Miptv 2018 news 2

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NEWS 2 Tuesday 10 April 2018

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KEYNOTE SHOWCASE Safe, presented by Harlan Coben, Michael C Hall, Rola Bauer, Nicola Shindler, & Danny Brocklehurst


MEDIA MASTERMIND KEYNOTE Astro Malaysia Holdings’ group CEO and executive director, Dato’ Rohana Rozhan


KIDS WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENING Cottonwood Media and Federation Entertainment’s Find Me In Paris




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Opening Night pictures; Media Mastermind Keynotes and conferences; deals made at MIPTV; and more...

MIPTV delegates have priority access to CANNESERIES’ 10 Official Competition screenings.


Seating is limited and doors close 15 minutes before the daytime sessions start, and 30 minutes before the evening sessions start — so please get to the screenings early.

Multiplatform content from around the world on sale in Cannes

There are two dedicated entrances: •E nter the Grand Auditorium Lumiere by following the pink carpet up the stairs directly at the front of the Palais des Festivals. OR •E nter directly from Level 1 inside the Palais des Festivals. There is signage on site.


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61 FEATURES Creativity versus algorithms Animation is booming online offering a route to market for a new generation of content creators

MIPTV STARS GET REAL WITH VIRTUAL SHOW HOST New this year, the MIPTV Show will see entertainment’s leading lights explore the future of content with a virtual chat-show host, courtesy of Wonder Media. The interviews are broadcast live from the company’s MIPTV stand, via facebook.com/mipmarkets, April 9-11, 16.00-17.00. Interviewees include the stars of MIPTV Brand Content Of The Year award-winning show Carmilla; El Rubius, Spain’s number-one YouTuber; Norway’s Ylvis brothers (stars of viral hit What Does The Fox Say?); and entertainment visionaries from go90, Orange, Baobab, Viacom, and more.

The Asian new wave Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others are changing the game for Asia’s drama community — and now OTT has joined the party


NEWS 2 Tuesday 10 April 2018 www.miptv.com


EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Editor in Chief Julian Newby Deputy 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 Neil Churchman, Neil Crossley, Nigel Willmott MIPTV News Online Kristine Clifford Editorial Management Boutique Editions Head of Graphic Studio Herve Traisnel Graphic Studio Manager Frederic Beauseigneur Graphic Designers Véronique Duthille, Yovana Filipovic, Carole Peres Head of Photographers Yann Coatsaliou / 360 Media Photographers Christian Alminana, Patrick Frega, 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 Julie Cazalis: +33 7 78 35 49 24 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 2nd quarter 2018. ISSN 1967-5178Printed on PEFC Certified Paper.

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Brand New Drama

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“The best formula is to reflect the marketplace we are aspiring to serve” DATO’ Rohana Rozhan, group CEO and executive director, Astro Malaysia Holdings, received the Variety 2018 Achievement In International Television Award during her MIPTV Media Mastermind Keynote yesterday evening. She then went on to stress the importance of encouraging diversity in media companies, saying: “If our job is to empathise with and relate to customers, then the best formula is to reflect the marketplace we are aspiring to serve.” Since it launched 23 years ago, Astro has expanded its sphere of influence significantly. Initially set up as a 23-channel pay-TV operator, the company now has 188 pay-TV channels, free TV channels, a thriving production business, an e-commerce platform and assets across other media. It is this range of businesses that Rozhan sees as central: “We know what is happening in terms of media disruption, but the fact that we are in 75% of Malaysian homes is a core strength. The majority of households spend a lot of time in our ecosystem.” In its early days, Astro focused mainly on expanding choice in the market by providing Chinese, In-

Dato’ Rohana Rozhan

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• 10 April 2018

dian and international content. But more recently it has ramped up its Malaysian content. The reason, she said, “is that you need vernacular content to get to the next level”. This is what then enabled the company to expand into free-to-air TV. While serving Malaysia continues to be a priority for Astro, Rozhan has also pushed the company to work more closely with like-minded companies across southeast Asia. She told delegates about a range of creative initiatives designed to appeal to audiences in multiple markets, such as Asia’s Got Talent and collaboration on the production of coverage of the Southeast Asian Games. She also cited the example of Polis Evo 2, a buddy cop movie sequel which has been co-produced with an Indonesian partner “to achieve efficiencies”. Rozhan said a big priority for Astro was “to reclaim the fact we are at the forefront of technology, something we always used to be known for. We will be the first to bring true HD to Malaysia and we also have [voice recognition] smart hubs and cloud-based PVRs coming soon.” The Astro chief also tackled the thorny issue of content censorship in Malaysia, saying: “We have had to deal with censorship since we launched. But the main thing we ask for now is a level playing field. If we have to censor content but pirated services don’t, then that is a challenge. Fortunately, these days Astro’s OTT service is subject to the same rules as international OTT platforms like HBO Go.” Explaining the company’s success under her stewardship, Rozhan said: “the key differentiator is that we have a second-to-none team that is really good at executing our plan”. It is worth noting that Astro’s workforce is currently 52% women — a very progressive statistic.





Aqui En La Tierra co-creator Gabriel Garcia Bernal

The cast of Aqui En La Tierra with co-creator Gabriel Garcia Bernal (second right)

Opening night

On- and off-screen talent walked the pink carpet on the opening night of MIPTV. The MIPTV News was there to catch them on camera

Talent from L’Arene: producer PierreMathieu Fortin, writer and actor Marjorie Armstrong and director Jean-Francois Leblanc

Stars of Mother: Lee Bo-Young and Heo Yul

Star of The Limit: Robert Rodriguez

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YouTube stars Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker Star of Cacciatore Miriam Dalmazio

Miss Supranational, Jenny Kim

MIPTV 2018 Medaille d’Honneur recipient Izzet Pinto, CEO, Global Agency, and Bake Dance star Victoria Elmacioglu

The stars of Bulletproof: Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke

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‘We need insights from AI and data to bridge users and content’ YANG Weidong, rotating president of Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment, and president of business group, Youku, delivered a fascinating Media Mastermind Keynote in the Debussy Theatre on Monday. He described how investment in

high-quality dramas helped online platform Youku double its subscription revenue between 2016 and 2017, and called scripted series “the most important content type for driving paid subscriptions on Youku. People are willing to pay more and more for high-quality content.” Yang said that Youku’s owner, Alibaba, sees content creation as a strategic priority, alongside areas like ecommerce, fintech and cloud services. However, he warned that old mass-market models are no longer fit for purpose when attempting to tap into China’s market of 579 million online video users. “We can’t just use past experience to produce shows. We need insights from AI and data to bridge the gap between users and content. We need to tailor shows that surpass expectation. We describe it as Hollywood meeting Silicon Valley.” Yang said original Youku series like Day And Night, G r o w l ing Tiger, Roaring Dragon a n d

Women In Beijing And Shanghai had all proved popular with users. “Drama drives loyalty and higher consumption time, with our users now spending 100 minutes a day on Youku.” The taste is for fast-paced stories with engaging characters, Yang said, but warned: “US series don’t always work in China because of the different audience behaviour. We need to explore innovative models that fit the Chinese audience’s habits.” He also noted how Day And Night has been picked up globally by Netflix. While dramas are big drivers of paid subscriptions, Yang said variety shows also have a crucial role to play in the content mix — an example being the successful show Street Dance Of China. “Variety is important for us in terms of building our brand image,” he said. He added that Youku is localising NBC’s Saturday Night Live for broadcast this year. Yang said the Alibaba/Youku combination is a great opportunity for the company’s creative partners both within China and internationally: “We want to leverage the advantages of the Alibaba ecosystem to empower our partners and unleash their potential. We want to work with global talent in content production and development.” Yang also stressed the potential of Alibaba to build huge licensing successes citing Kung Fu Panda 3 and Pokemon character Pikachu as examples of how the company can drive “IP franchising”.

Yang Weidong

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drama that captivates from talent that resonates




MIPTV Stand No: P3.C10 @all3media_int all3mediainternational.com


05/04/2018 12:04


“Social content frees you” CONTENT creators must get ready for the Age of Social Entertainment if they are to survive the increasingly competitive world of television, said Matthew Henick in his Media Mastermind Keynote. Recently-appointed head of content strategy and planning, at Facebook, Henick’s comments are pertinent at a time when the social media behemoth has launched video platform Watch to compete with broadcasters and streaming services for the best in on-screen entertainment. Social, he argued, will impact on the future roles of content creators because the audience will now be participating, thanks to their access to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other social networks. “After the Golden Age of Television, when we’re producing more series than ever before, and the Golden Age of Movie Franchises, that has worked so well for Disney, the next step is social entertainment,” he said. “Be prepared to write two types of scripts: one for what the actors do and another for what the audience will do with that content. Social content prioritises our connection with each other.” From the early days of cinema to today’s Golden Age of Television, Henick said, any stability in technology’s adoption has enabled the industry to flourish. This, however, “reduced creative risks because everyone wants to fit into the current Golden Age”. Henick highlighted how The Walt Disney Company might buy 21st Century Fox because it wants to be a major streaming content operator such as Netflix. He said Netflix has bought comic-books publisher Millarworld to develop major franchises such as Disney’s Marvel superheroes. “This concentrates all the top talent in one place and blocks out new formats, new audience and new creators, leaving so many people out,” he said. Henick went on to explain how future producers must consider the role of audiences’ reactions during a show. “Productions must be spontaneously responsive to the audience, as opposed to shooting a show nine months in advance first,” he said. “This will apply to all types of content, and it is going to be incredibly hard.” Even the process for pitching shows to 12 potential buyers simultaneously will have to change, he said, as each buyer’s audience will be different. “Social content frees you from specific formats because the audience will be telling half the story.” Instead of creating for release windows, the industry should be dealing with release funnels, suggested Henick. This new approach will require rights owners to develop new ways of monetising content, from offering advertising-funded entertainment that anyone can access at one end to offering personalised in-real-life experiences at the other.

