partners at Cake.”

Angry Birds (Rovio Entertainment Corporation)

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EROS PREMIERES INDIAN ORIGINAL THE SOUTH Asian OTT platform Eros Now, belonging to Indian entertainment firm Eros International, will premiere its original series Smoke today at MIPCOM 2018. Unveiled as part of the Made In India Originals, Smoke is a crime drama that promises to take audiences on an eyeopening journey into the underbelly of Goa. This 11-episode series, directed by Neel Guha, is a game of shifting loyalties and brutal cover-ups. The soundtrack for the series has been composed by musician Karsh Kale, who has redefined the Asian Underground musical genre. “Smoke is a gritty, dark crime drama portraying the never-seen side of Goa,” Eros Group chief content officer Ridhima Lulla said. “There’s no place in India quite like Goa and the show, with its unique take on the paradise state, makes for a perfect choice out of India to be launched at MIPCOM.” Smoke will be available on Eros Now from October 26, 2018. “With Eros Now Originals, we want to continue investing in the brand to represent a culture of what the youth want to consume,” Lulla said.

Made In India Original: Smoke

UFO drama Project Blue Book set for international take off A+E STUDIOS is in Cannes to launch Project Blue Book, a 10part thriller inspired by the US Air Force’s true-life investigations of UFO sightings. Set in the early 1950s against the backdrop of the Cold War, it stars Aidan Gillen (Game Of Thrones) as a brilliant astrophysicist who is recruited to take part in a top-secret UFO hunting programme, alongside Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey). Having done so, he slowly comes to realise he is at the centre of a dangerous cover-up. “There’s nothing like it on TV,” Patrick Vien, executive managing director, international at A+E Networks said. “It combines the stylishness of Mad Men with the fascination people continue to have with the question of whether there is any life out there. Added to that, you have fantastic acting

talent, Sean Jablonski (Suits) as play internationally. “There is no showrunner and Robert Zemeckis singular playbook with distribution. (Back To The Future) as producer.” This week at MIPCOM, we will Vien says the show is a classic commence an elaborate set of example of where A+E wants conversations to work out what to pitch its scripted series: “As is best for the show and what with Knightfall, our sweet spot is buyers want to achieve.” shows that have the highest possible production values but which appeal to a mainstream audience. Some big-budget cinematic series tend towards the cultish, but we are interested in broad attractive storytelling.” Project Blue Book launches on History in the US on January 8, 2019, but Vien says it is too early to predict where it will A+E Networks’ Patrick Vien

New-look Clifford goes global SCHOLASTIC Entertainment is gearing up for the launch of the rebooted hit show Clifford The Big Red Dog, which will make its debut on Amazon and PBS Kids next autumn. The new show, produced in collaboration with 100 Chickens Productions and distributed by 9 Story, will have a “brighter, fresher” look than the original series, and see the introduction of a number of new characters, Caitlin Friedman, co-executive

producer, vice-president and general manager at Scholastic Entertainment, said. Friedman, whose background is in book publishing, took over the reins of the company two years ago, with a strategy to establish more partnerships and collaborations with producers and distributors from the international markets, and place a greater emphasis on live-action TV content. “My strategy is to set up partnerships,” Friedman said. “It’s very much about working with people who share our vision and who are creatively engaged. We used to be very much A to Z, now we are much more about doing things through partnerships; we’re more flexible.” Scholastic, which has a number of live-action Scholastic Entertainment’s Caitlin Friedman shows currently in MIPCOM News 1 • 60 • 15 October 2018

production, is in Cannes to meet content-makers and broadcasters from the international markets. The New York-based company is already preparing for the international debut of the new-look Big Red Dog TV format, scheduled for 2020. The show will be launched in conjunction with books and educational material supporting the TV content, which will be released in multiple languages and territories through Scholastic’s global network of publishers. Scholastic Entertainment is a subsidiary of the Scholastic group, which traces its origins back to book publishing and is still a major producer of trade publications, children’s literature and academic materials. Through its international operations the company distributes these materials to over 265 countries worldwide, through an ongoing series of book fairs and book clubs.


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BRILLIANT DEALS FOR FREMANTLE FREMANTLE has announced a raft of global deals for its highly-anticipated Italian-language drama My Brilliant Friend, based on Elena Ferrante’s best-selling book. The series has been sold to 56 territories worldwide, including Canal+ (France and French-speaking Africa), Sky Atlantic (UK), HBO Europe (Scandinavia, Spain and CEE), Quebecor Content (French-speaking Canada), VRT (Belgium), Cosmote TV (Greece), RUV (Iceland), HOT (Israel), Cellcom tv (Israel), Manoto TV (MENA), SVT (Sweden), Digiturk (Turkey), Foxtel (Australia) and TVNZ (New Zealand). The drama, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, is a HBO (US), Rai Fiction and Timvision series. It marks the first of the Elena Ferrante stories centering on the lives of Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo to be brought to screen. “Ever since we announced the adaptation of My Brilliant Friend, back in 2016, the reaction from both global press and buyers has been huge,” said Jens Richter, CEO international, Fremantle. “The drama features an amazing custom-made set of 1950s Naples and a spectacular young cast that brilliantly brings Ferrante’s iconic and powerful story to life. It’s a world-class drama that is set to transfix global audiences.”

My Brilliant Friend (Fremantle)

Viacom goes flat out with new 2D mutation for Ninja Turtles VIACOM International Media Networks (VIMN) is in Cannes to highlight a total makeover to one of its long-established brands: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT). TMNT, about four turtles that develop superhero qualities, originated as a comic-book series, then adapted into a hit computer-animated series from 2012 until 2017 on Nickelodeon, Viacom’s kids-focused international TV network. The reboot, called Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was at MIPJunior, where its genesis was explained during a panel called Animating For The Gen Z Generation: Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Case Study. “We wanted to separate ourselves from the original Nickelodeon series,” said Andy Suriano, one of the new series’ executive producers. “We wanted to play to our strengths, which include a 2D-cartoon background and the influences of French and Bel-

Nickeoldeon’s Andy Suriano (left) and Ant Hart, with actress Kat Graham

gian comics.” His joint executive producer and animator Ant Ward added: “We wanted to tap into the silliness associated with young teenagers trying to be superheroes. There are many familiar but unexpected things. Anyone who might be sceptical about the new version will find something to love. It is also an ideal jump for fans new to the franchise.” The first season (52 x 11 mins) has started airing on Nickelode-

on in the US. It is also available online, including on the Nick. com website. Actress Kat Graham, who voice-overs primary character April O’Neil, a human being who becomes the four Ninja Turtles’ best friend, said: “This is my first animation role in a commercial production. She is smart, fun, very much a highschool kid. She is more or less the fifth turtle who still retains her individuality.”

Sky arts and travel package for Ovation US ARTS network Ovation has acquired the US broadcast and digital rights for seven titles, totalling 75 hours, from Sky Vision. The series will air on Ovation’s linear arts network Ovation TV, its digital platform Ovation Now, and/or on the company’s cultural-travel streaming service Journy. “This is an amazing package of arts, culture and travel programming that is exceptionally well-suited for Ovation TV, Ovation Now and our new AVOD service Journy,” said Scott Woodward, executive vice-president, programming, Ovation. “Sky Vision has been a great source for incredible scripted dramas, as well as documentary content, and it’s always

a pleasure working with them.” The titles include The Pacific: In The Wake Of Captain Cook With Sam Neill; Antiques Road Trip; Celebrity Antiques Road Trip; Illusions Of Grandeur; Making Marvels; Tate Britain’s Great British Walks; and Flintoff ’s Great British Road

Trip. “Our deal with third-party producers has led us to co-fund amazing series, including Sam Neill’s series on the Pacific, all supported by hugely popular acquisitions like the long-running Antiques Road Trip,” said Gillian Rose, senior vice-president, sales and acquisitions US, Sky Vision.

Gillian Rose of Sky Vision and Ovation’s Scott Woodward

MIPCOM News 1 • 62 • 15 October 2018




Javier Veiga

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‘Collaborate to compete’ guides Canadian co-production drive

Catherine Tait of CBC/Radio Canada

THE HEAD of Canadian national broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada, Catherine Tait, is in Cannes to meet with potential partners for international projects and drive Canada’s “cultural export market” to the world. Attending her first MIPCOM since taking over at the company in July, the CBC president and CEO said that Canada was looking out at the world with an ambitious slate of programming and an unprecedented desire to work with broadcasters and producers across all markets and platforms. “It was really important for me to come to MIPCOM as my first event,” Tait said. “If we’re going to tell great Canadian stories, we have to tell global stories as well. I take the view that you have to ‘collaborate to compete’. In order to be effective, we have to collaborate with international

Inclusivity an opportunity for writers

DCD Rights’ Nicky Davies Williams

IF THERE is one genre that could appeal to 21st-century millennials around the world it would be drama dealing with inclusivity issues, according to Nicky Davies Williams, CEO at UK-based distribution company DCD Rights. “We are finding that drama writers are increasingly drawn to issues such as the conflicts that arise between generations when families are living in an adopted society, as they straddle the differences between traditional versus contemporary values,” she said. Despite the fact that multiculturalism might vary from country to country, the clashes generated by the different outlooks of today’s young adults and their parents or grandparents is a theme millennials will identify with. MIPCOM News 1 • 64 • 15 October 2018

companies like the BBC and others.” Tait took up the role as head of CBC in July this year, becoming the first woman to run the corporation. She said that as well as developing the company’s international presence, she is keen to explore a range of new financial models, digital technology and platforms to find new ways to boost Canadian producers and content. CBC has a new initiative to support content distribution: a b2b platform which allows buyers to access and purchase Canadian shows more easily and cost-effectively. Panora.tv is being launched with the support of Canada Media Fund. “The cost of sales is often higher than the return,” Tait said. “The idea is to create a place where this can be done with lower costs to producers and buyers.” Tait said that children’s TV was another key priority for the company, having proven “extremely important as a retention tool” in the past, and that a ramping-up of kids’ content would be likely.

Williams referred to two popular drama titles. On The Ropes, a Lingo Pictures production made for Australian network SBS, centres on the sensitive issue of a female Muslim boxing trainer seeking success in a male-dominated profession. The storyline for Romper Stomper, the controversial drama series by Roadshow Rough Diamond, with Screen Australia and Film Victoria, is even darker, dealing with hatred against diversity in societies, and how different generations respond to it. “These situations are explored through universally relevant family stories, as new generations break out to find their way independently in their own worlds,” she said. “Far from challenges, multiculturalism sets up a wealth of new worlds for writers to explore, and offers opportunities for new writers to express their own voices.”



SMALL FORTUNE NETS BIG DEAL DRG AND Youngest Media closed a deal Sunday that will see DRG launch the producer’s innovative new game-show format Small Fortune across international markets. While Youngest Media will distribute the format in Germany, France, Australia and North America, DRG is representing the format in the rest of the world. Commissioned as a 6 x 60 mins series by ITV in the UK, and premiering in 2019 with Dermot O’Leary (The X-Factor) as its host, Small Fortune is billed as the world’s smallest physical game show in which teams made up of friends and family compete over games set in perfectly miniaturised worlds and win large cash prizes. Richard Halliwell, CEO of DRG, said: “Youngest Media has developed an exciting business, bursting with big ideas, and are constantly injecting creative new thinking into our world. Small Fortune is a truly original idea and a fantastic format for primetime family slots, packed with jeopardy, big money prizes and the most incredible visuals.” Youngest Media’s recent productions include dating series Game Of Clones, which has travelled to five territories, and BBC quiz show Hardball.

Small Fortune (DRG/ Youngest Media)

All3Media unveils global deals for new Agatha Raisin season DISTRIBUTOR All3Media International has announced a range of pre-sale deals for the second season of murder mystery series Agatha Raisin, including acquisitions by ABC in Australia, Hungary’s MTVA and Sky for UK and Eire. The show, which stars Ashley Jensen as an amateur sleuth, has also been pre-sold to ZDF for German-speaking Europe, Latvian TV for Latvia and TV4 for Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden. The show is a Free@Last TV and Company Pictures production with Acorn Media Enterprises, which controls English-speaking market rights through its participation. In the US, for example, the new series will premiere on Acorn TV— following on from the debut season. “Given its growing popularity on Acorn TV, we’re thrilled that partners worldwide have embraced our first commissioned series and the return of Agatha Raisin,”

Catherine Mackin, managing director of AME, said. “We’re excited to work with our friends at All3Media on their global presales in so many key markets.” As with the first series, the new Agatha Raisin episodes are based on novels by MC Beaton. All3Media executive vice-president,

content Maartje Horchner said: “Agatha Raisin delivers absorbing primetime entertainment and established itself as a firm favourite with fans around the world during its first season. We’re very pleased to kick off our sales campaign here at MIPCOM by announcing such strong international deals.”

MTVA Hungary’s Zoltan Nevelos (standing, left); All3Media’s Ben Packwood; Acorn TV’s Mark Stevens; ABC Australia’s Dallas Krueger; AME’s Catherine Mackin (seated, left); and Free@Last TV’s Barry Ryan

FilmRise deal set to rock the US AN EARLY MIPCOM deal sees New York-based FilmRise partner with the UK’s Eagle Rock Entertainment to bring music programming to digital audiences across North America. The distribution pact covers films, documentaries and series from Eagle Rock’s extensive library, including the long-running Classic Albums series, which charts the conception, production and recording of great albums. Artists featured in the Classic Albums episodes to be released digitally in North America include Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Lou Reed and The Grateful Dead. Among the concert films covered by the deal are The Rolling Stones: Hyde Park, London; Frank Sinatra: A

Man And His Music; and Paul McCartney And Wings: The Rockshow Project — Wings Over America Live. The deal was brokered by Eagle Rock’s Heather Wyer, vicepresident of TV and digital sales, North America, and FilmRise’s head of acquisitions Max Einhorn, who paid tribute to “the vast library of stellar concert and documentary programmes that Eagle Rock has been curating on behalf of music fans for over 30 years”. Wyer added: “We couldn’t imagine a better distribution partner than FilmRise. They have a vast and evergrowing digital network that will enable music fans to enjoy concert and documentary programming on multiple platforms, wherever and whenever they want.”