Matthew Henick

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HAT TRICK INTERNATIONAL VISIT US AT MIPTV 2018: STAND R7: F24 www.hattrickinternational.com | @Hattrickint

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HOW UGC WILL INFORM THE FUTURE OF STORYTELLING THE TECHNOLOGICAL trappings of the modern era and the mass use of social media means that “capturing and sharing video is now part of everyday life”, the boss of a large online content licensor and producer has said. Speaking to a session at MIPTV yesterday Jonathan Skogmo, founder and CEO of LA-based Jukin Media, said that user-generated content (UGC) would have the most impact on the future course of media and storytelling. Skogmo is in Cannes to showcase a range of content produced by Jukin, which also licenses UGC videos for use in a range of platforms, from online to feature-length movies. He was speaking on stage at a Next Gen Showcase session, in which he highlighted key shows and content for their success in reaching global audiences. Among these were an eight-episode docu-series, This Is Happening, which has been produced entirely with UGC, and user-filmed cute animals show The Pet Project, which was premiered during the session. Jukin works with users to promote content shot on smartphones and helps gain the clips a wider, potentially viral audience. As well as helping to syndicate videos, the company also offers advice on how to protect and copyright content.

Jukin Media’s Jonathan Skogmo

Session helps industry to know what kids want from storytelling IN A fact-packed session called Getting To Know The 6-12s!, Dr Maya Goetz of Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation used developmental psychology to show what kind of storytelling attracts kids, and why. “Pre-schoolers don’t laugh when their favourite character gets hurt on screen, because they don’t yet understand it,” she said. “Older kids value stories with authenticity, relevance and shared experiences.” Former English teacher Devon Thagard, co-founder of Skyship Entertainment in Toronto, had an instinctive grasp of this when he wrote simple songs to help teach English to Japanese kids. One of four teams featured at Monday’s Kids Animation: New Digital Creators To Watch, he explained how he recorded them to CD, and later uploaded them to YouTube with simple

animation. The result, Super Simple Songs, has had over 10 billion views. Parents’ feedback has helped to evolve the properties, and Skyship now has a TV channel online, live YouTube shows and a studio employing 40 people. Colin Brown, COO, Skoolbo and ChuChuSchool, has notched up 17 billion views. Focusing on very simple content for 0-6 year olds, ChuChu TV evolved into ChuChu School, a YouTube channel and web hub offering 5,000 learning activities, together with apps to track the child’s progress and suggest what to view next. Nick Dorra, formerly of Rovio, set up Finnish kids’ publisher Haruworks in February with the mantra ‘test early, fail fast’. “We aren’t precious,” said Dorra. “We put content online, look at reactions, and iterate to im-

Bavarian Broadcasting’s Maya Goetz

prove it.” The Brothers McLeod from the UK use digital “to make people notice us and to get an instant response”, said animator Greg McLeod. The McLeods’ film 365, built up by posting one second of new original animation every day for a year, went to festivals, won them work with Disney, and spawned several series ideas. One is Circle Square, their new and nearly-funded original series.

Tween drama is focus of MIPTV first COTTONWOOD Media’s live 1905 into the 21st century by action dance-themed series Find her boyfriend Henri. Lena tries Me In Paris has been selected as to fit in, juggling high school and MIPTV’s first-ever Kids’ World rigorous ballet training, while Premiere TV Screening, pre- spending time with an undersented to delegates today at 17.30 in the Esterel, following a short discussion with Cottonwood president David Michel and some of the show’s co-pro partners. Boasting a unique mix of ballet, contemporary dance, comedy and drama, Find Me In Paris is an English-language tween drama about Lena, a teenage girl attending the Paris Opera Ballet School, the world’s most elite dance institution. But Lena has a secret. She’s a time traveller, ac- Find Me In Paris (Cottonwood Media) cidentally propelled from MIPTV News 2 • 16 • 10 April 2018

ground dance crew. Commenting on the appeal of the show, which has been recommissioned following strong international sales, Michel said: “It offers a promise of freedom — being able to run away to a world that’s both different and familiar — that’s naturally appealing to teens. We hope it will speak to both the younger end of the six-to-12 bracket because of the ballet and love story aspects of the plot, and to tweens as well thanks to the more complex storylines about time travel. We expect boys to connect with the slightly scifi plots and the action, while girls will hopefully be drawn to the deep character-led stories.”


congratulates the winners of the 2018 TV France International

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The Export Format Award: The Big Music Quizz

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Dream the Future (20x52’) Production: Update Productions, Bonne Pioche

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Kew Media aims for more than ‘getting content into the pipe’ THE INTERNATIONAL Drama Co- production Lunch is an invitation-only event that allows leading executives in the global scripted series business to network in a relaxed environment. As part of the two-hour event, executives from Kew Media Group told delegates about its rapid ex-

Kew Media Group’s Steven Silver

pansion over the last 18 months, which has seen it acquire several producers and distributors. Explaining how Kew differs from other creators in the international market, executive vice-president of global scripted series Carrie Stein said: “Often studios and producers are not

aligned across their creative and business ambitions. The shift for us is that producers don’t have to distribute with us if they have a better option. This means the focus at Kew is on working with the best producers.” Kew Media Group founder and executive chairman Peter Suss-

Kew Media Group’s Carrie Stein

Kew Media Group’s Peter Sussman

Size matters as UHD advance rolls on “IT’S NO longer a matter of if, but when, UHD becomes an international standard,” Claudia Vaccarone of Eutelsat France told Monday’s 4K Ultra HD session. “We have been tracking the deployment of 4K/UHD channels and services worldwide. In the six months since MIPCOM alone, we’ve seen a 26% increase.” “But just as with HD, we need to be patient,” Vaccarone said. “The first commercial DVB channels launched in 2003 and

now there are 11,700 HD channels. That’s still only 27% of channels worldwide. Yet we consider HD as industry standard.” Stuart Smitherman, president of Vivicast Media, said that channels wanted different genres of UHD content. “DirecTV used to want content that was beautiful to look at, like natural history. A couple of months ago, they were looking for sport. Now they want names: anything with Taylor Swift. So great pictures are nice to have, but now

they want content that has drama too.” Paul Gray of research company IHS Markit gave an update on the global market for UHD TVs. “4K TV shipments continue to grow,” he said. “The 4K set now represents over half of the sets shipped in North America and Europe, and two-thirds of those in China.” Screen size is increasing too and the average size of western European screens is catching up with that of North America, de-

MIPTV News 2 • 18 • 10 April 2018

man agreed that “the centre of gravity at most super indies is on distribution and getting content into the pipe. But for us the pipe is not the centre of gravity, the IP is. That’s different to how I’ve worked in the past.” Explaining how Kew Media Group decides which companies to acquire or work with, founder and CEO Steven Silver said: “We make sure there is no dissonance between the two sides. Is there the right fit and does the producer envisage a shared future with us?”

spite different home sizes. But big screens bring physical problems. “A 75-inch TV ships in a box the size of a washing machine, so the cost of delivery climbs. The retail model is different: they have to deliver and unbox on the street to get it into the customer’s house. I think 75inch will remain more expensive than people expect.” Not for nothing are the suppliers trying other approaches. “There’s huge interest in rollable screens,” Gray said. “Whether it’s a screen you can roll once only, or repeatedly, it’s coming. But it will take a while.”


Pavilion offers delegates a window on the world of Chinese content JIANING Shen, deputy to the president of the China International Television Corporation (CITVC), introduced the China Showcase, which gave audiences a taste of the programming available at the China Pavilion. “The China Pavilion has become an important window for foreign friends to get to know China and to develop collaborative relationships with Chinese production and distribution companies,” she said, adding that this year it was showcasing more than 200 new programmes and almost 10,000 episodes from 34 Chinese companies. The Pavilion hosts documentaries including If Treasures Could Talk, a rich history of cultural artefacts presented in bite-sized chunks (100 x 5 mins). Aerial Charms, meanwhile, is a show exploring China’s diverse

CITVC’s Jianing Shen

and beautiful landscapes from the air, and the third season of China’s Mega Projects explores construction and infrastructure projects fuelling China’s growth. Dramas included Perfect Youth and Azaleas In Bloom, which both dramatise China’s social and

economic development. Kids’ animations were also represented, including Big Shrink, about a group of friends who get shrunk; and docu-variety show The Nation’s Greatest Treasures, which uses celebrity performances to bring cultural treasures to life.

CHINA’s Dragon Emperor is the latest collaboration between the US’ Smithsonian Channel and Korea’s EBS. The documentary tells the story of China’s first and greatest emperor, Qin Shi Huang, and the Terracotta Army that guards his tomb. “It’s a big human drama, recreated on a grand scale, about the extraordinary man who united China,” said Smithsonian Channel’s David Royle, pictured here with EBS’s Rachel Kim (left) and EunJung Lee. “It started here at MIPTV. I saw an exquisite film about a goshawk and discovered it had been made by EBS. China’s Dragon Emperor is the latest project in the close collaboration that has existed between EBS and Smithsonian ever since.”