MIPCOM News 1 • 66 • 15 October 2018

Rocking on: FilmRise’s Melissa Wohl (left) and Max Einhorn with Eagle Rock’s Heather Wyer




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THE FASHION HERO GETS NEW SEASON BEAUTY World Search (BWS), the producer of The Fashion Hero, has completed a co-production and distribution agreement with US-based studio Electus. The deal will see Electus produce and distribute the second season of The Fashion Hero through its sales arm Electus International. Electus International has also acquired the global distribution rights to the first season, hosted by Brooke Hogan. The Fashion Hero is a both a reality TV format and a growing global fan-based, social-media movement that aims to celebrate diversity and at the same time disrupt the fashion industry.

ZIG ZAG, WINGMAN BUILD THE TOWER THE UK’s Zig Zag Productions and Wingman Productions are to co-develop shiny-floor game show, The Tower, funded by A+E Networks International. The half-hour format features contestants answering quickfire questions with the aim of taking control of a giant glass cylinder pierced by rods holding up 21 coloured balls. The strategy-based show will see players pull as many rods as possible out of the tower, causing the valuable prize balls to fall while avoiding dropping the negative penalty balls or the game-ending black ball. A+E Networks International, holds worldwide distribution rights to the format.

Dave calls on Vice Studios for new net-based game show UKTV’s entertainment channel Dave has commissioned its first series from Vice Studios. Beat The Internet With John Robins (20 x 30 mins) is hosted by the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner. The game show has contestants competing to predict how internet search engines respond to users’ search behaviour. “For many years now I’ve been suspicious that the internet is getting too big for its boots,” Robins said. “Its war against our high streets, laws and tax collectors goes completely unchecked, and that’s not to mention the unknowable impact on future generations of the constant stream of top-shelf material it provides, whose sheer volume and variety never ceases to astonish and horrify. I say it’s time to fight back, to reclaim our streets, to enforce our laws, recoup our taxes, and place pornography back on actual shelves in the real world, where it can be controlled, policed, and placed under a copy of The Times before handing it to a sympathetic newsagent.” Unlike traditional game shows where contestants are profiled through questioning by the host, in Beat The Internet, members of the public who

Beat The Internet With John Robins (All3Media)

play the game hand over their search history days before the show, giving Robins some hilarious anecdotes as he introduces the guests. “It’s amazing, most of them don’t even bother to clean-up their histories,” he said. “Once or twice we’ve had to think hard about whether some of the applicants are actually suitable to take part.” Beat The Internet With John Robins is produced by Vice Studios and commissioned for UKTV by senior commissioning editor Iain Coyle, who described Robins as “one of the most exciting new comedy talents to emerge in the last few years”.

Yonni Usiskin, creative director and executive producer at Vice Studios said the show marked the company’s move into unscripted formats and entertainment programming, adding: “Beat The Internet is unlike any other game show — it is born from the bizarre and highly intimate everyday relationship we all have with search engines and turns it into a game show that is hilarious, surprising and addictive viewing.” All3Media International is global rights holder for the show and is introducing the format and finished programme to international buyers at MIPCOM.

Fittest Family heads for Chile MAGNIFY Media has closed the first format license deal for RTE Ireland’s hit reality-fitness competition Fittest Family. Chilean network Chilevision owned by Turner Latin America, has commissioned a local adaptation of the format, to be produced by Chilevision and produced in association with The Gurin Company. The show sees 12 mega-fit families compete in a series of phys-

ical tests and challenges to win the coveted title of Fittest Family, along with a cash prize. Four local sports legends mentor the contestants to help them reach their personal best. Unlike many superficial talent and reality formats, the focus is on promoting family values and the concept of working together to achieve a goal, while also having fun and keeping fit. Andrea Jackson, CEO of Mag-

nify said: “We’ve long wanted to see Fittest Family travel beyond Ireland so are beyond delighted that Chilevision are now bringing this great format to Chilean viewers. We wish the producers, coaches and families all the luck of the Irish as they take on the swamps, ramps, cranes, walls and muck that have made Fittest Family the giant hit we’ve loved making over the last six seasons.”

MIPCOM News 1 • 68 • 15 October 2018

Fittest Family (Magnify Media)



KANSAI TV: Working Miracles Kansai TV comes to MIPCOM with an intriguing series that is taking Japanese drama into new creative territory. Marlene Edmunds talks to the team behind the ground-breaking project — and discovers why Kansai TV believes in Miracles. Kansai TV already has a well-established reputation for producing premium programming but its latest headline drama for MIPCOM 2018 ventures into innovative new territory with its series Miracles, a collaboration between Kansai TV producer Yoko Toyofuku and respected Japanese scriptwriter Atsuko Hashibe. Toyofuku describes Miracles

as a “human story” that breaks and remakes the rules of TV drama. The heart-warming narrative centres on Kazuki Aikawa, an eccentric university lecturer who is totally absorbed in his study of ethnology and the everyday miracle of animal behaviour. But then he meets Ikumi Mizumoto, the director of his dental clinic — and another small miracle happens. Kazuki’s story goes well beyond

the boundaries of traditional Japanese drama, Toyofuku explains. For example, while Miracles contains comical aspects, it is not a comedy in the traditional sense. And although it has many of the sensibilities of classical Japanese drama, it elicits laughter as well as strong emotion. “In that sense,” she adds, “Miracles is a truly unique drama the likes of which has not been seen in Japan before.” Actor Issey Takahashi, who plays Kazuki, agrees: “It’s hard to define the genre of this drama, because each viewer will have different thoughts and ideas about it. Some will say it’s a comedy; others that it’s a love story. But the point is that human beings have different values and perceptions. That’s what Miracles is about and that’s why I believe people will enjoy it.”

Issey Takahashi

Toyofuku says she wanted to explore two ideas in Miracles: “I wanted to look at society’s concept of ‘normal’, and put a different focus on the people society labels as ‘eccentric’.” The second idea was inspired by her fascination with the Fibonacci sequence, a simple numerical series that is intimately connected with the golden ratio. “I was very interested in the mysteries of how mathematics and physics influence different forms of life,” Toyofuku adds. “I wanted to see if it were possible to weave these mysteries — these scientific rules

Human beings have different values and perceptions. That’s what Miracles is about and that’s why I believe people will enjoy it. that govern how the universe works — into a storyline for a TV drama.” While Hashibe has written several hit dramas for Kansai TV, Miracles marks the first time she had worked with Toyofuku. However, the two women quickly discovered they were “on the same page” in terms of their view of the world. Hashibe, too, had long been intrigued by the way society judges those who dare to break its rules: “In my view, certain people may seem to be breaking down the natural order or undermining teamwork but, when viewed from another perspective, they may be living their lives exactly as they want. Many people are so bound by social conventions that they are unable to live their lives the way they want to.” Both Toyofuku and Hashibe believe Miracles responds to the demand from women across the globe for more stories that reflect the reality of their lives, both emotionally


and professionally. “I don’t think I’ve ever become more intensely preoccupied with how female viewers would react to a drama storyline,” Hashibe reflects. Toyofuku adds: “Ikumi is a working woman and, as a working woman myself, I identify with her on many levels. I believe viewers around the world,

especially women, will feel the same connection. While Ikumi goes all-out to excel in both her professional and private life, she is also someone who struggles with dilemmas that prevent her from fulfilling her full potential.” So will Miracles travel internationally? Absolutely,-

says Miho Okada, Kansai TV’s contents business bureau director: “The storyline is universal and it will appeal to women, who are the overwhelming majority of drama viewers.” On top of that, the collaboration of one of Kansai TV’s top producers and one of Japan’s best scriptwriters has released an

Atsuko Hashibe

Miho Okada

Yoko Toyofuku

“unprecedented synergy of ideas and talent” that is rare even in today’s golden age of TV drama. Okada adds that Miracles also has potential as a scripted format, given the steady stream of Japanese dramas currently being reversioned for, among others, South Korea, China and Turkey. Indeed, several of Toyofuku’s dramas, including My Dangerous Wife and Time Taxi have already been successfully adapted for overseas markets. In the end, Toyofuku believes the world will fall in love with Miracles because it speaks to the heart. She has faith, she says, that viewers will be able to identify with its characters across the divides of country, creed and culture. And that’s another miracle — the power of great drama to bring the world together.

product news

Here we highlight some of the international multiplatform content brought to MIPCOM by companies from around the world



AMONG the new formats from Armoza is Singerella, which each week features an unsuspecting girl with unfulfilled musical dreams who is given the chance by a top musical icon to sing with him in front of thousands of people. Dance Revolution (11 x 90 mins) sees dancers from all styles and ages who, using state-of-the-art technology, are judged with a 360˚ shot of their most spectacular “revolution” moment. Dramas from Armoza include Instababe (15 x 1 min), a teen series exposing bullying in high school which aired on Instagram; and The Game (10 x 60 mins), about video-game designer Marianne, who works in the male-dominated gaming community.

CANADIAN producer and distributor Incendo’s priorities for MIPCOM include: thrillers Mean Queen, Mad Mom and Radio Silence; romantic comedies Love Blossoms and Love On Safari; and drama series in development Los Juniors, Echo and Disasterland. Radio Silence (Incendo)

FEDERATION ENTERTAINMENT THE TWELVE is a psychological thriller exploring the innate prejudice of jury members. Produced by Belgium’s Eyeworks in partnership with VRT, VAF/ Mediafonds, Federation Entertainment and the Belgian tax shelter, the series features the controversial case of a respected school principal who is accused of two murders, the latter being her own child. As the trial gains momentum the jury members react against the backdrop of their personal scars and life experience. It is in their hands to decide on the guilt or the innocence of a broken woman. The series, currently in production, is due by the end of 2019. Federation Entertainment holds worldwide distribution rights.

Singerella (Armoza Formats)

DARO FILM DISTRIBUTION A RANGE of action films is brought to Cannes by Monaco-based Daro Film Distribution, including: Reprisal, starring Bruce Willis and Frank Grillo (for CEE/CIS/Africa); Daughter Of The Wolf, starring Gina Carano (for CEE/CIS/Africa); and We Die Young, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme (for CEE). Daro Film also brings eight new holiday films, including We Wish You A Marry Christmas with Erin Krakow, Christmas Cottage with Merritt Patterson and Christmas Cupcakes with Erin Karpluk. New acquisitions for the Eastern-European market include: new Belgian heist thriller series The Day (12 x 60 mins) from Dynamic Television, Guy Pearce-fronted action thriller Disturbing The Peace from Voltage Pictures and Primal, starring Nicolas Cage and Reprisal (Daro Film Distribution) Famke Janssen.

The Twelve (Federation Entertainment)

GIL FORMATS TEL AVIV-based producer and distributor Gil Formats is showcasing two new formats at MIPCOM. On The Edge is a new factual entertainment format due to premiere later this year on Planete+ (Canal+ Group) and TV5 Canada as On The Edge (Gil Formats) 100 Jours. Celebrities take on a 100-day life-risking challenge to overcome the limits of the human body and mind in extreme physical conditions of heat, cold or altitude. 7 Days To Win Your Business is a factual entertainment format co-developed with CJ ENM in Korea. Aspiring entrepreneurs get the chance to jump-start their business and win a rent-free, prime-location business venue for one year.

MIPCOM News 1 • 72 • 15 October 2018


A NEW TV EXPERIENCE AWAKENS Breathtaking OLED picture quality and Acoustic Surface technology in a truly unique design. ‘Sony’, ‘BRAVIA‘ and their logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Corporation. All other logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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CJ ENM KOREA’s CJ ENM brings Lawless Lawyer (16 x 60 mins) to Cannes. As a

young boy Sang-Pil witnesses his mother’s murder, and is taken in by his gangster uncle. To avenge his mother’s death he joins his uncle’s gang while studying law, then returns to his hometown to investigate the truth. A 60-minute game-show priority is Music Bites, in which a group of hungry celebrities guess song lyrics for a chance to taste exquisite dishes.

COMERCIAL TV SPANISH drama Among Olive Trees (Entreolivos/52 x 45 mins) is brought to MIPCOM by Commercial TV. It tells the story of an Andalusian olive oil producer and exporter with Mexican partners. The lives of Rafaela, Monica and Sofia intertwine against the background of this centuries-old industry.

Among Olive Trees (Comercial TV)

LINEUP INDUSTRIES GOODBYE House is a relocation format with a competitive twist, brought to MIPCOM by Amsterdam-based Lineup Industries. Created by Stellify Media for Sony Pictures Television, and debuted in Ireland on RTE One, it follows three siblings or close family friends who compete to choose the perfect new home for their parents. The format is available as self-contained episodes or a daily strip.


Lawless Lawyer (CJ ENM)

DISTRIBUTION360 AT MIPCOM Distribution360 is debuting a slate of new unscripted content, including: Volo: House Of Cars, showcasing an automobile museum; It’s How You Get There, featuring transport enthusiasts; science series Tomorrow’s World Today; and lifestyle series Jack Of All Tastes, following culinary expert Jackie as she journeys from city to city and dines with NFL athletes at their favourite eateries.

SPANISH channel RTVE is highlighting three of its series in Cannes. A Different View (13 x 70 mins) is about a 1920s academy coping with the arrival of a new teacher. El Continental (10 x 70 mins) is also set in the 1920s, in a coffee shop, run by a man whose debts have serious consequences for his family. Sabuesos (10 x 70 mins) is the story of a young man aspiring to be a private detective with his dog Max.

A Different View (RTVE)

ALPHA GROUP Volo: House Of Cars (Distribution360)

GLOBAL GENESIS GROUP GLOBAL Genesis Group is featuring five new series this year in Cannes. Paradise Inc., from John Cassar, the executive producer behind 24, sees a Miami billionaire pair a former homicide detective with a former Rio cop and Ju-Jitsu champion for private investigations. Ring Warriors: The Legacy Continues… features pro-wrestling action. The US distributor also brings Men & Motors, Miss Supranational 2018: The World’s Largest Beauty Pageant and Paradise Inc. (Global Genesis Group) animation series Action Mice.