BLOCKCHAIN TECH UNDER SPOTLIGHT THE INTRIGUINGLY-entitled If Content Is King, Will Blockchain Spark The Revolution? panel debate saw Ashley Turing, CEO of LiveTree Adept, stating that the technology has a long way to go. “We’re still at a very rudimentary stage of what blockchain technology can do,” he said. “This is the first time in human history that we’ve been able to make a transaction without a third party. And that’s really exciting in itself.” “The content isn’t in the blockchain. The blockchain is more of a backbone. It’s like an environment in which content creators can own their community; the land they build their house on, if you like,” added Adrian Garelik, CEO at Flixxo. Meanwhile, Treeti CEO Amorette Jones said that blockchain technology can be used to understand what consumers want. “We’re the first blockchain that was developed specifically for entertainment. So it’s important for us to curate valuable content. It’s almost about creating a festival-like experience,” she said. “We’re moving from the internet of information to the internet of value. But we need an empirical approach, because there are going to be mistakes,” Jones added.

LiveTree Adept’s Ashley Turing

‘Best of the best’ at Emmys Kids Awards THE INTERNATIONAL Emmys recognised achievement in kids programme production, in a medal ceremony for all the nominees for the International Emmys Kids Awards yesterday. “You’re already among the best of the best, but only one person can win an Emmy in each category,” said Bruce L Paisner,

president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The medals were handed out ahead of the International Emmy Kids Awards gala tonight at the Carlton hotel. Paisner also announced that the 2018 International Emmy Founders Award would be pre-

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sented to Greg Berlanti. The celebrated showrunner behind Dawson’s Creek, The Flash, Blind Spot and countless other hits will be honoured at the 46th International Emmy Awards in New York in November. “Greg is the most successful showrunner in the history of television,” Paisner said, adding that Berlanti held the record for the number of shows running concurrently, 11, on US television networks.


ZDF Enterprises starts off MIPTV with its traditional ‘Sundowner’ on the beach Fred Burcksen (ZDF Enterprises’ President and CEO), Jonathan Shiff (Executive Producer / Producer, Jonathan M. Shiff Productions), Kyle Murdoch (Managing Director, NHNZ) and Norbert Himmler (Director of Programming, ZDF).


mong the company’s spring market’s novelties are ‘The Story of Europe’ (6 x 50’), presented by ZDFE. unscripted, which depicts a journey through space and time, from the first physical beginnings to the first human settlers. ZDFE.drama is introducing the breathtaking series ‘The Crimson Rivers’ (8 x 50’ or 4 x 100’), set in a world full of gruesome criminal cases, sadistic killers, creepy rituals and mysterious incidents. A new live-action series for youngsters comes from ZDFE.junior: ‘The Bureau of Magical Things’ (20 x 25’) follows the adventures of teenage girl Kyra who is magically transformed into a Tri-ling when caught in a clash between an elf and a fairy.

Nicole Keeb (Head of International Coproductions and Acquisitions, Children and Youth Programs, ZDF) and Arne Lohmann (ZDF Enterprises’ VP ZDFE.junior) with the BBC’s Penny Woodhams (Commercial, Rights and Business Affairs Manager), Lucy Martin (Genre Lead Drama Production) and Lynne Marriott (Head of Production).

The Kitchen’s President and CEO Ken Lorber and Executive Vice President Deeny Kaplan with Jan-Frederik Maul (Director ZDFE.junior, ZDF Enterprises).



Andrea Roskosch (Director ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises), Chris Hoelzl (VP Program Development, Smithsonian Networks), Fred Burcksen (President and CEO, ZDF Enterprises) and Nelsa Gidney (President, Gidney International).

Gisela Schäfer (Managing Director, Wunderwerk), Stefan Pfäffle (Deputy Head of Fiction, Acquisition & Co-Production, KIKA), Sebastian Debertin (Head of Fiction, Acquisition & Co-Production, KIKA), Maria Kivinen (Sales Executive, YLE) and Rudolf Runge (CEO Runge.TV).

Robert Franke (second from left, ZDF Enterprises’ VP ZDFE.drama) with the producers of the series ‘The Crimson Rivers’ Thomas Anargyros (CEO and Executive Producer, Storia Television), Philipp Kreuzer (Maze Pictures) and Matthieu Thollin (COO, Storia Television).

Nikolas Huelbusch (right, Director ZDFE.factual, ZDF Enterprises) with Philipp Müller (Commissioning Editor, ZDF) and Dietmar Lyssy (General Manager, Bilderfest).

Michael Loeb (CEO, WDR Media Group) with Patrick Hoerl (Managing Director, Autentic).

Ceska televize’s Marie Tomková (Acquisitions Executive) and Alena Biahosová (Feature Films and Series Acquisitions) with JOJ Group’s Head of Acquisitions Erika Tóthová.

Richard Maroko (Director, AB Groupe) with Mirela Nastase (Director ZDFE.drama, ZDF Enterprises) and Lagardère Studios’ Senior Vice President Randall Broman.

Federica Pazzano (International Sales Executive, RAI COM), Luca Milano (Director of RAI RAGAZZI), and Annalisa Liberi (second from right, Head of Acquisitions Rai Ragazzi) with ZDF Enterprises’ VPs ZDFE.junior Arne Lohmann and Peter Lang.


Delegates reported early deals… MEDIA and entertainment company Trace is launching three premium music channels — Trace Urban, Trace Tropical and Trace Gospel — on Hulu in Japan. The move will “deliver music channels to audiences in Japan who are passionate about urban, tropical and gospel music,” said Laurent Dumeau, Trace’s chief group commercial officer and CEO of international.

BARCROFT Media has signed a co-production deal with TCB Media Rights covering the worldwide sales rights to a new long-form TV series based on the Barcroft digital series Extreme Love. The show (8 x 60 mins) features tales of unusual relationships including that of 21-year-old Jess from Florida who lives with her 24-year-old boyfriend yet spends time in her cot as an adult baby. The series also visits the four-foot weightlifter who finds love with a transgender woman, the real-life vampire couples and the twins who share everything — including a boyfriend. The series will be produced for linear-TV broadcasters, featuring five stories per episode and will include brand new stories and expanded content.

FOLLOWING the success of Ubisoft Entertainment’s animated game Hungry Shark in China, where it has 153 million players, the French video-game publisher has signed a landmark deal at MIPTV with China’s Y2Game for its latest gaming product, Hungry Dragon. The licensing deal was signed yesterday by Hanin Williams, mobile marketing manager at Ubisoft Barcelona (right), and Woods Pang, CEO of Y2Game in Beijing.

Trace’s Olivier Laouchez (left), Hulu’s Kyoko Sekine and Kazufumi Nagasawa, Trace’s Laurent Dumeau and Trace Asia/Lightning International’s James Ross

SCOTT Woodward, executive vice-president programming and production at US network Ovation, and Andreas Lemos, vicepresident acquisitions and sales, North America at international distributor Banijay Rights, sealed a major deal compromising 65plus hours of Banijay content at MIPTV. “That’s the largest multigenre deal we’ve done together,” Woodward said. The two companies now plan to expand the partnership. “There are lots of ideas for original content at Banijay that we want to be involved in the coming years,” Woodward added.

Banijay Rights’ Andreas Lemos (left) with Ovation’s Scott Woodward

ENTERTAINMENT One (eOne) has completed its first UK acquisition with the purchase of non-scripted production company Whizz Kid Entertainment. The global studio has taken the step as part of wider plans to expand its presence in the UK, where it is already active with productions including pre-school show Peppa Pig. Whizz Kid, which will continue to be run by founders Malcolm Gerrie and Lisa Chapman, already has a working relationship with eOne. The UK producer was established in 2006, since when it has released a popular slate of shows including the Life On Screen series for BBC Two.

ISRAELI content producer and distributor Keshet International has completed a string of overseas sales for its talent show Masters Of Dance. The company, which is the distribution arm of Keshet Media Group, has successfully sold the format in Vietnam, Spain and Norway, after the first season of the competitive dance-off show aired in its domestic market. It has completed deals with Purpose Media, which will air the show in Vietnam this autumn on HCM City Television, NRK in Norway, and Endemol Shine in Spain. A second season of Masters Of Dance, which aired in Israel on Keshet 12, has already been commissioned.

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SEASON 2 52x11’


DORI MEDIA DEAL SEES LALOLA FORMAT GO TO MEXICO’S TV AZTECA DORI Media Group has sold the format to its daily drama Lalola to TV Azteca in Mexico — more than 10 years after the original Argentinian show was produced. The 150-episode drama follows a chauvinistic, womanising editor of a successful men’s magazine after the tables are turned and he is magically turned into a woman. The original was one of the most viewed shows at the time on Argentina’s America Channel, and sold to more than 120 countries. “We are delighted to see another sale of Lalola to Mexico after its production a decade ago,” Dori’s CEO and president, Nadav Palti, said. “Not only is it a highly replicable as a format, but it also is an exceptional content which has the potential to completely redefine the changing role of strong women in society.” Dori Media Group will also take exclusive distribution rights to the remake.