THE PARIS-based media division at Alpha brings the third season of Super Wings to Cannes. Jett is a plane who delivers packages to children around the world, and when faced by challenges works together with the help of his friends. Super Wings (Alpha Group)

STUDIO HARI HEADING the Cannes slate for Paris-based Studio Hari are: Grizzy And The Lemmings (156 x 7 mins), with a third season and movie in development; Pipas & Douglas (52 x 2 mins), with a second season in development; and latest project Mystery Lane (26 x 22 mins), set in foggy London and featuring the world’s most intelligent guinea pig and her little brother, who leave their pet shop residence to lead investigations.

MIPCOM News 1 • 74 • 15 October 2018


proDUct news



LIFELINE is the story of Nefes, a child bride and victim of domestic violence, who eventually leaves her husband when her friend helps her, and her life completely changes. The inspirational drama is brought to Cannes by Turkey’s ATV and has gained three million followers on ATV’s YouTube channel.

MONTREAL-based comedy specialist Just For Laughs visits MIPCOM with new stand-up and prank shows. Platforms including Netflix, Amazon and LOL, as well as TV networks The CW, CBC, The Comedy Network and Network Ten (Australia) are all in development for specials from the Just for Laughs Festival, with the production arm of Just For Laughs. The 19th 13-part season of Just For Laughs Gags — a non-verbal hidden-camera show — is also available.

Lifeline (ATV)

PLANETA JUNIOR GORMITI is a new 3D CGI series brought to Cannes by Barcelona-based Planeta Junior. A total of 52 x 11 mins episodes, aimed at 5‐ to 8-year-old boys, is planned. Other titles include: Squish (52 x 11 mins), about a community of single-cell organisms; the third season of Pucca, about a little girl working in an eco-friendly restaurant who has to fight Don King, who is trying to rule the world with fast food; and ZAG Hereoz – Tforce 7, about Axel, who transforms into a 17.78-centimetre superhero.

GOQUEST FORMATS GOQUEST Formats is presenting dance format My Dance Crew (8 x 45 mins) at MIPCOM. The series, developed with Anti Inc and Norway’s TV2, gives eight celebrities the chance to join their own professional dance crew and then perform live in the studio. My Dance Crew (GoQuest Formats)

ONE TAKE MEDIA MUMBAI-based producer and distributor One Take Media brings: The Great Indian Global Kitchen, featuring top Indian celebrity chefs; Dance With Madhuri Dixit, featuring a wide range of dance genres; Hollywood movies targeted at the Hindi-speaking audience; a range of Turkish daily serials and dramas; a slate of Korean films; content from Bollywood Spice TV, featuring music videos from Bollywood movies; and Nyra’s World, a pre-school series focussed on nursery rhymes.

The Great Indian Global Kitchen (One Take Media)

Just For Laughs Gags (Just For Laughs Distribution)

DOC EN STOCK TOP TITLES for France’s Doc En Stock include: Michel Vaillant, “The Dream Of Le Mans” (1 x 52 mins/HD), profiling Jean Graton’s comic strips, including contributions from Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna and Nelson Piquet Jr; and Hostage, 332 Days To Escape (1 x 70 mins/52 mins), a docu-fiction based on the story of Francis Collomp, a 63-year-old French engineer who was taken hostage in Nigeria, then made a spectacular escape. Michel Vaillant, “The Dream Of Le Mans” (Doc En Stock)

GLOBAL ROAD ENTERTAINMENT GLOBAL Road Entertainment’s MIPCOM slate includes Famous Fortune Fights (10 x 60 mins), looking at celebrity courtroom clashes; and Notorious (10 x 60 mins), a docu-series focusing on individuals, including Charles Manson and Ted Bundy, who became well-known from their shocking crimes; Unframed (8 x 15 mins), exploring the creative process of street artists; and Michael Jackson’s Halloween, an animation from CBS which includes Jackson’s music and celebrity voices.

JY ANIMATION BEIJING-based JY Animation brings Pipilu Rangers (two seasons of 26 x 8 mins), a 3D/ CGI/HD series aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds. The Pipilu Rangers work to protect children, creating the Safetipedia by making 100 safety rules every time they stop an accident. Pipilu Rangers (JY Animation)

MIPCOM News 1 • 76 • 15 October 2018


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GLOBO priorities include: Harassment (10 x 60 mins), about a group of women who get together on social media to expose sexual harassment; If I Close My Eyes Now (9 x 60 mins/ TBC), about two boys who try to solve a gruesome murder; thriller Thirteen Days Away From The Sun (7 x 60 mins), romantic drama The Seamstress (4 x 60 mins); and new 12-part series Iron Island, set on an oil rig, and the second season of medical drama Under Pressure.

LITTLE Coincidences (8 x 50 mins) is an unusual romantic comedy, co-produced by Atresmedia Studios, Onza Entertainment and Medio Limon, featuring a 37-year-old woman who has just opened her own fashion store and a 40-year-old single gastronomic critic, who’s world turns upside-down when his divorced brother moves in with him. An eight-year-old girl mysteriously appears and reveals his repressed parental feelings to him. The woman experiences the same visions, but in the form of a little boy.

Under Pressure (Globo)

LA XARXA TWO DOCUMENTARY programmes are brought to MIPCOM by Barcelona-based La Xarxa. Touching The Sky (1 x 52 mins) profiles a tradition in Catalonia where people gather to build a human tower (castell), with sometimes nearly two hundred people. Counts (2 x 52 mins/4 x 30 mins), written by Catalan author Albert Sanchez Pinol, recreates a typical Catalan settlement during the mysterious ninth and 10th centuries. Touching The Sky (La Xarxa)

MEDIASET SPANISH distributor Mediaset brings drama series Truth, (two seasons of eight episodes), about a young girl who turns up in a coastal city insisting that she is someone who disappeared a decade ago. The first 13 episodes are also available of State Secrets, a political thriller set against an assassination attempt on the Spanish prime minister, which unearths secrets within his close colleagues and puts a strain on his marriage.

Little Coincidences (Onza Distribution)

ORANGE SMARTY NEW SERIES The Secret Lives Of Slim People (4 x 30 mins/working title) is brought to Cannes by Orange Smarty. A follow-up to The Truth About Slim People, the series examines the behaviours and eating patterns of people who appear to be naturally slim. Other titles include observational film Stacey Dooley And The Hidden Homeless, focussing on three teenagers, and format Celebs On The Farm. Sabrina Grant, presenter of The Secret Lives Of Slim People (Orange Smarty)

PRIME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP PARIS- and LA-based producer and distributor Prime Entertainment Group brings a new season of Close Up (104 x 26 mins) to MIPCOM, a series that profiles the life and career of an A-list celebrity in each episode. The new 13-episode season includes Tom Hardy, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, Liam Neeson, Penelope Cruz and Bradley Cooper, among others.


Truth (Mediaset)

PORTFOLIO ENTERTAINMENT PORTFOLIO’s MIPCOM catalogue features two new animated series: Addison (50 x 11 mins), a CBC Kids-commissioned STEM-centric series about a young, female inventor; and Bubu And The Little Owls (26 x 11 mins/13 x 30 mins), which premiered earlier this year on Disney Junior. Portfolio also brings HD PBS Kids series, Cyberchase (114 x 30 mins). MIPCOM News 1 • 78 • 15 October 2018

QUEBECOIS studio Oasis Animation has recently completed the first phase of development for its new project, Billy Stuart (52 x 11 mins), based on a book series. Two Canadian broadcasters, Societe Radio-Canada and Television Francophone de l’Ontario, have confirmed their participation and Oasis is looking for co-producers and broadcasters in Cannes. Billy Stuart (Oasis Animation)






*Patent pending

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BEIJING-based Inmost Media is presenting its slate of long-running historical dramas in Cannes. Ruyi’s Royal Love In The Palace, features Ruyi, who learns the politics of the harem and climbs the ranks to become Empress. Queen Dugu is about a dynasty lead by a couple who initiated economic, agricultural and political reforms. Nothing Gold Can Stay is a complex family drama. The Wolf is about a wild boy taken in by an Emperor. Martial Universe Ruyi’s Royal Love In The Palace is a martial-arts adventure story. (Inmost Media)

PASSION Distribution brings an extensive slate of new programming to MIPCOM, including: Dr Christian: 12 Hours To Cure Your Street (10 x 60 mins), following a British mobile clinic; Emma Willis: Delivering Babies (6 x 60 mins), featuring presenter Emma Willis as she trains in a busy maternity ward; documentary series Inside The Foreign Office (3 x 60 mins); and observational reality series and format Postcode Dr Christian: 12 Hours To Cure Your Street (Passion Distribution) Playdates.

KWANZA THE EIGHTH season of Amazing Train Journeys (47 x 52 mins/94 x 26 mins/ HD) is presented at MIPCOM by France’s Kwanza. Other priorities include: Travelling Photographers (10 x 26 mins/HD), featuring photographers who document traditional societies; The Nature Effect (1 x 52 mins/4K), exploring the benefits of nature; and Paris Monuments: Defying The Nazis (1 x 52 mins/ HD). Kwanza is looking for pre-buy partners for its new nature series The Secret Of Wild Flowers (6 x 52 mins/HD).

STUDIOCANAL STUDIOCANAL launches Moscow Noir (8 x 60 mins) at MIPCOM, set in the corrupt world of Russian oligarchs. Starring Adam Palsson as a young, Swedish trader, the series was filmed in three languages; English, Swedish and Russian. The company also brings animated series Esther’s Notebooks (50 x 2 mins), a commentary on life today through Esther’s 10-year-old eyes, as she gently mocks society with her observations of family, friends and the people she meets.

RSI RADIOTELEVISIONE SVIZZERA RSI RADIOTELEVISIONE SVIZZERA is highlighting pre-school series Animalopus (20 x 2 mins) in Cannes. Emma and Luca love animals and have fun playing a game in which they imagine animals doing jobs, including as a firefighter, doctor or airline pilot. The series is available in French and Italian.

Moscow Noir (Studiocanal)


Animalopus (RSI)

THE STORY LAB THE STORY Lab brings new game-show format Evil Monkeys to Cannes, featuings celebrity contestants on a remote island who are set challenges by a group of fake apes so that they can secure freedom and win money for charity. The celebrities wear different sensory restraints in each game — one can’t see, one can’t hear and one can’t talk — forcing them to rely on each other.

GLOBAL Screen’s top titles include: After The Crash (4 x 52 mins), a psychological thriller following the search for the truth about the sole survivor of a plane crash, a baby girl, 18 years after the tragedy; new legal series Rule Of Light (6 x 48 mins), featuring an ambitious blind female lawyer; Alpine family series Racko – No Better Friend! (13 x 25 mins), starring a loyal dog; and the second series of Zombielars .

MBC KING OF Mask Singer features eight celebrities who compete in a singing competition behind masks, while the judges try to guess who they are. The Korean company also brings My Secret, Terrius, a drama about a single mother who uncovers a conspiracy in the arms company she works for, and is then recruited to be a government agent. King Of Mask Singer (MBC)

After The Crash (Global Screen)

MIPCOM News 1 • 80 • 15 October 2018


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US DISTRIBUTOR Air Bud Entertainment brings a range of family films to Cannes. Included are: Pup Star, which includes 13 original songs, about Tiny the pup in a singing competition; Pup Star: Better 2Gether, following Tiny as she swaps lives with a street pup; Pup Star: World Tour; Pup Star: Christmas, in which Tiny and P.U.P. are newlyweds; and Air Bud, about a friendship between young Josh and a golden retriever who can play basketball.

DISTRIBUTED by All3Media International and produced by OMG Scotland and Panda Television for CBBC in the UK, Last Commanders is a sci-fi computer-based children’s game show, which is also available as a format. Artificial intelligence Sciron has created a virus to take over a space station. Viewers join a freedom fighter to defeat Sciron using skype-like technology. Contestants choose their avatar — actors rigged with a camera and head set. The contestants then direct their avatar from their homes, cracking codes, tackling obstacles and overcoming challenges to find the Last Commanders (All3Media International) anti-virus.

Air Bud (Air Bud Entertainment)

FZ ENTERTAINMENT TOP TITLES from China’s FZ Entertainment include: pre-school series CoNaBLUE (52 x 11mins/HD/3D), following a detective team of animals who explore and protect nature; Block 930 (13 x 21mins/HD/2D), in production, an animated teenage sitcom about a racing team; and preschool animation Little Artist Remy Bear (50 x 9 mins).

BEJUBA!/KOKO ROSE MEDIA FLORA Of The Forest, a series mixing natural science and creativity, is a Koko Rose Media production in partnership with Bejuba!, which is also the distributor. Flora is a mini-citizen-scientist who lives in a treehouse with her mum and her ninja pocket bunny, best friend fox and her other forest favourites, and gets close to bugs, dirt, dung, rocks, animals and everything else kids love.

CoNaBLUE (FZ Entertainment)

AARDMAN INTERSTELLAR Ella (52 x 11 mins) is brought to MIPCOM by the UK’s Aardman. Aimed at 4- to 6-year-olds, the 3D CGI series features a girl and her friends as they have adventures around the galaxy. Along the way the audience learns about the solar system, space and how Earth is part of a bigger picture, with basic concepts of astronomy and astrophysics.

MAGNIFY MEDIA MAGNIFY Media presents new strategy game show Chase The Case in Cannes. Five contestants have a case containing a secret amount of cash, and answer questions to win visits to a vault where they learn information about their opponents’ cases. Another priority is scripted format High School Slut (season 1: 8 x 5 mins/season 2: 10 x 5 mins), following Laura, whose life is turned upside down when she sends her new boyfriend a sexy selfie which is leaked to the entire school.