Lalola (Dori Media Group)

Keshet-YTV partnership brings mix of experience and creativity KESHET International and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (YTV) have entered into a non-scripted co-development deal, with the aim of creating content with international traction. With today’s emphasis on owning IP rather than licensing it, collaboration is no longer an option but a necessity, said Keshet CEO Alon Shtruzman. “Collaboration has become the best way to create entertainment for global audiences. “Our clients want to own IP and we want to own our own formats, so co-development makes sense. This partnership allows us to benefit from Yomiuri’s deep understanding of its local market, while we bring our knowledge of how to create and distribute a global hit.” Under the deal, the companies will co-develop at least one non-scripted title this year, with the option to develop further formats in future. Any content created will be jointly owned by both companies and will pilot on YTV within six months of completion. Mari Yoshikawa, director of YTV’s content business divi-

sion, said the deal would allow the privately owned Japanese broadcaster to ramp up its international presence. She added: “YTV was founded 60 years ago and is the number-one broadcaster in ratings in the western [Kansai] part of Japan, so we have a lot of ex-

Israeli-Japanese pact: YTV’s Akito Sasagawa (left) and Mari Yoshikawa (right), with Keshet International’s Alon Shtruzman

Weather Girl Knows heads for Canada CANADIAN multiplatform content powerhouse Shaftesbury and Wexworks Media have acquired the rights to The Weather Girl Knows from TV Asahi. A ratings hit in Japan, the quirky procedural crime drama centres on an oddball weather girl and a rookie detective, who investigate a range of climate-related mysteries. “The Weather Girl Knows is a genuinely unique procedural,” said Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury. “It’s got a strong female lead, which feels very timely at the

moment, and it’s also based on real science, which is an increasingly popular genre.” Wexworks’ CEO and executive producer Matthew Wexler said he knew TV Asahi had created “something special” before he had finished reading the treatment. Two weeks later, Shaftesbury was on board. “This is not just a great idea, but it’s a truly universal one,” Wexler added. “What could be more universal than the weather?” Jennings said the property was already generating “unbelievable

perience to bring to the table.” Akito Sasagawa, YTV’s international sales manager, said: “Japanese formats are great but sometimes they’re a little too crazy for international viewers. By uniting our experience and creativity, we are confident we can create formats that can travel the world.”

interest” at MIPTV. Yuka Kakui, TV Asahi’s head of format development and sales, and part

of the Treasure Box Japan format showcase, added: “With its unique yet universal script, The Weather Girl Knows looks set to capture the hearts and imaginations of the global audience.”

TV Asahi’s Yumi Shimizu (left); Wexworks Media’s Matthew Wexler; Shaftesbury’s Christina Jennings; and TV Asahi’s Yuka Kakui

MIPTV News 2 • 24 • 10 April 2018



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FELIX IS READY TO WOW THE WORLD THE MOVISTAR+ platform on Spain’s Telefonica network has created another original series titled Felix, with Argentinian Leonardo Sbaraglia starring in the eponymous role. Penned and directed by Spanish screenwriter Cesc Gay, and with international distribution by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the series already had strong interest from Central and South America. But the sophisticated crime comedy format with high production values shot on location in Andorra and northern Spain is being touted to global audiences at MIPTV — and is also in competition at CANNESERIES. “They called us to ask if I had any ideas, it was a different approach,” said Gay of the freedom he was given to create the series on his own terms. Following his renowned arthouse features Truman, Krampack and In the City, Felix is the film-maker’s first TV series. Inspired by a love for Hitchcock films in which “ordinary people find themselves in dangerous situations”, Gay created a story of man searching for love who is embroiled in mystery — often with comic results. According to Gay, Felix combines the hallmarks of feature films and long-format TV in new ways, while “the combination of thriller and comedy” will also help to differentiate the quirky series.

Felix writer and director, Cesc Gay

CITVC’s forum sets scene for some dramatic partnerships CHINA’s CITVC has come to MIPTV with a raft of shows and news of its growing efforts to facilitate international drama co-productions. “We’re delighted to share that we organised our first Co-production Drama Exchange Forum to meet international partners for potential collaboration,” Jianing Shen, deputy to the president of CITVC, said, adding that attendees included ITV Studios, NBC, WME/Endeavor and AMC Studios. Some CITVC shows, including the Spring Festival Gala Series, will be for sale for the first time at MIPTV. The Gala is a 30-year-old TV tradition, a variety show that the Guinness Book of Records has named the “most-watched national network TV broadcast of all time”. The 2018 edition featured Jackie Chan, Jay Chou, Faye Wong and others. Other shows available

include the third series of food doc A Bite Of China and contemporary drama Courtyard. “We would also like to learn

about the latest content trends as well as the newest platforms to present our programmes,” Shen said.

Tianyi Media’s Wu Yi (left); CITVC’s Jianing Shen; Hang Zhou Jiaping Pictures’ Wu Jiaping; State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s Yang Zheng; Daylight Entertainment’s Hou Hongliang; and State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s Yan Ni and Wang Dongyuz

Gogol producers set to go worldwide

ACCORDING to Evgeniy Nikishov and Valeriy Fedorovich, producers of Gogol: The Beginning, Russian premium content is something that they are keen to help define for the international market: “We all know English crime series or Scandi noir, but what is Russian premium TV content? We would like to think that the new Russian content that we are making is the start of a major breakthrough. We want to convince the whole world that we are capable of matching the best, and that we’re ready to get involved in international production co-operation.” Alongside the dark, gothic tone of Gogol, other recent productions such as The Outpost and Vongozero are set in a post-apocalyptic world. Karamora is an alternative history

of the Russian Revolution with vampires, and The Dead Lake is a mystery detective story interlaced with northern folklore, which has been tagged as a Russian Twin Peaks. “Our motto is ‘everything but the ordinary’,” Fedorovich said. “We are focused on bold and unparalleled content that engages the viewer emotionally. We spent the whole of last year experimenting, doing things nobody had done before in Russia or anywhere else. “For example, we launched the Gogol project, the first ever TV series released in cinemas. We’ve moved from experiments to strategic transformation, from being a mere broadcaster we are becoming an all-purpose production hub, a sort of a powerhouse for Russian TV series,” he added.

MIPTV News 2 • 26 • 10 April 2018

Evgeniy Nikishov (top row left) and Valeriy Fedorovich with Gogol: The Beginning stars Julia Franz (left) and Taisiya Vilkova


‘I’m looking for originality, for content that wows me’ THE INDUSTRY is entering “a golden age of television”, according to Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author and president of the jury of the first edition of CANNESERIES, the Cannes International Series Festival taking place alongside MIPTV. “Internationally, there is so much good TV coming out — not just from the obvious countries such as the US or France — and the internet has made it so much easier to access it,” Coben said. “It’s great to be back in Cannes — a place that makes you think of magic, and I’m thrilled to be president of the jury of CANNESERIES, although I always say that you should never put me in charge of anything,” he said. Highlighting drama series from all over the world, CANNESERIES is operating in partnership with MIPTV, with the support of the city of Cannes. From April 7-11, the CANNESERIES official competition is screening the first episodes of 10 international series before deciding which will take home the six awards handed out on Wednesday, April 11, during an awards ceremony broadcast live on Canal+. “I’m looking for originality, shows that are entertaining, moving and defining trends,” Coben said. “I’m hoping for content that wows me.” Now embarking on his 31st novel, with over 70

million books in print worldwide, Coben is also creator and executive producer of several TV shows. He said that making television meant “the opportunity to collaborate with extraordinarily talented people. Writing novels is about sitting alone in a room.” He added: “For me it’s a bit like the difference between winning a tennis championship and celebrating by yourself, compared with winning a World Cup and being able to party with your whole team.” Coben’s most recent collaboration is the upcoming eight-part Netflix Original drama Safe, starring Michael C Hall, Amanda Abbington and Audrey Fleurot, which will close the inaugural CANNESERIES on Wednesday, April 11, following the festival’s gala awards ceremony. “It’s about people that live in a gated community,” Coben said. “Sometimes we put up walls to keep the bad out and end up keeping the bad in. “It’s really about community and the ties that bind us, and the very relevant issues of privacy.” Safe is produced by Studiocanal’s Red Production Company and executive produced by Michael C Hall, Nicola Shindler, Harlan Coben, Danny Brocklehurst, and Red’s head of development, Richard Fee. • Keynote Showcase: Why Series Travel?, featuring Michael C Hall, Harlan Coben, Nicola Shindler, Danny Brocklehurst and Rola Bauer. Debussy Theatre, Palais level 1, today at 17.00

Harlan Coben, president of the CANNESERIES jury

MIPTV News 2 • 27 • 10 April 2018


Cult Carmilla web series puts the brand into entertainment

Shaftesbury’s Christina Jennings: “I attribute its success to a winning combination of genres”

CARMILLA, a digital branded-entertainment series that has spawned a feature film, a book deal and a primetime series, tobecome a global brand in its own right, has been named as the MIPTV 2018 Brand Content Of The Year. Carmilla is created and produced by Toronto-based Shaftesbury in association with Kimberly-Clark’s U by Kotex. Shaftesbury CEO Christina Jennings and senior vice-president of branded entertainment Kaaren Whitney-Vernon will be presented with the award during tomorrow’s Car-

Shaftesbury’s Kaaren Whitney-Vernon: “Partnering a feminine hygiene brand with a lesbian vampire story”

milla Keynote Showcase, during which they will discuss how to partner with global brands to create scripted series that generate both critical acclaim and international fandom. Co-created and written by playwright Jordan Hall, Carmilla puts a modern spin on the cult Gothic vampire novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Right from start, Shaftesbury knew it was creating something special, Jennings said: “But we didn’t quite expect this level of success. Looking back, I attribute it to a winning combination of genres: a whodunit with a miss-

ing girl and wrongfully accused characters, and a classic romance featuring star-crossed lovers. And who could be more star-crossed that a human and a vampire?” Whitney-Vernon said Shaftesbury had an existing relationship with Kimberly-Clark before embarking on Carmilla, and knew it to be an innovative global brand with the vision to “add something different” to the traditional marketing mix. “The idea of partnering a feminine hygiene brand with a lesbian vampire story had great synergy,” she added.