Flora Of The Forest (Bejuba!/Koko Rose Media)

ABC COMMERCIAL ABC COMMERCIAL returns to Cannes with a new slate of comedy, factual, lifestyle and children’s titles, including: new comedy Back In Very Small Business (8 x 30 mins); Hannah Gadsby’s Nakedy Nudes (2 x 30 mins) and Hannah Gadsby’s OZ (3 x 30 mins), each following the comedian on an exploration of fine art; and The Street Vet (12 x 30 mins). Also launching is the third seasons of You Can’t Ask That (9 x 30 mins) and Black Comedy (6 x 30 mins); Dream Gardens (16 x 30 mins); Restoration Australia (14 x 60 mins); teen series What It’s Like (10 x 2-11 mins); and new series from The Wiggles. Back In Very Small Business (ABC Commercial)

High School Slut (Magnify Media)

MIPCOM News 1 • 82 • 15 October 2018


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ZDF ENTERPRISES (ZDFE) HIGHLIGHTS from ZDFE’s kids live-action roster include: The Worst Witch (39 x 28 mins/13 episodes in production), set in Cackle’s Academy for Witches; The Athena (26 x 26 mins), about a model who accuses a designer of treating her like an object; and Find Me In Paris (52 x 26 mins), about a Russian princess at the Paris Opera Ballet School who time-travels to the present day.

FRANCE TV DISTRIBUTION FRANCE TV Distribution is in Cannes with a slate of programming covering drama, documentary and kids series. Highlights include: Chronicles Of The Sun (235 x 22 mins), following the dramas of family, love and everyday life, set in the seaside city of Montpellier; the third season of Call My Agent! (6 x 52 mins), with further cameo appearances from celebrities; Crimson Wedding (6 x 52 mins), a murder mystery set in Provence; Kepler(s) (6 x 52 mins), set in a refugee camp in Calais; documentaries Apocalypse, Never Ending War (2 x 45 mins), The Secret Life Of The Garden (1 x 52 mins) and 2 Degrees, Threats To The Paris Agreement (1 x 70 mins); and animation series Rabbids Invasion (78 x 7 mins), Dimitri (24 x 5 mins/1 x 13 mins) and The Little Brown Bear (52 x 7 mins). Dimitri (France TV Distribution)

The Worst Witch (ZDFE)


ZODIAK KIDS ZODIAK Kids launches several original children’s series from Amazon Studios in Cannes. Included are: four seasons of animated pre-school series Tumble Leaf; two seasons of Creative Galaxy, two seasons of The Stinky And Dirty Show!; If You Give A Mouse A Cookie; Little Big Awesome; two seasons of Wishenpoof; Niko And The Sword Of Light; Lost In Oz; and live-action series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life On Normal Street. Also included are Christmas specials The Snowy Day, Click, Clack Moo: Christmas At The Farm and If You Give A Mouse A Christmas Gortimer Gibbon’s Life On Normal Street (Zodiak Kids) Cookie.

AT MIPCOM CAKE is launching Kiri And Lou, a stop-motion animation set in a forest of cut-out paper and featuring clay creatures. The pre-school series invites children to learn about kindness, empathy and how to get along. Kiri And Lou will air on TVNZ in New Zealand and CBC Canada next year.

Kiri And Lou (CAKE)


SCHOLASTIC ENTERTAINMENT SCHOLASTIC Entertainment is relaunching the pre-school series Clifford The Big Red Dog, featuring the larger-than-life dog and his best friend Emily. The first 13 episodes will be available outside the US beginning January 2020. In the US the series will premiere on Amazon Prime Video and PBS Kids this year. Global distribution is handled by 9 Story Distribution International.

INTAGLIO Films, the new scripted drama venture from Beta Film, ZDF Enterprises and ndF International Production brings a new series based on a novel by Frank Schaetzing. The Swarm (8 x 45 mins), the first Intaglio production, is due to begin in 2019. Shot in English, The Swarm is set in the present day where anomalies and unnatural behaviour in marine animals are causing upheaval all over the world. An international group of scientists joins the military to tackle one of the biggest challenges mankind has ever faced.


Clifford The Big Red Dog (Scholastic Entertainment)

GO-N Productions, based in Paris, is introducing the second season of the pre-school series about Simon the rabbit — Simon 2 — in Cannes, bringing the total number of episodes to 104 x 5 mins. Based on books published in over 20 countries, Simon 2 is co-proSimon 2 (GO-N) duced with France Televisions. MIPCOM News 1 • 86 • 15 October 2018


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MARBLEMEDIA MARBLEMEDIA is in Cannes with their latest completed kids and family productions, and a slate of projects in development. Super Mighty Makers (26 x 11 mins/13 x 22 mins), is a new crafting series in which, with the help of a crew of crafty superheroes, kids make projects for someone they care about. Also new episodes of Just Like Mom And Dad — a game show that tests how well families know each other — are availaSuper Mighty Makers (marblemedia) ble, as is the format.

ORF WILD Austria – Created By Water (2 x 52 mins) profiles the varied wildlife living in Alpine glaciers and mountains, ancient seas, rivers, lakes and caves. Another factual special from ORF is Ataturk – The Father Of Modern Turkey (1 x 52 mins), profiling the revolutionary character who changed the face of Turkey. From the drama slate comes Suburbia – Women On The Edge (30 x 48 mins), about how divorce for one of five female friends makes them rethink their lives.

Wild Austria (ORF)

DW TRANSTEL MOTORING Legends (7 x 30 mins) profiles some of the best cars in history, including the German classic Mercedes 300 SL, one of the most beautiful roadsters ever produced, the NSU Ro 80, as well as the origins of American classic, the Jeep.


Motoring Legends (DW Transtel)


NEW PRODUCTIONS from Paris-based Dandelooo include: Stinky Dog (26 x 13 mins), due late 2019; Billy The Cowboy Hamster, in development; Rita & Crocodile (26 x 5 mins); and Mily Miss Questions (104 x 7 mins). New to the Dandelooo roster are: Shooom’s Odyssey, due in 2019; Royals Next Door (52 x 13 mins); Petit (26 x 7 mins); Jar Dwellers (104 x 11 mins); Hungry Bear Tales (39 x 7 mins); and The Jolly Jesters (26 x 5 mins). The company also brings new seasons of The Treehouse Stories (77 x 7 mins); Ernest And Celestine (52 x 13 mins); and Kiwi (130 x 5 mins).

MIPCOM News 1 • 88 • 15 October 2018

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VOLCANO Hunter (6 x 45 mins) is a new series produced by Rooftop Content Group, in Cannes with Rooftop Film & TV. Guide Chris Horsley leads dangerous expeditions into active volcanoes, each one bringing him a step closer to his ultimate quest, Mt Erebus in Antarctica. On each expedition, he’s on his own personal mission to help the vulnerable communities that live on the volcano’s doorstep, from bringing new technologies, to collecting much-needed data that can help preVolcano Hunter (Rooftop Film & TV) dict the next eruption.

SILVERGATE Media brings the latest preschool series of Peter Rabbit to Cannes, based on the Beatrix Potter character, making the total episodes available to 102 x 11 mins and 5 x 23-minute specials. The company also brings: pre-school series Chico Bon Bon: Monkey With A Toolbelt (38 x 11 mins/1 x 22-minute special), premiering on Netflix (2019/2020), about a team of engineers; Fashion Ally (80 x 11 mins), due 2020/2021, about a little girl in the high fashion world; and four seasons of Octonauts (116 x 11 Peter Rabbit (Silvergate Media) mins/9 x 22-minute specials).

QUINTUS MEDIA QUINTUS Media offers documentary series Inside Navy Strategies (3 x 60 mins) at MIPCOM. With state-of-the-art CGI, the series provides unprecedented access to international NATO Naval manoeuvres, following the US Navy, and German and Norwegian Marines, with top ranking officers explaining strategies and putting the viewer on deck in the midst of the action. Inside Navy Strategies (Quintus Media)

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Studio 100

018_STUDIO 100_N18COM

104 x 7’

VISIT US @ MIPCOM BOOTH R7.C15 distribution@studio100media.com I www.studio100media.com I www.m4e.de

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MIPCOM News 1 • 89 • 15 October 2018

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BEIJING-based THS Media brings classic heroes to the screen with animation series Romance Of Three Kingdoms (52 x 25 mins), jointly produced by Beijing Glorious Animation and Future Planet of Japan. The story follows Liu Bei who embarks on a journey with his brothers to quell the chaos that plagues his homeland. Other priorities include: Qin-Han Heroes (52 x 25 mins) and Little Monster In Chicken (26 x 3 mins), in which three little monsters from foodie planet fall to earth.

BRAZIL’s TV PinGuim brings Tata (52 x 11 mins) to Cannes. The series, for 3to 5-year-olds and currently in development, features Tata the turtle and his beloved library. Another highlight is Ping And Friends (52 x 7 mins), a new music-based animation series that follows two inseparable friends who find Tata (TV PinGuim) musical inspiration in the most unlikely places. Ping And Friends aims to help pre-schoolers grow their vocabulary and discover rhythm and rhyme.

3BOXMEDIA INTERNATIONAL SALES SPANISH-German distributor 3Boxmedia brings its new wildlife releases Wild Italy: Top Predators and The Unknown Snake Of Bolivia to Cannes, alongside new specials including I’m The Best Iberian Red Deer and The Malaysian Snake Guardian. Other titles include: The Bone Reader, a forensic investigation of recent murders in Spain; the fourth season of travel/sport series Maraton Man; science series Searching For Life. On The Trail Of Exoplanets, in which astrophysicists, geologists and engineers share their latest research convinced that life extends throughout the cosmos; and World Heritage Spanish Cities, a 4K series looking at the historical and cultural heritage of 15 Spanish cities. Wild Italy: Top Predators (3Boxmedia International Sales)

Romance Of Three Kingdoms (THS Media)


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MIPCOM News 1 • 90 • 15 October 2018

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PARIS-based distributor Brazen (MIAM! animation) Miam! animation brings to Cannes Brazen (30 x 3.30 mins), a 2D series targeted at families and 10+-yearolds, adapted from the work of French illustrator Penelope Bagieu. Each episode profiles a woman who stood up against an unfair situation and helped to change the world, including an Apache warrior, a Hollywood star, a lighthouse keeper, a cosmonaut and an empress. Delivery is due at the end of next year. Other titles include: No-No (52 x 7 mins/1 x 26 mins), Little Malabar (26 x 4 mins), the fifth series of Fresh Out Of School (65 x 3 mins) and the fourth season of Kaeloo (52 x 7 mins).

ON THE MIPCOM slate from US distributor Acorn Media is: new English/ Welsh mystery drama Keeping Faith, starring Broadchurch’s Eve Myles; police series London Kills; nostalgic murder-mystery series Queens Of Mystery; Danish/New Zealand escapism in Straight Forward; new Irish sitcom Finding Joy; and Australian sitcom Sando.

ALFRED HABER TELEVISION ALFRED HABER has secured the exclusive worldwide rights (excluding the UK) to Help! My House Is Haunted! (12 x 60 mins), a reality show that helps families reclaim their homes from unwelcome spirits. Produced by MY Entertainment and back2back Productions, the series brings together three of the world’s leading paranormal investigators: the UK’s Barri Ghai, Sandy Lakdar from France and American medium and paranormal expert Chris Fleming.

NORMAAL ANIMATION NORMAAL returns to Cannes with the first season of preschool series Ella, Oscar & Hoo, (52 x 11 mins), based on the picture book from Michael Dudok De Wit. The show aired on Piwi+ in France, Knowledge Network in Canada and YLE in Finland. Ella, Oscar & Hoo (Normaal Animation)


Help! My House Is Haunted! (Alfred Haber Television)

MIPCOM News 1 • 91 • 15 October 2018

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BIG ANIMATION RELIANCE Animation and Big Animation bring the Bollywood character Singham to small screens for kids in their latest animated series Little Singham. The show highlights the heroic deeds of an eight-year-old super-cop. The series is produced in-house by Reliance Animation in collaboration with Rohit Shetty Picturez. Other titles on the MIPCOM roster include Little Krishna, Krishna Aur Kans and Shaktimaan.

BRAIN POWER STUDIO BRAIN Power Studio, with co-production partner Eugenio Perez, brings its latest family live-action project Beatrix And Peter (10 x 22 mins) to Cannes, based on the early life of the British children’s author and her relationship with her pet rabbit, Peter. The Canadian/UK co-production is currently in pre-production with delivery planned for 2020. Beatrix And Peter (Brain Power Studio)


BRYNCOED PRODUCTIONS BRYNCOED Productions presents adventure series Sandokan, in development with author Charlie Higson. Betrayed by his brother, robbed of his inheritance and presumed dead, Prince Omar enlists the help of a motley crew of pirates, adventurers and outcasts to win back what is rightfully his, and in the process saves the world. The company also brings Undercover Kid, a series about a boy who investigates what’s happened to his missing dad, who was investigating the conspiracy behind his mother’s death.

A MIPCOM priority for FNGCD is the second season of espionage thriller Deep State, starring Walton Goggins as a CIA operative. FNGCD is also launching programming from its partners in Fox Turkey and Fox Latin America. From Turkey comes Hayat Gibi (38 x 60 mins), produced by Medyapim, a heartwarming family generational drama. From Brazil, Impuros (10 x 60 mins), based on true events, is a drug thriller. And Talento Fox (13 x 60 mins) is a new primetime competitive reality show and format, a search for a new singing star. Impuros (FNGCD)

BBC STUDIOS FORMATS from the BBC include: comedy series High And Dry (6 x 30 mins), about a plane crash onto a tropical island and the narcissistic flight attendant who puts himself in charge; Dancing With The Stars: Juniors; Make Me a Dealer; game show Man V Robot; One Day That Changed My Life; King of Cakes; Shakespeare And Hathaway (10 x 45 mins); and Wannabe (4 x 25 mins). High-profile drama series and specials include Les Miserables, MotherFatherSon; Press; Brexit; Good Omens; Pure; and the fifth series of Luther.

MEDIA RANCH DISTRIBUTION TOP TITLES from Media Ranch includes The Judas (12 x 10 mins), an interactive ARG (alternate reality game) series and format written for digital platforms and originally broadcast in French on Radio-Canada.ca. The story of murder and revenge invites players to go to heart of the action. The Ex-pert (13 x 60 mins) is a series and format that demonstrates how people can separate amicably; and The Vault (10 x 50 mins) is a new game-show format where 12 contestants get the chance to play the main character in their own action movie.

High And Dry (BBC)

ITV A NEW drama production from ITV is Beecham House, starring Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol, Gregory Fitoussi, Adil Ray, Marc Warren, Pallavi Sharda, Dakota Blue Richards, Leo Suter and Bessie Carter. Set in Delhi on the cusp of the 19th century, before the British ruled in the region, the drama depicts the fortunes of the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by exotic woods and pristine lawns.