3C Media’s ‘journey of discovery’ A SENIOR figure behind a hit Chinese TV show has described the “enlightening journey of discovery” the production team went on in creating the series. Speaking at a session earlier in the week, 3C Media vice-president Shirley Shihui Cheng said that the process of bringing the hugely popular show Words Of Life had been “inspirational” for the team. Filmed before an audience within a powerful immersive 3D studio, the show reveals the contents of real-life letters from history through a series of dramatic readings by Chinese celebrities. The letters, which have been

painstakingly researched and selected, give insights into the private lives of ordinary people and major figures from history, including Chinese revolutionary and leader Chairman Mao. The readings, which are often powerfully emotional and poignant, have been a major hit in China since the show aired on CCTV in March. The readings are also followed up by surprise appearances from relatives of the letter-writer, or witnesses to the subject’s life. Cheng told delegates at the session that 3C Media, which produces the show, had sought out

poignant and revealing letters and true-life stories that were rich with “strong emotions and hid-

MIPTV News 2 • 28 • 10 April 2018

Kimberly-Clark’s consumers clearly agreed: Carmilla has clocked up 71 million views in 193 countries and been translated into 20-plus languages. Its two leads, Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis, have been catapulted to global stardom. Whitney-Vernon added: “Finding that one idea or truth that resonates with an audience is not always easy. I believe it will always be a challenge to find that connection that triggers fans to bond with a story, but we can strive to find it based on our previous successes.” Viewers of the scripted digital series are 91% female, with 48% of those viewers in the 18-24 demographic, according to YouTube analytics. “This is a fandom that keeps growing,” Jennings said. “New viewers continue to find the series and the movie.” Meanwhile, the brand universe continues to expand, with more fan events, a young-adult book series and a primetime TV show, currently in development. “There’s more to come,” Jennings added. “We will be making a big announcement in the fall, so stay tuned.” • Keynote Showcase: MIPTV 2018 Brand Content Of The Year: Carmilla Wednesday, Apri1 11, Debussy Theatre, Palais Level 1, 12.00

den facts” from history. “Words Of Life is a tribute to the power of true words,” said Cheng. 3C Media’s Shirley Shihui Cheng

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Sony 4K ultra HD Theatre (Audi I) – Palais

TUESDAY 10 APRIL 09.30-10.30

NHK – READYING FOR 4K AND 8K Yukari Hayashi (NHK) Tadatsugu Uesugi (NHK) Atsushi Murayama (NHK)


THE BEST IN UHD, IN MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT Peter Worsley (Eagle Rock Films) Dan Fahy (Viacom Int’l Media Networks) Wolfgang Bergman (ARTE-Germany ZDF Enterprises)

WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 09.30-10.30 FACTUAL IN ULTRA-HD, WINNING CRITICAL AND PUBLIC ACCLAIM Ed Sayer (Discovery) Olivier Chiabodo (The Explorers) Serge Laroye (Orange Content) 15.30-16.30 SPECTACULAR SPORTS AND ACTION, IN ULTRA-HD Jon Smith (Hoplite Ent.) Pascoe de Glanville (Ananda Media) Amy Shapiro (Vivicast Media) Justus Verkerk (FCCE) 16.30-17.30 CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE USING UHD & HDR Peter Sykes (Sony Professional Solutions Europe)

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Chairman: Chris Forrester, journalist and industry consultant In partnership with


OREGON STORY IS ‘PASSION PROJECT’ NEW YORK-based independent writer and producer Kanika Oung is attending MIPTV for the first time looking for potential backers for a historical drama which sheds light on the modern political landscape. Oung is in Cannes with production partner Torfinnur Jakupsson to meet studios and backers “willing to take a gamble”. Oung said that while the show, Port Paradise, was primarily focused on the injustices and corruption of the “wild west” atmosphere in which the city of Portland, Oregon, was founded, it also has parallels with modern political fractures. “This is a passion project,” said Oung, who was born in Oregon. “I have been working on this for the past seven or eight years. This was a time when Oregon was pretty much a new state and Portland had just become incorporated. The Republican party was in control of the state, but it was covering up for the opium trade. “There are things about this [story] which we are seeing now; it portrays racism towards Asian migrants, which I feel needs to be explored further, especially in US content. A lot of people will be able to relate to the issues in this given the current political climate.”

Kanika Oung

ABS-CBN adopts global strategy to promote Philippines’ content PHILIPPINES TV giant ABSCBN is taking a more outward-looking approach with its content as part of a new strategy to develop closer ties with the international markets. Macie Imperial, head of programme acquisition and international distribution, said the changing market called for a global perspective. “Our new direction is to look for co-production partners internationally,” Imperial said. “In the past, we looked to keep things close to us. Now we are here to introduce our stars to the international arena. We are looking to sell our content overseas and get our stars cast in international co-productions. “The industry is evolving; viewing habits are changing. You can’t just keep content to yourself any more. We are ready to transition with the trends.”

The company operates two major television networks in the Philippines, ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action and a number of regional radio stations, as well as a wide range of subsidiaries engaged in content

production and distribution. Imperial was speaking alongside Pia Laurel, ABS-CBN head of sales, who is in Cannes to present content from the Philippines, including hit romantic drama The Promise.

Pia Laurel (left) and Macie Imperial of ABS-CBN

NTV returns with epic drama roster ONE OF the highlights of MIPCOM 2017’s focus on Russian content was NTV’s epic drama The Road To Calvary. The adaptation of Alexey Tolstoy’s sweeping saga was produced by Timur Weinstein, who is back in Cannes with more than 20 new shows from the Russian commercial broadcaster. “One of the most important to us is the mystery drama Beyond Death,” said Weinstein, who is general producer of NTV. The European political thriller, which stars Svetlana Khodchenkova (The Wolverine), premiered on NTV in late February. He also name-checks Schubert, the story of a “modern superhero” whose superpower — incredible hearing — enables him to solve even the most mysterious crimes. Another crime drama, Countdown, features Yury

Kolokolnikov, known to audiences worldwide as the leader of the White Walkers in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. NTV’s own roster of historical dramas includes Aria Of The Doomed, set in a female Stalinist camp. “NTV is the largest producer of criminal dramas and mystery thrillers in Russia,” Weinstein said. “Its content library exceeds 20,000 hours and it has more than 100 new projects in production.” “In less than a year, three major projects have found international distributors,” Weinstein added. “Dori Media has purchased the rights for The Road To Calvary, and Armoza Formats has acquired crime thriller Sleepers and mystery crime drama Death Highway.” Dori Media reports strong inter-

MIPTV News 2 • 30 • 10 April 2018

est from the Middle East in The Road To Calvary, which is also set to air in Greece and Thailand. NTV is also seeking scripted formats at MIPTV. Last year, the channel adapted US comedy-drama Shameless for Russian audiences, and is set to air a local version of Nordic noir hit The Bridge.

NTV’s Timur Weinstein


QUIZZIA PARTNERS OFFER KIDS APP BELGIAN duo Zender.tv from Ghent and Wonder Media Productions from Antwerp have launched Quizzia, an interactive live quiz format for kids aimed at mobile platforms. Combining the app platform developed by Zender.tv for interactive live formats, and Wonder Media’s innovative real-time 3D animation, this is the first mobile app enabling users to interact live with a streaming animated character. According to Wonder Media, the system’s flexibility allows creation of fresh 3D animated content on a daily basis, enabling broadcasters to launch new formats and reach thousands of non-TV viewers in a short space of time. The partnership between Zender.tv and Wonder Media will focus on the implementation of the platform, tailoring it to customers’ needs.

FremantleMedia Australia bets on Argonon’s Ready Or Not FREMANTLEMEDIA Australia is betting that Australian broadcasters are ready for Ready Or Not, the entertainment format it has just optioned from Argonon International. Produced by Remedy Productions, part of the Argonon group of indies, the original Ready Or Not takes quiz questions to the streets of the UK, surprising people on the street, in the lift at the supermarket or even in a restaurant, among

other scenarios, with the chance to win prizes. Sometimes quizmaster duties are filled by the distinctive Question Mark (pictured), sometimes even by a talking dog. Ready Or Not debuted in March on BBC One, in the difficult-to-fill family 18.00 slot. “It was still in production when I heard about it,” Caroline Spencer, director of development at FremantleMedia Australia, said. “I wanted something cost-effective

with a game-show element that you could take out to the country.” She added: “It feels like anything can happen, so authentic and ‘unproduced’.” “Australia is a very important marketplace for us. We really needed to know we had a production company we could trust and FremantleMedia is excellent at this type of show,” said Cecilie Olsen, Argonon International’s senior vice-president of sales and acquisitions.

(FremantleMedia Australia’s Caroline Spencer (left); Question Mark; and Argonon’s Cecilie Olsen Quizzia (Zender.tv/Wonder Media)

VOICE-ACTIVATED TALPA FORMAT INDONESIAN fans of Talpa format The Next Boy/Girl Band can now interact with the show’s hosts, Malvin and Vanya, through a new Google Assistant app. Through the voice-activated virtual personal assistant, viewers are now able to vote for their favourite contestants and help determine the show’s winners. They are also able to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content. The app is available in the Bahasa language on Android and iOS.

Dancing With The Stars set for Nepal BBC STUDIOS is launching the format Dancing With The Stars in Nepal. The deal with local production house ANC will see the Nepali version, Dancing With The Stars Nepal, premiere by the end of 2018. ANC will both produce and distribute the 26-episode series. “We are very excited to work with new partner ANC Productions and expand our geographical reach,” said Myleeta Aga, senior vice-president and general manager of South and SouthEast Asia, BBC Studios.

The primetime format sees local celebrities partner professional dancers in a dance competition, learning new routines every week. They must perform in front of a distinguished panel of judges to avoid elimination, with audiences at home able to vote for their favourite contestant. With the Nepal deal, Dancing With The Stars will have been sold to 57 countries worldwide. “The people of Nepal have immense love for dance and we are ready to enthral them with stellar performances,” said Vivek Singh,

MIPTV News 2 • 31 • 10 April 2018

director, ANC productions. In Asia, the format has previously been sold in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. BBC Studios’ non-fiction formats slate for MIPTV includes three new formats — family studio-based game show Generation Game, new competitive cooking format King Of Cakes, and Flipping Profit, which sees three experts go head to head to discover who can find and sell the most profitable item.

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V.Desjardins, Image & Co




Albatross World Sales, based in Leipzig, Germany, is the joint venture of the German production companies Taglicht Media, Marco Polo Film and Berlin Producers. We are an independent international distribution company delivering award-winning and high quality documentaries for television, home entertainment and new media worldwide. Our catalog includes a range of unique documentaries and factual programs in the genres Nature, Science, History, Travel, Culture and Current Affairs. MIPTV Highlights include Grizzly Encounters (2x52’, 4K), a wildlife program featuring ecologist and conservationist Chris Morgan. In this stunning two-part documentary, Chris is on the trail of the brown bears on the Katmai Coast in Alaska, where he can get closer to them than anywhere else to witness their social lives and survival techniques in intimate detail, revealing a surprisingly sensitive, tolerant, even tender side to the imposing Grizzly.

188_German Pav_N2_TV-p2

Home of German Content ARRI Media International is a department of the internationally established ARRI Group (camera & lighting, post-production and world sales) and is specialized in the international distribution of prestigious dramas like DIRECTIONS which competed in UN CERTAIN REGARD at Festival de Cannes 2017 (e.g. PARADISE by Andrei Konchalovsky, EXIT MARRAKECH by Caroline Link or HOME FROM HOME by Edgar Reitz.) and commercial family films (HELP I SHRUNK MY PARENTS by Tim Trageser, LITTLE MOUNTAIN BOY by Xavier Koller, PLOEY – YOU NEVER FLY ALONE by Arni Olafur Asgeirsson). Recently ARRI Media International also offers genre films such as thriller FOUR HANDS by Oliver Kienle and thriller LOCKDOWN by Bogdana Vera Lorenz.

Plastic everywhere! Plastic is both a marvel and hellish stuff. On the one hand, it can be used in a variety of ways and is inexpensive. However, it is responsible for a global environmental problem. Plastic is everywhere: as a trash vortex in the ocean and as a microplastics in our food chain. This documentary addresses the question of why mankind has not come up with a solution for this problem yet.


LITERARY CLASSIC ADAPTATION GETS GLOBAL GREEN LIGHT TELE Munchen Group (TMG) has announced new agreements with leading global distributors for the event series The Name Of The Rose, based on Umberto Eco’s worldwide bestseller. Sky will distribute in Germanspeaking Europe, while other pre-sales include Orange in France, YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway and DRtv in Denmark. TMG’s world sales unit TM International handles the worldwide distribution. The €26m series, which stars Emmy-winners John Turturro and Michael Emerson, is produced by 11 Marzo Film, Palomar and TMG in association with RAI Fiction. “These deals confirm the strong interest of the international market for high-quality dramas with solid production values and local artistic roots,” said Nicola Serra, managing director and partner of Palomar. Herbert L Kloiber, managing director of TMG said: “We are thrilled to have such a great roster of international partners who believe in The Name Of The Rose as much as we do. We are more than happy to bring this authentic and multi-layered vision of Eco’s unparalleled novel to partners around the world.” The 19-week shoot is currently under way in Italy, with the world premiere slated for spring 2019.

SPAIN’S FILMARKET HUB RAMPS UP FILMARKET HUB is at MIPTV showcase its online marketplace for movies and series in development — matching projects with producers, broadcasters, OTT platforms and distributors. The serivice is also a tool to discover scripts or find international partners. The company also organises pitching events.

‘Win-win opportunity’ as Cineflix teams with factual indie Talesmith CINEFLIX Rights has signed a first-look deal with award-winning UK factual producer Talesmith, helping the London-based indie develop projects in exchange for exclusive worldwide distribution rights. “This is a win-win opportunity,” said Ulla Streib, chief operating officer, Talesmith. “Partnering with Cineflix Rights will help us ramp up development

and production of more innovative content for the international market.” The deal also includes the option to co-produce content with Cineflix Media’s in-house production teams in North America, following the success of Rediscovering T.Rex, a UK/Canada co-production for the BBC, CBC, France Televisions and Canal D.

Talesmith’s Ulla Streib with Cineflix’s Chris Bonney (left) and Richard Life

Richard Life, vice-president Acquisitions, Cineflix Media, who closed the deal with Talesmith said: “The Talesmith team are incredibly creative and full of ambitious ideas. They have a great track record and their high quality, bluechip specialist factual programming is in strong demand internationally.” Chris Bonney, CEO rights, Cineflix Media agreed: “Broadening and deepening our relationships with producers means we can provide them with the funding and expertise to get their shows greenlit, while adding outstanding content to the Cineflix Rights catalogue.” Cineflix Rights recently signed a development and production deal with Monty Halls’ Seadog Productions, and is launching its latest series My Family And The Galapagos at MIPTV.

Mr Magoo gets 21st-century makeover FRENCH animation house Xilam has licensed its new series, Mr Magoo (78 x 7 mins), to the ITV’s digital channel CITV in the UK. “Mr Magoo is a fantastic character: joyful, helpful, but disaster-prone and inherently funny,” said Xilam president Marc du Pontavice. “He first appeared in a theatrical short in 1949, and he’s been in theatrical shorts, TV series and specials. He’s so iconic that he was President Trump’s nickname for his ill-fated attorney general Jeff Sessions.” Xilam added some characters, updating the dog Bowzir – who was actually a cat – into Mr Cat, and adding an antagonist, Fizz the hamster, who wants to be recognised by humans as the genius that he is. Dar-

ren Nartey, programme acquisitions executive at ITV, said: “This is a very funny show which makes kids laugh out loud. We wanted something light-hearted, to sit alongside the hugely popular Mr Bean

(Tiger Aspect) and the upcoming Rubbish World Of Dave Spud (Illuminated Film Company). All three are about hapless heroes, and they perfectly complement our boys-action shows.”

Mr Magoo (back row) with Xilam’s Marc du Pontavice (left) and Morgann Favennec, with ITV’s Darren Nartey

MIPTV News 2 • 34 • 10 April 2018


FIRST TIMERS’ PROGRAMME Open to all registered delegates

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR “FIRST TIMERS’ HQ”, Participants’ Club, Palais -1 FIRST TIMERS’ “HOW TO MIPTV” PRESENTATION, DISCOVERY TOUR AND WELCOME DRINKS Sunday 8 April 17.00: Meeting point: Entrance No. 4, Palais des Festivals 17.15: How to MIPTV” including a presentation by The Pitch Doctor, Paul Boross, Agora, Palais -1 Followed by a discovery tour of the exhibition floors/services 18.30: Welcome drinks

FIRST TIMERS’ DISCOVERY TOURS Missed the Sunday tour? To attend a discovery tour sign up at the First Timers HQ in the Participants’ Club, Palais -1

Monday 9 April, 10.00 & 16.00, First Timers HQ, Palais -1 Tuesday 10 April, 10.00 & 16.00, First Timers HQ, Palais -1

FIRST TIMERS’ WELCOME BREAKFAST Monday 9 April at 9.30, Welcome Speech by Paul Zilk, CEO of Reed MIDEM Daily, Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 at 8.30 - 10.00, Bar Innovation Hub, Palais -1 On Tuesday 10, José Machado, CNO at International TV Professionals community, will join us to help all MIPTV’s First Timers

FIRST TIMERS’ COFFEE & BISCUITS Daily, Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11 at 16.30 -17.30, Bar Innovation Hub, Palais -1 On Tuesday 10, Vincent Glatigny, co-founder of G&Co, will share his First Timer experience

FIRST TIMERS’ MEET & GREET CORNER - MIPTV OPENING RECEPTION Meet and network with the MIPTV team and other fellow First Timers at the MIPTV Opening Reception

Monday 9 April, 19.30 at The InterContinental Carlton Hotel Cannes

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06/04/2018 16:06


Crime Scene Solvers gets primetime slot on zdfinfo

ZDFINFO has picked up two seasons of Balanga’s new crime and investigation series Crime Scene Solvers (20 x 52 mins) for a primetime slot. The series has also been licensed to RTBF in Belgium, LNK TV in Lithuania, Bell Media in Canada, Legend Film in China and to Amazon. Crime Scene Solvers is produced by Paris-based factual indie Phare Ouest, and originally aired as Indices on French DTT network Numero 23. “A third season has been commissioned and will be delivered next May,” said series producer Sebastien Brunaud.