The Judas (Media Ranch Distribution)

MIPCOM News 1 • 92 • 15 October 2018

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JILIN ANIMATION INSTITUTE A CANNES priority for China’s Jilin Animation Institute is 3D series Frog Kingdom: The Adventure Of Fantasy Queen, the third instalment of the Frog Kingdom franchise. The film combines adventure and comedy within an atmosphere of being brave and positive.

THE FIRST project from distributor About Premium Content’s new production company Zephyr Animation is Adoonga (52 x 11 mins), co-developed and co-produced with South Korean studio Vooz, with APC Kids taking global distribution and licensing rights outside Asia and Latin America. Adoonga will be available in 2021.

Adoonga (APC Kids)


Frog Kingdom: The Adventure Of Fantasy Queen (Jilin Animation Institute)


LEFT POCKET ANIMATION STUDIO SHANGHAI-based Left Pocket Animation Studio brings Mini Mind Warriors (52 x 7 mins) to Cannes, an adrenaline boosting story of mini super-heroes. The company also brings pre-school series Emmy & GooRoo, about a creative and resourceful little girl, her best monster friend and their adventures in the Magic Mini Mind Warrior (Left Pocket Animation Studio) Forest.

YOBOHO/HOOPLAKIDZ YOBOHO/HooplaKidz is pitching a new concept in Cannes for a 3D show for kids aged two to five years, Captain Fun Time (104 x 3 mins), a spin-off of YouTube channel All Babies Channel. The mischievous non-dialogue pre-school show features four best friends. Another title is The Adventures Of Annie & Ben (two seasons of 26 x 7 mins), available in many languages, which aims to teach kids how to build friendships and explore different cultures.

Captain Fun Time (YoBoHo/HooplaKidz)

NEW GAD documentaries include: King Coffee (1 x 52 mins), looking at coffee culture; The Crude Poker Game (1 x 52 mins), about the power-grab for oil; Masters Of Bees (7 x 52 mins/15 x 26 mins); and SOS Vessel In Distress! (8 x 52 mins), looking at the timelines of shipwrecks. Other cultural titles include: Romeo And Juliet By Charles Gounod (1 x 150 mins), Francois-Xavier Roth Conducts Edgar Moreau (1 x 95 mins), Sir Simon Rattle Conducts Philip Cobb And Gavor Tarkovi (1 x 90 mins) and dance series Monuments In Motion (3 x 10 mins).

DRIVE’s MIPCOM catalogue includes: Healthy Appetite (8 x 30 mins), a new series and format that sees two top chefs each week compete to see who can reduce the unhealthy parts of their restaurant’s signature dishes; Queen Of The World (2 x 60 mins), a look at how the Commonwealth has been a passion throughout Queen Elizabeth II’s life; Warship: Life At Sea (4 x 60 mins), an observational documentary about HMS Duncan; USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter (1 x 60 mins), about the Second World War wreck; and How The VictoriHealthy Appetite (Drive) ans Built Britain (4 x 60 mins).

FREMANTLEMEDIA FREMANTLEMEDIA is at MIPCOM with a line-up of new programming.Dramas include: Taken Down (6 x 60 mins), about detective Jen Rooney who investigates the violent death of a young Nigerian migrant found abandoned close to a reception centre where refugees wait for political asylum; the second series of American Gods; period drama My Brilliant Friend (8 x 60 mins); and historical Indian story Beecham House (6 x 60 mins). Factual titles include: Expedition With Steve Backshall (10 x 60 mins); Manson: The Lost Tapes (2 x 60 mins); In Search Of (10 x 60 mins); and I Am Paul Walker (12 x 120 mins). Other highlights include: Nadiya’s Family Favourites (8 x 30 mins); Jamie Cooks Italy (8 x 60 mins); America’s Got Talent: The Champions; American Idol; and the 15th series of The X Factor.

Taken Down (FremantleMedia)

MIPCOM News 1 • 93 • 15 October 2018

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BARCELONA-based distributor GoldBee brings Chop Chop Ninja (40 x 11 mins/40 x 1.5 mins) to Cannes, which follows rookie Iro and his three best friends at the Ninja Academy. From fighting baddies to mastering the ninja art of stillness, Iro applies technique, attitude and heart to everything he does. Chop Chop Ninja was originally commissioned by Corus Entertainment for its Teletoon networks and will premiere in Canada later this year.

FEATURE films brought to Cannes by FilmRise include: The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, about a girl who is sent to a gay conversion therapy centre; Mountain Rest, about an aging actress who organises a weekend in a cabin with her estranged daughter; Life In The Doghouse, which tells the inspiring story of a dog sanctuary; and Mantovani And His Orchestra: The Television Specials. The company also brings documentary series Modern Hero which celebrates female trailblazers. The Miseducation Of Cameron Post (FilmRise)

J.O.K. FILMS PRESIDENT Me is a reality show in which for 12 weeks participants travel around the country and campaign to encourage people to vote for them as a future president. The participants analyse local problems and take part in debates. Another show from the Spanish company is drama series Puntu Coma (6 x 8 mins/4K) about a group of family and friends who are waiting for the main character in the story to wake from a coma.

Chop Chop Ninja (GoldBee)



PRE-SCHOOL series Dinosaur School follows little dinosaurs as they overcome difficulties, become inspired, learn new skills and knowledge and form good habits in school. What they learn are basic life skills, as well as tradi- Dinosaur School (Hangzhou Longgong Cultural & tional Chinese culture. Creative Co)

INK GROUP is highlighting two titles from its Cannes slate. Zafari is a new series that celebrates diversity. Zoomba is a fun-loving baby elephant who lives in Zafari, a secret valley at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Zoomba was mysteriously born with the stripes of a zebra and quickly finds that all the animals in the magical valley have also been born with the skin of other animals. The company also brings Masha And The Bear, a series about a mischievous little girl who wraps her bear friend around her little finger. Zafari (Ink Group)

ENDEMOL SHINE INTERNATIONAL (ESI) HIGHLIGHTS from the ESI roster include: The Bridge Malaysia (10 x 60 mins), the local adaptation of The Bridge; Insoupconnable (10 x 60 mins), the French version of psychological thriller The Fall; the sixth season of Australian period drama A Place To Call Home; the second season of Swedish drama Spring Tide; new bridal reality series Second Chance Dresses (22 x 30 mins); and UK real-crime series Murdertown (10 x 60 mins). New format titles from Endemol Shine Group include Heist, which sees eight people take part in a treasure hunt. If they can find and hide the treasure for two weeks from detectives determined to track them down, it’s theirs to keep.

The Bridge Malaysia (ESI)

PAROVOZ ANIMATION STUDIO FANTASY Patrol is an animated series, produced by Parovoz, about four girl friends who become a team dedicated to controlling the forces of fantasy and keeping the peace. Other Parovoz priorities include: Boo The Cat And The Good Boy, a rhyming musical series about friendship, honesty and taking responsibility for your actions; Be-be-bears, about Bucky the brown bear, Bjorn the polar bear and their friend Littlefox; and Leo & Tig, about a leopard and a tiger.

Fantasy Patrol (Parovoz Animation Studio)

MIPCOM News 1 • 94 • 15 October 2018

proDUct news



TELEWIZJA Polska brings three seasons of Polish Fairy Tales to Cannes. The collection of animations for children aged four to seven covers traditional, well-known stories in a colourful, humorous and violence-free series.

NEW SERIES Project Blue Book (10 x 60 mins) is brought to Cannes by A+E. Produced by A+E Studios, and executive produced by Robert Zemeckis, the drama is inspired by true events and chronicles the top-secret US Air Force-sponsored investigations into UFO-related phenomena in the 1950s and 1960s. The series follows Dr Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a college professor recruited to spearhead the Project Blue Book (A+E Networks) research of thousands of cases.

TRACE CONTENT DISTRIBUTION (TCD) Polish Fairy Tales (Telewizja Polska)

THE TELEVISION SYNDICATION COMPANY (TVS) KIDS reality series The Outsiders Club (33 x 30 mins/HD) is a MIPCOM priority for TVS. The series features kids taking part in outdoor adventures, including camping, sailing and hiking, on a quest to a healthier and more nature-connected lifestyle. Each episode includes a Fuel Lab segment showing kids how to make healthy food that is the fuel for the energy they need to have fun outside.

FRANCE-based TCD is launching a new series called Living The Dream Africa (7 x 27 mins), a reality show that follows an agent as she helps people find their dream home in Ghana — and soon in Senegal and Gambia. TCD also brings new animation series: Gabao (52 x 4 mins), teaching children how objects and machines work; Great Little Ones (14 x 3 mins) and Great Little Ones Babies (26 x 1 min), teaching children through rhythm and music; and Rac And Kino (12 x 3 mins), a show about two friends, one from Africa and the other from Europe. Hope, One In A Billion is a documentary about the first South African baseball player to reach the Major Leagues, and Trace Studio’s new reality show, #IamIbaka follows Congolese basketball player Serge Ibaka who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors.

Living The Dream Africa (TCD) The Outsiders Club (TVS)


NOVOCOMEDY COMEDY specialist Paris-based distributor, Novocomedy, is highlighting Nutri Ventures - The Quest For The 7 Kingdoms (52 x 22 mins) in Cannes, produced by Portugal-based Nutri Ventures. Aimed at children aged four to 10, the series was created to promote healthy eating in a positive creative environment.

NEW EPISODES of Beyblade Burst Turbo are brought to Cannes by Sunrights. The 51-episode series is to air on Disney XD, as were the first two seasons. Beyblade Burst Turbo introduces Aiger Akabane, a wild child who grew up surrounded by nature. Inspired by a chance Bey battle with the world champion, Aiger sets his sights on becoming an invincible Blader with the help of his Turbo Bey, Z Achilles.


Nutri Ventures - The Quest For The 7 Kingdoms (Novocomedy)

PROGRAMMING from channel Travelxp 4K HDR includes two shows that explore unusual destinations. Off The Grid explores remote, largely undiscovered places, featuring local people, history, food and culture. Backpack is the story of a solo wanderer on a mission to understand and experience the beauty, complexities and character of different places in the world. Off The Grid (Travelxp)

MIPCOM News 1 • 95 • 15 October 2018

proDUct news



CHINA’s Versatile Media brings Thingdom to Cannes, a film about Lucas who lives on an island with a serious rubbish problem. When his father fails to return from a sea trip Lucas sets off to find him. He is lost in a whirlpool of trash and wakes up in Thingdom, a fantasy island made of rubbish and inhabited by rubbish creatures. The company also highlights Great Yu Controls The Waters (12 x 15 mins), a series based on a Chinese legend.

TOEI Animation’s line-up includes an animated adaptation of Japanese book series, Butt Detective, about a detective with a butt-shaped head. Originally a children’s book, its irreverent character has become well-known in Japan. Bakutsuri Bar Hunter is a series for children aged seven to 12 in which barcodes are portals to another world. Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro is a new series about a supernatural yokai creature, Kitaro, who helps fight strange spirits.

Thingdom (Versatile Media)

41 ENTERTAINMENT (41E) TWO NEW 52 x 11-minute series are brought to Cannes by 41E, Superhero Summer Camp and Superhero Pets. The former features children of superheroes who brush up their skills in a summer camp. Superhero Pets follows, a cat with invisibility powers, a mind-reading hare, a shapeshifting cat, a flying dog, a super-smelling tortoise, and a dog with a supersonic bark.

MILLIMAGES MILLIMAGES brings the third season of Molang (52 x 3.30 mins) to Cannes, alongside 9 x 7-minute specials. Molang now numbers 156 episodes, plus specials covering halloween, Christmas and summer break. Other Millimages titles include: Pirata & Capitano, season two (52 x 11 mins); Louie & Yoko Build (78 x 7 mins); and Truck Games (26 x 5 mins).

CINEGROUPE TSHAKAPESH is a legendary Innu defender of Mother Earth who returns as a modern day superhero in Tshakapesh Superhero, brought to Cannes by Quebec-based CineGroupe. Another priority is Splish Splash (52 x 2.5 mins) a 3D animation series about five little clumsy drops of water — Splish, Splash, Flow, Blob and Dew.

Superhero Summer Camp (41E)

GOQUEST FORMATS AT MIPCOM India’s GoQuest Media Ventures, through its subsidiary GoQuest Formats, is highlighting game-show format The Indiscreet Call (65 x 35 mins). The format is a street game show where contestants can win money with their phone and contacts. The contestant chooses six contacts from their phone and answers a personal question about four of them. Each correct answer wins them money and after four correct answers they have the option to put the winnings at stake for the bonus question which could win them €1,000 — but one of the two remaining contacts must correctly answer a very personal question about the participant.

The Indiscreet Call (GoQuest Formats)

Tshakapesh Superhero (CineGroupe)

ZIG ZAG PRODUCTIONS ZIG ZAG returns to MIPCOM with three priority titles. Japandemonium (6 x 30 mins) celebrates the genre of physical shows from Japan. Fan TV: Call Yourself A Fan (13 x 30 mins) is a new quiz show featuring super fans of the top football teams. Frozen…Cryonics (1 x 60 mins) is an investigation into people who are paying to be cryonically preserved, gambling that the scientists of the future will be able to bring them back from the dead.

Japandemonium (Zig Zag Productions)

MIPCOM News 1 • 96 • 15 October 2018




Tuesday, October 16 14:00 - 14:30 Palais des Festivals Auditorium A (level 3)

Catherine Tait, the first woman to lead Canada’s national broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada, hosts a conversation on leadership and successful programming in a tumultuous media landscape. Learn how exceptional Canadian companies have positioned themselves within the international community by developing highly innovative business models. Join us and get inspired by their success.



Catherine Tait

Marie-Claude Beauchamp

President and Chief Executive Officer CBC/Radio-Canada


President and Producer Carpediem Film & TV

Tassie Cameron

Executive Producer and Co-Founder Cameron Pictures

Christina Jennings Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Shaftesbury





9.00-9.30, ESTEREL

9.30-10.30, AUDITORIUM A

9.00-10.15, AUDITORIUM K




‘DYNASTIES’ Presented by BBC Studios



10.30-11.45, AUDITORIUM K




By invitation

Presented by Rock Films Supported by Made in Russia


In partnership with Salesforce

9.40-10.20, ESTEREL


11.00-11.30, AUDITORIUM A


10.30-11.15, ESTEREL



Followed by Meet the Speakers







Session and Snack Lunch / Cocktail presented by CDIMC (an affiliate of CCTV)



14.15-15.00, ESTEREL


14.15-15.30, AUDITORIUM K




15.15-16.00, ESTEREL

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: WHAT DO BUYERS WANT? Supported by Sawa Media and Arab Telemedia Group

Presented by Eros Now


JAPANESE SCRIPTED: THE MAKING OF A GLOBAL HIT In partnership with MIC / BEAJ Followed by Sushi Cocktail

SUMMITS & EVENTS 12.30-14.30, MAJESTIC HOTEL Doors open at 12.00

Presented by Cineflix Rights and TV-3


15.45-17.00, AUDITORIUM A

In partnership with A+E Networks By invitation

‘MADRID ON FIRE’ (ARDE MADRID) Presented by Movistar+










‘ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA’ Presented by CBS Studios International Followed by Q&A with Ben Stiller, Executive Producer & Director


19.30-21.30, CARLTON GARDEN



SCREENINGS & WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENINGS Get an exclusive first look at the most-anticipated series from around the world.

news_monday.indd 1

12/10/2018 15:24





Chief Executive ITV

Chef, Campaigner







MIPCOM World Premiere TV Screening 18.30-20.00, Grand Auditorium Doors open at 18.00

Followed by Q&A with Ben Stiller, Executive Producer & Director

Presented by

Screenings ‘DYNASTIES’






Presented by BBC Studios 9.00-10.15, Auditorium K Presented by Rock Films Supported by Made in Russia 10.30-11.45, Auditorium K

13.15-14.15, Grand Auditorium and Balcony

Presented by Cineflix Rights and TV-3 14.15-15.30, Auditorium K

Presented by Movistar+ 15.45-17.00, Auditorium A

17.30-18.15, Esterel

Additional information in the MIPCOM Handbook and the MIPCOM app

news_monday.indd 2

12/10/2018 15:24







9.15-10.00, ESTEREL

9.00-9.30, AUDITORIUM A

8.30-9.45, AUDITORIUM K





9.30-10.00, AUDITORIUM A

10.00-11.15, AUDITORIUM K


10.15-10.45, ESTEREL



Followed by Meet the Speakers

Presented by TVP Polish Public Television


Presented by Studiocanal

10.15-10.45, AUDITORIUM A

Presented by Salesforce Breakfast served





Presented by Euronews- NBC










‘WAY TOO KAWAII!’ Presented by Nippon TV Followed by Sushi & Sake Lunch/Cocktail









In partnership with Fuji TV By invitation

By invitation


By invitation only



‘MATRIMONIAL CHAOS’ 17.15-18.30, AUDITORIUM K Screening starts at 17:30




15.30-16.00, ESTEREL



14.00-14.30, AUDITORIUM A

Presented by Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund and CBC/Radio-Canada Followed by Meet the Speakers

Presented by Korean Broadcasting System





Presented by Banijay Rights

Presented by ITV Studios Global Entertainment







J-CREATIVE PARTY In partnership with The International Drama Festival in Tokyo

Presented by Finland Film Commission


18.00-20.00, MAJESTIC HOTEL






By invitation

Presented by IMDA


‘THE PIER’ Presented by Beta Film Followed by Q&A with creators, producers & lead cast SCREENINGS & WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENINGS Get an exclusive first look at the most-anticipated series from around the world.

news_monday.indd 3

12/10/2018 15:24


Know your audience

Genderquake, a Channel 4 reality-TV show that explores gender identity


IPCOM’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative acknowledges that TV has blind spots — and a lot of them. “The lack of diversity across the screen industries is a long-standing problem and a well-known fact,” says Allan Niblo, producer and co-founder of UK-based Vertigo Films. “The statistics speak for themselves.”

Patrick Younge, managing director of London-based Sugar Films and a former BBC and Travel Channel US executive, says: “Not enough is done to diversify commissioning. I don’t assume they are not trying to do something about it. But there are not enough diverse voices at the commissioning stage to pick up the stories that I know are being pitched.” Every country’s TV shows need

Our screens should reflect the reality of viewers’ lives — all viewers, of all ethnicities, genders, sexualities, religions, backgrounds, abilities and disabilities. At the moment, they don’t. Juliana Koranteng reports to feature the nation’s varied ethnic groups, citizens with a wide range of physical abilities and disabilities, and groups from different social backgrounds. Universally, gender equality is a hot topic. In markets such as the UK, voices from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds are becoming more prominent. In the US, Latinx content by creators from Hispan-

MIPCOM News 1 • 101 • 15 October 2018

ic and Latino backgrounds are up in the top-rated shows. Likewise, the sexual orientation of LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual) individuals deserves parity in TV storytelling. “We are in a unique time where socially conscious programming is becoming more prevalent in response to the world around us,” says Lisa Caruso, head of

FEATURE: DIVERSITY & INCLUSION US content at production house Population Media Center. If you represent your audience in a genuine way, the industry can only thrive, argues Carmi Zlotnik, US-based Starz’s president of programming. “The recent conversations around diversity

and inclusion have raised awareness to new heights. It’s just good business.” And as Naomi Sesay, Channel 4’s on-screen diversity executive, points out, it is about everyone feeling acknowledged when watching a programme. “If you mention

BAME or a specific religion when promoting a show, people feel it’s about only that,” she adds. “We need to be language-mindful so that others don’t feel left out. The industry will progress because today’s young people are diverse by nature. When they think of diver-

sity, it will be different from the way we think of it today. So I’m truly optimistic.” Here, a cross-section of content executives explain how diversity in terms of topics, issues and narratives are being tacked on contemporary TV.

Lisa Caruso, head of US content, Population Media Center “Our five-time Emmy Award-nominated show East Los High, which was produced as a Hulu Original, Ana Langenberg, senior vice-president of format sales and has an entirely unknown allproduction, NBCUniversal Formats Latinx cast. The series was created by Carlos Portugal “We’ve launched a new E! show for the and Kathleen Bedoya, whom international market called The Diva we empowered to make a In Me. In Latin America, it launched programme that authentically as Drag Me As A Queen this April. draws on the experiences of the It’s presented by three incredible Latinx community. drag queens, who help 13 women “Increasingly, audiences are consuming stories that seeking to boost their self-esteem. transcend cultural references. They are watching foreignMarkets are looking for shows language programming that dramatises communities like this — including markets they might not be familiar with, but centre on issues and that have traditionally been very themes they are definitely familiar with. So telling great conservative, such as Chile. human stories can transcend things like language and “For us at NBCUniversal Formats, it’s still about geography. On the other hand, knowing your core audience entertainment and finding the right formats to fill TV is the first rule of good entertainment.” slots. But many of our clients are seeking to be more open-minded, because that’s what their audiences Gerrit Kemming, founder, Quintus Media want. It seems as if the whole world is moving on and we, as an industry, have to adapt. “We don’t have a specific policy about “Safe Harbour, another of our scripted shows by diversity but, as a commercial internaMatchbox Pictures in Australia, also reflects how tional distributor, we look at each kind diversity on the screen can be the result of a truly of show that will sell worldwide. There compelling story. It’s about a group of Australian are some that have non-typical topics that friends on a sailing trip who come across a stormhave diverse voices, but still make financial damaged boat packed with asylum seekers. sense to make. Five years later, we learn how that incident “An example is The Most Dangerous Ways drastically changes the protagonists’ lives. To School, a documentary co-produced “We are bringing Safe Harbour as a format to by ARTE in Germany and France, and GerCannes for the first time. It’s powerful, touches man production house Maximus Film. Each sensitive immigration issues, addresses episode focuses on a remote region, where people’s values and prejudices, and features children need to overcome massive physical obstacles, such as climb a diverse cast.” mountains, cross wide rivers or negotiate lion-infested bush, just to get an education and have a better life. And it’s told from the children’s perspective. “Now in its third season, The Most Dangerous Ways To School is airing in more than 120 countries. We’ve also just delivered its spinoff, Planet School, to networks in Europe, including France and Germany. The series takes us into some of the most extraordinary schools in the world, including an Indian school with about 47,000 students. “Because of the growing number of digital platforms, there is more diversity, with the audience able to watch what they want, compared to the days when there were only 10 channels on TV.”

MIPCOM News 1 • 102 • 15 October 2018

MIPCOM News≥° -÷–π˙ 200_CCTV_N1_COM






— 5mm, 300DPI£ .pdf 1 2018/10/7 下午3:41











Alastair Sooke photographed by Richard Cook


Julie Meldal-Johnsen, director of global content, ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE)

Esther van Messel, CEO, First Hand Films

“I was born in Vienna to Dutch parents and grew up in Switzerland. I am also Jewish. So I don’t get the concept of borders. We have both peo“Our subsidiary Mample of colour and a few old white dudes in our moth Screen had the rights films, because I want to make all kinds of stoto Noughts & Crosses, the ries to sell internationally. award-winning series of young“This industry is still not as diverse as it adult alternate-history books by should be. In half a century of history, diMalorie Blackman, who used to be versity on TV has been really limited. In the UK’s children’s laureate. Mamfact, in recent years, there has been a moth is making a premium-qualglass wall — as opposed to a glass ceility adaptation on a very ambitious ing — that I keep running into. budget for primetime on BBC One, “Primas – Courageous Cousins is a film about two Argentine with a very significant investment by ITVS GE. Noughts & teenage girls who overcome sexual abuse and discover a new Crosses is an example of how diversity can be achieved, bepower in art and dance. Released this year, it has sold theatcause it is creatively interesting. It explores love and racial isrically in several countries, including the US and France, but sues by turning everything conventional upside down. it has not had one single broadcast deal. That was the trig“Mammoth’s Damien Timmer optioned the Noughts & Crosses ger that made me examine what was actually happening in trilogy in 2013. Drama development takes a very long time, so the TV industry. One German broadcaster told me: ‘It’s too it was not done to tick the diversity box. Yet, it’s original, unique, far from what my audience wants.’ And even interested fresh, modern and diverse. broadcasters put the film under the ‘social’ category, as “Drama has always been important for Netflix, but it has opposed to ‘current affairs’. now found a great award-winning reality show with the LG“Another film in our catalogue is Jaha’s Promise, which is BTQ-themed Queer Eye. It’s just been re-commissioned for a about a fearless US-based activist who returns to her nathird season to air next year. tive Gambia to empower young girls to stand up against “We also believe Gold Digger, made by Mainstreet Pictures for BBC the tradition of FGM [female genital mutilation]. That One, will be popular. It’s about a lady in her sixties who falls in love deserves a great slot on TV. with a much younger man, whose motives are questioned by her chil“Sometimes, there is positivity. For example, the BBC dren. We’re also very pleased with Harlots, an all-female period drama just did a season on TV, radio and online featuring by Monumental Pictures, which premiered last year.” works by women creators called Hear Her. But I feel a lot of people have an unconscious bias. We need Naomi Sesay, on-screen diversity executive, to have the courage to accept that not everything Channel 4 has to be male and white — nor should films about women be limited to special observances, such as “Channel 4 was set up by the an International Women’s Day.” UK government in 1982 to focus on the British audience, and its Allan Niblo, producer and co-founder, Vertigo Films original remit for multiculturalism is even more important now. “We had a big success with It’s All Gone We have not hit our remit’s marks Pete Tong, a story about a deaf DJ, all the time, so we’re trying to see which inspired many with its unique where the gaps are to make our aurepresentation of that disability. We dience feel included. also executive produced and distrib“In the past 12 months, we’ve had the uted Penny Woolcock’s 1 Day, which drama series Ackley Bridge, which is set gave a voice to gang culture in the in a multicultural academy school in a fictional northern England UK city of Birmingham. And we town. It addresses, among other issues, segregation and the LGproduced the hit TV series BulletBTQ community among British Asians. The cast members are not proof, which stars two of the UK’s just famous actors — many of the young people in the show were rising talents, Noel Clarke and selected from the street.This gives the series authenticity, so it resoAshley Walters, and is gearing nates with the audience. Ackley Bridge premiered in 2017 and a third up for season two. season has been commissioned. “Bulletproof illustrates true authentic diversity because “Kiri, the acclaimed four-part crime mini-series that aired early this the show has two lead black actors, who are given year, is about the abduction and death of a young black girl, plus enough screen time to deal with 360-degree characthe role of her foster parents and a disorganised social-care system. ters and the world they inhabit. It shines a light on We’ve also got Genderquake, a reality-TV show featuring trans men areas that we have seldom seen on the screen. As it and women that explores gender identity. was created by and stars two black actors with big “We admit we could do better. Over the summer, we looked at our top-100 fan bases, it also sent a very strong message to that shows and asked whether they represented diverse talent in all its forms. community, that their voices and stories can be We noticed, for example, that we didn’t have enough people with disabiliheard.” ties. We welcome all kinds of criticism because it keeps us on our toes.” MIPCOM News 1 • 104 • 15 October 2018


MONDAY OCT 15 09.30 10.00


10.00 10.30


10.45 11.45

ZDF ENTERPRISES: EMBRACING UHD Doclights, Primitive Entertainment Inc., Spiegel TV, Screen Glue, True to Nature, ZDF Enterprises

14.00 15.00

FACTUAL PROGRAMMING: MAKING A UHD IMPACT Fremantle, True to Nature, TPO Rock, Rock Film, The Explorers

15.15 16.15


WEDNESDAY OCT 17 10.45 11.45


14.30 15.30


15.30 16.30


16.30 17.30


TUESDAY OCT 16 10.00 11.00


11.15 12.15


14.30 15.30

WHY MUSIC CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH 4K/HDR Viacom Int’l/MTV, United, Paramax Films, Nomobo, Stingray