LOOKING Glass International (LGI), the Australia-based distributor specialising in factual programming, has secured sales in Europe for its high-end documentaries. UKTV has picked up William And Harry: Brothers In Arms (1 x 60 mins), produced by the UK’s Entertain Me. Italy’s RAI, meanwhile, has acquired Urban Diggers: MRT Malaysia. Produced by Malaysian documentary producer Nuvista Media (formerly known as Novista), this one-hour special showcases construction of the underground section of Kuala Lumpur’s new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.

William And Harry: Brothers In Arms (Looking Glass International)

The Real Full Monty format receives remake down under ALL3MEDIA international has sold both the format and the finished series of Spun Gold Television’s The Real Full Monty to Seven Network Australia. The news follows a pre-MIPTV sale to TVNZ and an option deal with France’s Pernel Media. The Real Full Monty sees a group of male celebrities bare all in an hilarious homage to the iconic British film. However, the format also has a serious purpose: to raise awareness of male cancers. The original BAFTA-nominated UK show, which featured Wayne Sleep, Ashley Banjo, Alexander Armstrong, Dom Littlewood, Harry Judd, Danny John-Jules and Matthew Wolfenden, was one of UKTV’s highest rating non-scripted programmes of 2017. It also spawned a female version — The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night — which focused on raising awareness of breast cancer.

Daniela Neumann, managing director of Spun Gold, said The Real Full Monty was more than “a big show with warmth, humour, joy and real emotion”. She added: “At its heart is an important message about the need for all of us to check ourselves

regularly. We were inundated with messages from people saying that, as a result of watching the show, they got checked out and prevented a potentially fatal late diagnosis.” The Australian remake will be hosted by comedian Shane Jacobson.

Spun Gold’s The Real Full Monty: off to Oz

Media Ranch rounds up worldwide deals

CANADIAN producer/distributor Media Ranch has secured several new deals at MIPTV. Among these, international media firm Olympusat has acquired True Sex Confessions for the US Hispanic market. A 13 x 30-minute factual series in which people share their weird and wonderful sex experiences, True Sex Confessions originally ran on Canadian French language lifestyle and entertainment channel Moi & Cie. Prior to the Olympusat deal, it has been acquired by Channel 10 in Spain, Sky Italia’s Cielo in Italy and SPI International, which picked up the show for broadcast in Poland and is distributing it in China. At MIPTV, Media Ranch has also sold the format rights for Verdict On Demand to German producer Imago TV. Originally created by Dutch producer Vincent

TV Producties for SBS6 in The Netherlands, the show features a legal expert making house visits to people struggling with issues they can’t resolve. Another format sale has seen Endemol Shine Germany pick up the option rights to comedy panel show Who Am I?! Media Ranch will also introduce new Israeli format Face It at MIPTV 2018, which brings ce-

lebrities face to face with vocal trolls. Commenting on the new deals, Media Ranch president Sophie Ferron said: “There are no borders to great storytelling as these recent sales and acquisitions show. Our passion for compelling content mixed with a fierce hands-on approach enables us to touch audiences throughout the globe.”

Media Ranch’s Sophie Ferron and Olympusat’s John Baghdassarian

MIPTV News 2 • 36 • 10 April 2018


Blue Ant International profits from a ‘really robust’ content industry CANADIAN distribution giant Blue Ant International (BAI) has announced what the company says is its biggest increase in sales in Germany to date. The company comes to Cannes following the sale of 140-plus hours of HD content from its premium factual entertainment and high-impact documentary categories. The buyers are among some of the biggest broadcast and media companies in Germany, Europe’s largest TV market. “Generally speaking, the content industry is really robust for producers and distributors as there are more buyers than ever before,” said Solange Attwood, Blue Ant International’s executive vice-president. “You are seeing that in Germany.” Discovery Communications’ German operation has bought factual entertainment series Paranormal Survivor, including the fourth series currently in production. Discovery has also acquired other titles including

Haunted Case Files and The Scariest Night Of My Life. ProSiebenSat.1 Media snapped up Brojects, Brojects In The House and Warships, among other titles from BAI’s catalogue, while German public broadcaster ZDF picked up shows, including Canada: The Story Of Us and Camp Zambia. Other German media groups

acquiring BAI content include ARTE, RTL, Autentic and Docs de Cologne. “Germany is well-known for producing its own content so it says a great deal about Kate Blank, our senior director of international sales, for brokering these deals because she understands what their programming needs are,” Attwood added.

Blue Ant International’s Kate Blank and Solange Attwood

Daro and Muse shake on distribution deal MONACO-based Daro Film Distribution has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Canadian film and TV production company Muse Entertainment. The deal covers English-speaking Africa, Eastern Europe and the Baltics, and includes acclaimed mystery movies An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (12 x 120 mins), The Gourmet Detective (4 x 120 mins) and Fixer Upper Mysteries (6 x 120 mins). The deal was finalised by Muse CEO Michael Prupas and Daro president Pierre-Andre Rochat. “Muse’s productions have an exceptionally high market value internationally and I look forward to presenting them to our key cli-

ent base at MIPTV,” said Rochat. Founded in 1982, Daro Film Distribution has grown to become an important independent distribution company, representing more than 100 produc-

ers from around the world. Daro has a catalogue of over 5,000 hours, ranging from blockbuster theatrical films and action series, to TV movies, cartoons and documentaries.

Daro Film’s Pierre-Andre Rochat (left) and Muse Entertainment’s Michael Prupas

MIPTV News 2 • 37 • 10 April 2018

CONNECT3 UNVEILS TWO FORMAT DEALS ON MIPTV DEBUT CONNECT3, the Cineflix Media-backed content company launched in late 2017 by Pablo Salzman, has started its first MIPTV with two format deals. As part of its strategy to turn Quebec formats into international hits, the company has optioned Productions Lustitia’s SOS: Stories Of Survival. The format, now in its third season on Bell Media’s Ztele, sees celebrities thrown into challenging outdoor survival situations. It is represented internationally by Cineflix Rights, which has already closed an option deal for the format with Sweden’s Nice Entertainment Group. Connect3 has also optioned Coco.TV’s 100 Years At The Table, which airs on TeleQuebec. In the show, top chefs explore a nation’s history through cuisine, preparing dishes inspired by famous characters, places and events. The format deals were set up through Cineflix’s International Development Initiative for Quebec Content, which fosters the adaptation of Frenchlanguage television series and formats created by Quebec producers for the English-speaking global market. Salzman said: “These two strong formats tap into the global appetite for engaging and stimulating content with a local twist. The deals also underline our handson approach to connecting our creative partners and their projects with the right content platforms, to bring their stories to an international audience.”


New advisory board pledges to boost diversity at MIP shows KEY INFLUENCERS from the TV industry are being invited to sit on the brand-new MIP Markets Diversity Advisory Board to advise on and highlight diversity issues across MIP shows. Building on the progress made in recent years in partnership with DiversifyTV, the board will assemble ahead of MIPCOM 2018 to create an amplified diversity programme for the October event. Sean Cohan, president, international and digital media, A+E Networks said that he was joining the board “because of the striking need for and continuing lack of inclusion and diversity, and the air-tight business case for it.” He added: “Some of the best creative is coming from places and voices that our industry hasn’t sought out. I got tired of looking around and not seeing rooms of professionals that reflect these dynamics.” “It’s 2018 – why are we still having this conversation?” said Bunmi Akintonwa, managing director, The Little Black Book, who is also getting involved. “Each screen is a mirror. If you’re a little girl and you constantly see beautiful people but none of them looks like you, you don’t feel pretty. If you’re disabled and you don’t see anyone like you being a detective or even winning a game show — it seems impossible.” DiversifyTV member and director of audiovisual, cinema and digital creation at authors’ society SACD, Sahar Baghery added: “Gathering a board of people from different countries, origins, social backgrounds and companies is crucial for building a dynamic and prolific strategic plan. “I am a young, French-Moroccan-Iranian woman of 35,” Baghery said. “In my personal life, I am constantly surrounded by people with diverse backgrounds, different origins. However, the more I climb the

ladders professionally, the more inequalities strike me. I believe my voice needs to help represent other voices.”