16.00 17.15

NEW FACTUAL PROGRAMMING FOR MAXIMUM UHD IMPACT France TV Distribution, K2 Studios, French Connection, Etoile Noire, Injam, CGTN

THURSDAY OCT 18 09.30 11.30

NON-STOP ULTRA-HD Continuous screenings of the best in UHD from our speakers

14.00 15.00

NON-STOP ULTRA-HD Continuous screenings of the best in UHD from our speakers

Chairman : Chris Forrester, journalist and industry consultant

In partnership with

programme_handbook_160x240_daily_news_1.indd 1

10/10/2018 15:04

FEATURE: DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Patrick Younge, managing director, Sugar Films

Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming, Starz

“Our drama series Power was creat“In the UK, there are more ed, written and produced by an Afriblack and brown people on can-American woman — Courtney the screen. I see more peoKemp Agboh — and starred a primarily ple like me compared to beAfrican-American cast, as well as Latifore. But while there are more nos and Asians. Power is the numof them, it still doesn’t reflect ber-one show on our network, one my reality. of the highest rated series in premi“There are more shows featurum cable and is hugely successful ing the disabled, but they are around the globe. still not good enough. The BBC “Another of our shows, Vida, has has had an Asian season — The a Latinx creator, Tanya Saracho, Big British Asian Summer. That’s a whole slew of talent an all-Latinx writers’ room and directors in season that you hope will go on to do more things, but it’s still not two, plus Latinx and LGBTQIA cast and characters. enough and certainly not happening fast enough. Outlander, American Gods, The Girlfriend Experi“A wider range of voices is a good thing. Think about Keepence and upcoming Now Apocalypse have female ing Faith, the hit UK drama series originally commissioned leads and/or wildly diverse casts, and/or LGBTQIA by BBC Wales and S4C and set in a rural part of Wales. Initially, themes and characters. it went straight to iPlayer, the BBC’s catch-up TV platform. It “What is notable about each of these series and was as if, because it was set in Wales and not London, no one has been highlighted in the media coverage is would be interested. After going viral and getting millions and how authentic they are in terms of portraying the millions of downloads on iPlayer, Keeping Faith went on BBC worlds in which they are set and the characters One and been described as the BBC’s most successful non-broadwithin them.” cast drama in more than 20 years.”









www.kazachok.com Nathalie Chouraqui nc@kazachok.com +33(0)1 55 95 00 25

Virginie Lopez vl@kazachok.com +33(0)6 99 60 69 03

MIPCOM News 1 • 106 • 15 October 2018


MEET US AT MIPCOM BOOTH P-1.C23 www.asiatvforum.com

M A R I N A B AY S A N D S | S I N G A P O R E Held in conjunction with:

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4 DEC 2018

ATF Leaders’ Summit

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5-7 DEC 2018

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What’s on the menu for MENA?

The TV sector in the MENA region is on a roll, triggering a demand for both local and international content. The needs of its content buyers will be addressed in today’s session, Middle East And North Africa: What Do Buyers Want? Juliana Koranteng takes a sneak preview

NBCUniversal Television Distribution’s Top Chef Dubai


V NETWORKS, SVOD platforms and other distribution outlets across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are seeking acquired international content to complement the growing demand for original Arabic-language fare. Expect to meet buyers this week from, among other platform operators, Dubai-headquartered MBC Group, OTT video platform Viu, Hawas TV and the Saudi Broadcasting Authority (formerly SBC). “MBC will always need to supplement its programming with acquired programming,” says Lina Matta, director of the MBC 2, MBC 4, MBC Max and MBC

Variety channels belonging to MBC Group, the region’s biggest broadcast conglomerate and arguably the world’s first commercial pan-Arab TV service. Matta works closely with each of these channels to figure out their respective content strategies, communicate these to the international market and relay her findings back to the relevant programme commissioners. “I work with MBC’s different acquisition departments, which comprise the western acquisition department, the Arabic department and the non-western acquisition department,” Matta adds. “It’s a partnership and a very collaborative process. They are the

ones who know the DNA of all of MBC channels. They suggest titles to me to consider; I point out titles for them to look into. The channel makes the decision on the shows we end up broadcasting, but the deals are negotiated and struck by the acquisition departments.” In addition to investing directly in MBC-made Arabic drama, the company is looking for localised versions of reality formats similar to American Idol, Project Runway and Top Chef. The MBC 4 network also airs international non-scripted shows, including Keeping Up With The Kardashians and America’s Got Talent. This continues a legacy from

MIPCOM News 1 • 109 • 15 October 2018

MBC’s beginnings in 1991 when, as the first subscription-funded satellite-delivered pan-Arab TV platform, it relied mostly on Hollywood and other western entertainment content. Since then, however, demand for local and localised shows from countries with similar conservative cultures has grown. “Much of the Arabic drama on MBC 4 is Egyptian, Lebanese or a co-production with both,” Matta says. Female-focused MBC 4 is also home to a variety of dubbed scripted shows from the US — examples includes Elementary, Veep and New Girl — and South Korea (Boys Over Flowers and Rooftop Prince). Brazilian tele-


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FEATURE: MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA novelas, with up to 120 episodes per season, as well as Spanish super-series with 20 or so episodes also play well with female viewers in the MENA region. However, these tend to be scheduled as filler programmes rather than primetime anchor shows. High-end dramas are usually positioned as schedule anchors, but recent political skirmishes have had an impact on what can and cannot be aired on MBC. Content distributors have always needed to exercise caution when selling foreign-made shows into a region where a large Muslim population influences all things religious, political and cultural. But the popularity of high-quality Turkish drama in the Arab world has been phenomenal. At one point, the likes of MBC were spending about six hours a day airing Turkish content. One of MBC’s most successful Turkish dramas is female-empowerment mega-hit Fatmagul, produced by Ay Yapim. But such offerings came to an abrupt halt in March, when MBC stopped airing any Turkish-made contemporary dramas. MBC’s Matta admits the decision was made because of “political considerations”. According to media reports, the Saudi Arabia government ordered MBC-owner Waleed bin Ibrahim al-Ibrahim to stop importing and showing Turkish shows as part of a political crackdown. Whatever the truth, there is no more Turkish drama on MBC. This has prompted the company to pivot its content strategy by investing more money in producing its own Arabic-language dramas instead. “We now have an opportunity to put the money used for buying Turkish content into Arabic drama and this is our new direction,” Matta says. “Turkish drama had become too expensive, going from $4,000 per episode to $200,000. Because it resonated with the local Muslim community and had become a hugely popular genre, the demand for Turkish drama among the different platform operators had become too competitive.”

Slave Hunters, a popular title for MBC

Lina Matta:

“Turkish drama had become too expensive, going from $4,000 per episode to $200,000” MBC is not a total novice when it comes to producing drama in house. It hit the headlines back in 2010 when its Dubai-based subsidiary 03 Productions started to co-produce drama with Istanbul-based subsidiary 03 Medya for the MENA market. These co-productions included the hit romance Kaderimin Yazildigi Gun (The Day My Destiny Is Written). The company took its in-house production ambitions to the next level in September this year when it merged 03 Productions, 03 Medya and Saudi Arabia-based AlSadaf to create MBC Studios, a film-and-TV content powerhouse targeting MENA viewers. MBC Studios’ premium content will be available to the region’s broadcast, pay-TV and SVOD platforms, as well as cinemas.

The move coincided with Saudi Arabia, MENA’s richest economy, opening its first cinema theatre in 35 years this April. The Kingdom’s strict censorship laws had banned many forms of entertainment for decades. And because of the absence of cinemas, the MBC 2 channel focusing on Arab, Hollywood and other international films, had been the main source of the region’s movie entertainment. Now, MBC and its rivals are changing their content production and acquisition strategies as they exploit and explore the massive potential that should come from the Saudi government’s decision to unleash $64bn into developing its media and entertainment industries. The newly created MBC Studios and similar ventures will be ready to exploit the opportunities that this new investment will bring. These are likely to include more co-productions targeted at the new generation of MENA citizens that are watching content on digital platforms. According to World Bank and United Nations figures, the MENA region is very youthful. More than 28% of the population of the Middle East is between 15and 29-years-old. In the MENA markets, with their combined

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population of more than 437 million, around 60% is under the age of 25. By the end of last year, there were more than 164 million internet users and 116.5 million Facebook subscribers in the Middle East alone. A significant proportion of the region is therefore internet-savvy, with YouTube and Twitter being a major source of content for young viewers. It is interesting to note that these two social-media platforms contributed much to the communication strategy that drove the 2010 Arab Spring uprising protesting against dictatorship and poverty. But the economic gap in MENA ranges from ultra-affluent Qatar and Saudi Arabia to war-torn Yemen and Syria. Targeting young consumers is key to the long-term strategies of the region’s broadcasters. MBC, for example, is upping its commitment to Shahid, its catch-up TV service, as well as to Shahid Plus, its SVOD platform. “Shahid Plus has bought dramas that are exclusive to it — and these are dramas made for broadcast TV, not digital-first platforms,” Matta says. How foreign dramas are packaged for next-gen audiences needs to be taken into account by content sellers, Matta adds: “There is a sub-culture of Korean lifestyles


Lina Matta, director channels belonging to MBC Group

that is popular among young people in the MENA region. They also want to watch Korean shows in the original language, so they are sub-titled on our digital platforms.” Another buyer from the MENA region is Wesam Kattan, vice-president of content and brand marketing at Dubai-based VuClip and Viu, both of which are part of Asian conglomerate PCCW Media. VOD service Viu reaches 18 countries in SouthEast Asia and the MENA region. “As we are focused on a localised approach, we are looking for local content that is most relevant to the audience in our respective

Hawas TV’s Muhammad Shakir

markets and, more specifically, our core TV audience,” Kattan says. “So we will never go after the big Hollywood titles, for example — but we might consider foreign content that has local relevance or is enjoyed locally by certain segments. The focus today is on movies and drama series.” As its business in the MENA markets is relatively new, Viu’s acquisition strategy is influenced by its more established enterprise in South-East Asia. It operates an extensive library of Korean shows, many of which are simulcast with the original Korean broadcasters. In terms of original content, Viu

Wesam Kattan of Dubai-based VuClip and Viu

is ready to localise successful foreign scripted formats. For example, its Malaysian unit recently unveiled plans to join forces with HBO Asia to co-produce a multiplatform Asian version of iconic Nordic noir drama The Bridge. “We are very excited about this project, as localising international titles is something we are considering as we move forward in the MENA region,” adds Kattan, whose CV includes stints with MBC, MTV Arabia and Rotana Media Group. Muhammad Shakir is business development manager in charge of content at Hawas TV, the satellite-delivered digital platform that specialises in Arabic-lan-

South Korean crime series Bad Guys, popular with Hawas TV’s subscribers

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guage entertainment. Headquartered in Dubai Studio City in the United Arab Emirates and launched in 2005, Hawas TV is available via a dedicated mobile app and YouTube, and is live-streamed on its website. It is also promoted heavily via social media. According to Shakir, the platform is currently looking for talk shows, game shows, contemporary-music shows and fashion shows. Dubbed international dramas also resonate with Hawas TV’s subscribers. These have included telenovela Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord from Colombian network Caracol TV, and South Korean crime series Bad Guys. “Both series had very high-quality content, structure, a lot of drama and action, an element of suspense and thrills. That made them popular,” Shakir says. He adds that the demand for original Arabic-language drama such as Haroon Rasheed also continues to grow. The variety of entertainment needed by MENA’s TV services is making the region of growing interest to international distributors. Discovery Global Enterprises (DGE) has had a Dubai office since 2014 and sells a variety of genres, including culture, nature, science and history. Following Discovery’s merger with Scripps Networks Interactive earlier this year, content from Scripp’s Food Network, Travel Channel, HGTV and DIY Network will also get a push in MENA.

FEATURE: MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA In terms of MENA’s preferences, “content that inspires curiosity about the world is timeless,” says Anna Tomaszewska, DGE’s programme sales director for CEEMEA and France. “For example, Discovery Atlas, Atlas 4D and 100 Greatest Discoveries are shows that continue to be popular in the region. Interestingly, we now sell crime shows like I (Almost) Got Away With It and Disappeared in MENA, which we didn’t do 10 years ago and is a sign of how much the market’s viewing habits have changed in recent years.” Discovery franchises like Bear Grylls’ Man Vs Wild and Wild Frank also have a large following in MENA. “Food shows Cake Boss: Next Great Baker also perform well across North Africa, where there is a huge appetite for cooking shows, as is shown by the success of our Arabic food

channel Fatafeat,” Tomaszewska adds.

portant for us for both scripted and non-scripted formats.”

Anna Tomaszewska:

One of NBCUniversal Television Distribution’s biggest international hits is the Dubai iteration of culinary reality format Top Chef on MBC 1. “It’s growing in terms of audience and scale,” Worrall says. “The first episode opened in the Burj Khalifa — officially the world’s tallest structure — and the judges had to be dropped in. It was a benchmark for MBC, featuring Arabic food and contestants from all over the Arabic world, including a female chef.” She adds that NBCUniversal Formats is also extending the Top Chef brand with pop-up restaurants in the region, as well as merchandise. Another successful format is Saturday Night Live, the late-night comedy sketch show on the US’ NBC network. “You would have thought it would never work in

“There is a huge appetite for cooking shows, as is shown by the success of our Arabic food channel Fatafeat” NBCUniversal Formats recently saw its associations in MENA grow when Peter Smith, former NBCUniversal International president, was appointed head of the newly created MBC Studios. But as Hannah Worrall, vice-president of formats sales and production at NBCUniversal Formats, points out: “The MENA region is very, very im-

the Middle East because of the sensitive cultural and political issues,” Worrall says. “But it was a matter of bringing in the right local expertise to develop the show.” NBCUniversal Formats is now investing in marketing its scripted formats, which include Suits — the legal drama that airs on NBCUniversal’s USA Network — and family drama Parenthood. Worrall says this has been a rewarding learning curve for the company: “We are working with a writers’ room in Saudi Arabia with local and US writers. We’ve learned that MENA broadcasters are reluctant to go straight to series — they want a pilot first because they are risk averse. But you can work with commercial partnerships to get pilots going in the first place. That’s not always the simplest method but, when it works, it does so brilliantly.”


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No rules, no borders, no limits

A-list stars, exotic locations, production wizardry — there’s no question that the SVOD giants have transformed the industry’s approach to creativity, along with audience behaviour and expectation. Andy Fry looks at the challenges and opportunities for content creators in the streaming age

FX’s Atlanta, “an example of how the creative and cultural constraints on comedy have been removed”


HE ARRIVAL of Netflix and Amazon, and the ensuing fightback by the pay-TV and free-TV players have transformed the scale and ambition of TV drama. Emmy nominees including Netflix’s The Crown, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Showtime’s Patrick Melrose and FX’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story scratch the surface in terms of what is now on offer to viewers in this golden age of scripted TV. It is not just the level of ambition that has changed, however

— it is also the creative freedom that is evident across the international market. “For me, one of the biggest shifts is that producers no longer have to create content for specific broadcast slots,” says Stuart Baxter, president of eOne Television International. “SVOD has changed the rules so creatives have more freedom to try different things. Then you have to couple this with the fact that the global viewing audience is so large and disparate. This means that there is sufficient critical mass for producers to try all kinds of different genres of scripted programming.”

Stuart Baxter:

“SVOD has changed the rules so creatives have more freedom to try different things” It is unlikely, Baxter says, that eOne would have become involved with a mini-series like Gaddafi, developed by Roberto Saviano (Gomorrah), a decade ago. “This is a multilingual drama [in Arabic, Italian and English] about a Libyan dictator. After se-

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ries like Narcos and Deutschland 83, it’s a great illustration of how the range of scripted TV has grown.” The richness of the new creative landscape is equally evident in period drama, which is no longer restricted to a few iconic novels and universally known subjects. “We are in development on A Gentleman In Moscow,” Baxter says. “It’s a fabulous period piece based on the novel by Amor Towles. It follows an aristocrat who is placed under house arrest in a Moscow hotel for 40 years and sees history unfold through his window. Kenneth Branagh is now attached to star.”


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FEATURE: SVOD CONTENT There is also a sense, Baxter adds, in which the SVOD platforms can offer a creative renaissance — an opportunity to revisit ideas and reformulate them. He cites the example of Designated Survivor, cancelled by ABC after two seasons, but rescued by Netflix for season three. Netflix will make the show less procedural in tone and drill down on topical issues, such as political campaigning, smear tactics and fake news. Sonar Entertainment’s executive vice-president of television series, Jenna Santoianni, agrees that the barriers to creativity are down: “No one is saying you can’t make a show about this anymore,” she says. “The TV industry has learned that the audience is smart and engaged, and not to underestimate it.” That was why Sonar felt comfortable boarding Das Boot, which has an international cast and is told across three languages. “I’m not sure that would have happened five or 10 years ago but, now, the reception to non-English-language drama has changed completely,” Santoianni says. In terms of other Sonar projects that “push the envelope”, Santoianni picks out The Hunt, the much-anticipated Jordan Peele drama for Amazon Prime: “That will be a wild ride. It’s set in a 1970s world where the US government has been complicit in giving key strate-

Das Boot “told in three languages”

gic jobs to former Nazis, and these Nazis are now planning to build a Fourth Reich. They are challenged by a group of New York-based Nazi hunters, who set out to bring them to justice.” The paradigm shift in creative approach also extends to the length of shows, Santoianni says: “There’s no formula regarding the number of episodes, or even episode length. Increasingly, it’s about who has the creative vision, and what they think is best for the show.”

Designated Survivor was cancelled by ABC after two seasons, but has been rescued by Netflix

Jenna Santoianni:

“There’s no formula regarding the number of episodes, or even episode length. Increasingly, it’s about who has the creative vision, and what they think is best for the show” This willingness to trust the creative talent regarding length is made possible to some extent by the trend towards binging, which itself opens up another debate about the importance of narrative hooks and cliffhangers. When viewers are watching two or three episodes of the same show back to back in one night, perhaps stopping mid-episode and picking the show up again later, or even on a different device, the pressure to conform to traditional lengths is diluted. Perhaps not surprisingly, diversification in subject has also allowed the TV industry to cut loose in

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terms of screen representation. While the industry still has some way to go behind the camera, there has never been such a rich array of female-led TV drama, with Killing Eve, Glow, Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale notable examples. With Killing Eve having sold around the world and recommissioned for a second season, Endeavor Content’s Laura Andrews, vice-president of scripted programming, and agent Lorenzo de Maio, say the show reinvents a traditionally male-dominated genre through a female, diverse, character-driven perspective: “In many ways, it captures what we’re focusing on: projects that cut through the noise with a unique voice and point of view to achieve critical acclaim as well as success internationally. We’re really proud of the response from audiences around the world.” In a similar vein, comedy is no longer the preserve of white casts, thanks to the creative renewal driven by SVOD and adopted by pay TV and free TV. Atlanta, Black-ish, Dear White People, Master Of None, The Mindy Project and Chewing Gum are examples of how the creative and cultural constraints on comedy have been removed.


Killing Eve “reinvents a male-dominated genre”

How people self-identify sexually is also undergoing an overhaul. After eOne’s polyamorous drama You Me Her last year, All3Media International has just reported early pre-sales for The Bisexual. A six-part series written, directed and starring Desiree Akhavan, the show explores the differences between dating men and women from the perspective of a person who finds herself doing it. Commissioned by Channel 4 and Hulu, The Bisexual has been picked up by Stan in Australia and Canal+ Group, which will broadcast it in France and all its territories. Stan chief content officer Nick Forward says Akhavan’s “unique take on the complications of modern dating is incredibly timely”. The notion that nothing is now off-limits extends to books that may have previously been thought of as impossible to adapt for TV. Netflix is just getting its teeth into Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, while Paramount is on board George Clooney’s adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. Paramount Pictures’ president of worldwide television, Dan Cohen, says: “It’s interesting to see how a production like Catch 22 is appealing to channels and platforms right

across the spectrum, from Hulu in the US to Channel 4 in the UK via Sky Italia.” Like Santoianni, Cohen says distributors have learned — within reason — to be comfortable with whatever length the producer chooses to deliver: “We work

with what the creative side come back with. Catch 22 is complete in six episodes and Yellowstone is 10. But with Paramount TV’s new adaptation of The Vampire Chronicles novels, we’re looking at a franchise that has the potential to return.”

The Bisexual, “a unique take on the complications of modern dating”

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With 70% of Paramount’s TV revenues coming from international, Cohen says his division is “definitely interested” in foreign-language scripted content. He adds: “There are some great shows out there like Gomorrah, so it’s important for us to view scripted as a global market. I think it’s interesting that Argentine channel Telefe is making a Spanish-language version of the Alfred Hitchcock movie To Catch A Thief.” Another creative element that has become core to the new TV age is the increasing importance that is being placed on directorial vision. While strong IP, recognisable casts and proven showrunners are all important elements in the package, a distinctive directorial vision is regarded as a way of cutting through the clutter of competition. Cohen cites Jean Marc Vallee (Big Little Lies; Sharp Objects, produced by eOne and Blumhouse for HBO) as a high-profile example. “And we now have Cary Fukunaga [True Detective; Bond 25] lined up on the limited series Maniac,” he adds.

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FEATURE: SVOD CONTENT Increasingly, this emphasis on directorial vision is not just about cutting through the clutter, but also about finding a way to produce a story that will resonate across borders, cultures and languages. While it would be wrong to call this a comprehensive or universal trend — there are plenty of dramas that work in the opposite direction — there is no question that a growing number of dramas are paring back scripts and relying more heavily on visual components. eOne’s Baxter also cites the growing importance of “music and the use of silence”. Liam Keelan, scripted portfolio director at BBC Studios, says a similar point can be made about landscapes and locations, which have almost come to be characters in contemporary international dramas. “You saw this in War And Peace and it’s present again in our upcoming adaptation of Les Miserables,” he adds. “More than ever, it feels like you need to be producing the definitive ver-

Kevin Costner stars in 10-part series Yellowstone

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FEATURE: SVOD CONTENT sion of a story, so a lot of money is being spent to get every element of the production right.”

Liam Keelan:

“More than ever, it feels like you need to be producing the definitive version of a story, so a lot of money is being spent to get every element of the production right” More generally, Keelan agrees with his peers that the creative face of TV drama has been transformed: “There is still room for the live mainstream TX event, which we’ve seen recently with The Bodyguard on BBC One in the UK. But there’s certainly more variety in the market.” On books that might previously

have been viewed as unadaptable, Keelan cites plans by the BBC to adapt Vikram Seth’s epic A Suitable Boy. As for projects that push the envelope in subject matter, he points to Pure, a Drama Republic series for Channel 4 that BBC Studios is distributing internationally, “It’s an amazing piece of work, which explores a young woman’s struggle with mental illness,” he says. The BBC’s McMafia is a recent example of an international-facing drama that probably would not have been made a few years ago. “And coming up we have MotherFatherSon, about a media mogul and his family. That’s being written by Tom Rob Smith [The Assassination Of Gianni Versace] and stars Richard Gere in his first TV appearance in more than 30 years,” Keelan adds. The ability to lure Richard Gere into TV is clearly a hallmark of this new era. But as the reinvention of comedy illustrates, there is also room for new voices. Adam Cunningham, chief digital

officer at entertainment agency Allied Global Marketing, sees a similar development with youngadult (YA) drama: “13 Reasons Why, produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, has been a big success for Netflix. It’s not a star vehicle, but it has an amazing energy to it. I think the lesson for the TV industry, which wants to attract younger audiences, is that the show’s authenticity is more important than whether it has stars.” A similar line of argument could also apply to other acclaimed Netflix YA series, including Stranger Things and The End Of The F***ing World. The renaissance in comedy and YA is especially interesting when one considers that short-form mobile-first content has not managed to build up much momentum, despite the fact that this is the platform to which young audiences increasingly turn first. In Cunningham’s opinion, it is a mistake to try to characterise mobile as a genre: “Mobile is a device not a genre. A lot of mon-

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ey has been spent trying to develop mobile-first content and it hasn’t proved successful.” Cunningham believes that one reason why the audiovisual content industry is seeing this injection of creativity is because streaming is “not really a modern version of TV. It’s closer in many ways to film. The cultural shift we’ve seen is that many of the elements that used to be reserved for film have been adopted and evolved by streaming, which is not subject to the same level of regulation as TV.” These trends are not limited to Europe and the Americas. In India, OTT is expanding dramatically, with the online video audience is expected to reach 500 million by 2020. With the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar and Hooq leading the pack, the kind of content being consumed in India is being transformed, says Jimmy George, head of sales and acquisitions at Mumbai-based GoQuest Formats. “I think the biggest thing we are seeing is that

FEATURE: SVOD CONTENT as producers increasingly rely on directorial conceits, SFX whizzbangs and lingering location shots. Some shows are a slack 10 episodes when they should be a taut six. Paramount’s Cohen, ponders the loss of a shared sensibility: “It’s harder to have those watercooler moments when you’ve binge watched a series and your friend is following it via a more conventional scheduling pattern.”

Dan Cohen:

13 Reasons Why, “not a star vehicle but has amazing energy”

anything is possible,” George adds. “TV has traditionally turned to publishing as a source for ideas, but even a podcast can inspire a series now.”

Jimmy George:

“TV has traditionally turned to publishing as a source for ideas, but even a podcast can inspire a series now” In some ways, the series format issue is even more obvious in markets like India, where audiences are used to watching shows with hundreds of episodes. In a trend that echoes developments in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey, George says the new platforms create a parallel opportunity for productions with fewer episodes, whether domestically produced or acquired. Keshet International CEO Alon Shtrutzman agrees that the arrival of the SVOD players has “opened the door to foreign-language content and

granted it access to travel internationally”. He adds: “Only a few years ago, it was widely believed Hebrew-language content couldn’t travel — you had to sell the format and adapt it locally. Fast forward to 2018, and you can watch foreign-language dramas from all over the world on these platforms, including many of ours. False Flag is on Fox’s global channels, The Baker And The Beauty is on Amazon, and Prisoners Of War is on Hulu. Last week, our black comedy Stockholm received its international premiere at the Toronto Film Festival as part of the primetime schedule — the first Hebrew TV series to ever be selected.” According to Shtrutzman, this shift has had a tangible impact on how Keshet International operates as a business: “Finished tape sales are now as important to us as formats. Hence the recent launch of our KI Content Fund and our acquisition of Greenbird Media to guarantee continuing pipelines of high-end drama and factual finished tape with global appeal.” Revital Basel, managing director of Keshet International

Networks, has also witnessed how the business is adapting to support this new era of creativity. “For us, the evolving content landscape is creating a wealth of new opportunities,” she says. “With creative content hubs in Israel and all over the globe, and our flexible can-do approach to business models, we already have a lot of co-development and co-production deals under our belt, such as Prisoner Number One, the drama series we’re co-developing with Telemundo.” In Basel’s opinion, the big thing that the streamers have brought is “edge”. She elaborates: “We can push things editorially on these platforms that would ordinarily be an issue for linear channels — there is almost nothing that’s off-limits. In addition, these new platforms also allow us to reach out to more niche audiences with our formats and take more risks. There is less need to appeal to the mainstream.” Of course, even in this golden age, not everything is great. Possible creative downsides in the new world of content include a shift towards style over substance, and a loss of word craft

MIPCOM News 1 • 122 • 15 October 2018

“It’s harder to have those watercooler moments when you’ve binge watched a series and your friend is following it via a more conventional scheduling pattern” BBC Studios’ Keelan says the increasing cost of drama is a concern — a sentiment shared by many in the industry. The question then arises as to whether the bubble will burst, forcing the market back in the direction of more locally produced drama and lower cost factual shows. Allied’s Cunningham points to the risk of homogeneity as channels and platforms aim to please scores of markets, though he acknowledges that Netflix’s localisation investment is a recognition of this. “There is such a lot of content out there now that there’s almost a Darwinian feel to the market,” he says. “Creators really need to double down on quality and authenticity if they want to stand out.” Extending this point, content discovery is an increasingly significant challenge for the industry. Echoing the film business, the focus on creative marketing is likely to become a bigger issue going forward.

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