“The audience now has much more choice than ever before and are voting with their feet. If they don’t see content rele-

Bunmi Akintonwa, managing director, The Little Black Book

David Cornwall, managing director, Scorpion Television

David Ellender, president, global distribution and co-productions, Sonar Entertainment

Sean Cohan, president, international and digital media, A+E Networks

vant to them and representing them, they will go elsewhere,” said board member David Cornwall, managing director, Scorpion Television. “Also, in an era of increased competition for talented staff, drawing from a culturally diverse talent pool allows you to attract and retain the best people.” The recent success of the film Black Panther is a case in point, according to David Ellender, president, global distribution and co-productions Sonar Entertainment. “Panther has become the highest grossing film made by an African-American and continues to break global box-office records — many thought this was unthinkable,” Ellender said. “Not only is this a long overdue embrace of diversity and representation, it’s a film that actually has something to say and is able to do so without stepping away from the superhero dynamic that makes the larger franchise work so successfully.” Other confirmed board members include Nick Smith, senior vice-president, format production, all3media international. “The biggest issue in the past has been the recognition that there is a diversity problem,” Smith said. “Thankfully we are now at a stage where many organisations around the world have accepted that it exists. It is great that Reed MIDEM want to do their part in trying to tackle the issues by forming the MIP Markets Diversity Advisory Board and I’m happy to have been asked to be a part of this.” “People get genuinely excited when they finally see people like themselves on the screen because it makes them feel visible, valued, viable, loved,” Akintonwa added. “Everyone deserves to feel that way.”

Bunmi Akintonwa:

Nick Smith, senior vice-president format production, all3media international

Sahar Baghery, director of audiovisual, cinema and digital creation, SACD

MIPTV News 2 • 38 • 10 April 2018

“Visible, valued, viable, loved. Everyone deserves to feel that way”

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Driving the content economy


STB SET TO REMAKE NIPPON’S MOTHER STB TV channel has acquired the scripted format rights to Nippon TV’s award-winning drama series Mother (11 x 60 mins) and will be remaking the series in either Ukrainian or Russian. The scripted format has already been sold to South Korea and is currently airing on tvN, and has been selected for CANNESERIES. The deal marks the first time that a Japanese drama has been produced as a format in Ukraine. The announcement was made jointly today by Atsushi Hatayama, president of international business development for Nippon TV, and Ekaterina Shevelyuk, head of programming for STB. “Seeing Mother produced by another prominent drama-producing country such as Ukraine is a great honour,” Hatayama said.

IDIOTEST RIGHTS GO TO GLOBAL ROAD GLOBAL Road Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to the television game-show format Idiotest, as well as to all the episodes that aired in the US on the Game Show Network. The company is presenting the format and the four seasons of original content to buyers at MIPTV. “In Idiotest, we have found an addictively compelling format that we expect to resonate with audiences around the globe,” Eli Shibley, Global Road’s president of international television distribution & co-productions, said. Idiotest, based on the highly popular app, gives two pairs of contestants the opportunity to face off in several rounds of visual brain teasers that look deceptively simple, but the answers to which require a keen eye, quick mind and sound logic. Since Idiotest launched in the US on Game Show Network in 2014, the show has been viewed by more than 31.6 million unique viewers over four seasons.

Argentina star Crespo kicks off launch of The Football Show HERNAN CRESPO is in Cannes to promote the launch of The Football Show. The Argentinian footballer is one of many top names to take part in the series, which is produced by Zig Zag Productions, Infinity Creative Media and Dick Clark Productions. “You have to try to defend your privacy in order to have a normal family life, but at the same time you have a responsibility to the fans, and that’s why I wanted to take part in The Football Show,” Crespo said. “These days I look after show-jumping horses and I enjoy playing tennis, plus I’m vice-president of Parma Calcio 1913, which was my first club outside Argentina.” The idea behind the show, according to Infinity Creative Media founder Russ Lindsay, was to show a side of footballers that we rarely see. “The beauty of the series is that we get up close

and personal with a broad range of personalities associated with the game,” he said. “Plus we really wanted to show the positive side of these people, because all too often the media portrays them negatively.” Zig Zag CEO Danny Fenton said the show was funded upfront to avoid it being made by commit-

tee: “We wanted to explain life off the pitch for a global audience and to do that we felt that we had to be able to do it in our own way.” Currently in post-production, The Football Show (6 x 60 mins) is a unique and revealing series profiling 24 of the world’s leading football players and managers off the pitch.

Mark Rafalowski of Dick Clark Productions (left); Infinity Creative Media’s Russ Lindsay; Hernan Crespo; and Zig Zag Production’s Danny Fenton

THE KITCHEN, the language translation, dubbing and subtitling studio with branches across Germany, Russia, Africa, Spain, the US and beyond, is introducing its newest franchise, The Kitchen Hungary. The Kitchen Hungary team will be led by Gabor Somogyi. “With clients that distribute their programming in multiple languages, a consolidation of language services is the key to streamlining their processes,” Yoram Chertok, managing director, The Kitchen EMEA said. “We are looking toward creating a synergy between Hungary and our sister companies worldwide,” Gabor Somogyi added. Pictured in Cannes are: Lagos Petro (left), managing partner, The Kitchen Hungary; Gabor Somogyi, The Kitchen Hungary; Yoram Certok, The Kitchen; Deeny Kaplan, executive vice-president, The Kitchen; and Ken Lorbor, executive vice-president, The Kitchen.

Dogwoof banks on high-value art UK-BASED documentary specialist Dogwoof has kicked-off MIPTV with a raft of deals. The Price Of Everything, an expose of the role of art in today’s consumerist society, features artists — including Jeff Koons and Gerhard Richter — collectors, dealers and auctioneers. Dogwoof sold pay-TV rights to Canal+ in France and Africa, NRK (Norway), SVT

(Sweden) and Movistar+ (Spain); and all rights sales went to Madman (Australia and NZ) and Weltkino (Germany and Austria). Further sales include: The Deminer, to ARTE GEIE (France, Germany), BBC (UK), VPRO (The Netherlands), VRT (Belgium), Movistar+ (Spain) and VGTV (Norway); This Is Congo, to Starz (US), Movistar+ (Spain),

MIPTV News 2 • 40 • 10 April 2018

RTBF (Belgium) and RTS (Switzerland); Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion And Disco, to Channel 8 (Israel), Rialto (NZ), TVN (Poland) and Pioneer (CIS, Russia); The Work, to Rialto (NZ), YLE (Finland) and VRT (Belgium); and Lots Of Kids A Monkey And A Castle sold to YLE (Finland) and VPRO (The Netherlands).


A+E Networks in Cannes with strong creative factual formats US CABLE TV company A+E Networks is at MIPTV to present a slate of innovative factual formats that have performed strongly on its own channels including History, Lifetime, Viceland and A+E. With a library of around 16,000 hours sold across all 200 world markets, Patrick Vien, executive managing director, international at A+E Networks, is in Cannes to promote some standout factual content. “We’re focused on being groundbreaking and very inventive,” said Vien, referring in particular to Live PD, a live crime series that has topped the ratings in the US. Tracking police forces as they fight crime live in six simultaneous locations over three hours, the “genuinely immersive” format promises viewers “a sense of participation,” Vien said. Currently in its second season,

A+E’s Patrick Vien

Celebrating the genius of Zeffirelli POORHOUSE is in Cannes with Chris Hunt’s new documentary, Franco Zeffirelli: Directing From Life, which explores the experiences and influences that shaped the work of the Italian director and opera producer. Poorhouse founder and musicand-arts programming veteran Reiner Moritz is in Cannes to promote the 52-minute film, which features interviews with, among others, Richard Burton, Placido Domingo, Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Judy Dench and Robert Powell, who played Jesus in Zeffirelli’s epic 1977 mini-series Jesus Of Nazareth. Zeffirelli, who celebrated his 95th birthday in February, was born out of wedlock into a chaotic family scene, marked by violent rows between his parents. During the war, he fought as a partisan and twice escaped

Poorhouse’s Reiner Moritz

death by firing squad. He was a close friend of Maria Callas and had a long working relationship with the great diva, whom he first directed at La Scala in 1955. “Zeffirelli is arguably the greatest director of opera in the second half of the 20th century,” Moritz said. “But he also

had some of the most dramatic movies to his credit: Romeo And Juliet, The Taming Of The Shrew, Hamlet and Brother Sun, Sister Moon. They showcase the intensity of his feeling for Shakespeare and religion, while Callas Forever and Tea With Mussolini are biopics of his

MIPTV News 2 • 41 • 10 April 2018

the series has been sold across Latin America and beyond, while global format adaptations are in the works. “It’s an example of cinema verite finding its way into commercial television,” said Vien, adding that the explosion in high-quality scripted storytelling has had a “creative influence on the factual side”. Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath, an Emmy-winning limited series that embeds viewers with the renowned former Scientology member, is another A+E Networks format with its hallmark of “doc-inspired truth-telling”, said Vien. Also being introduced at Cannes is The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen from executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio, who was inspired by his role in The Revenant to explore the wild, untamed American west. In the run-up to the World Cup, A+E will present documentaries from The History Of Football, a 14-day mega television event running May 28-June 10 in over 160 territories.

friends and himself.” Talking about the changing dynamics of production in a global content market increasingly dominated by the SVOD platforms, Moritz said broadcasters would do well to “reconsider the remit” of BBC founder Lord Reith, whose mission was to enrich viewer’s lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain. In order to “reconquer an audience that has long turned its back on television”, he urged broadcasters to refocus on music, arts and documentary programming. “Mainstream entertainment is and always will be a commercial commodity going to the highest bidder with the deepest pockets,” he added. “Who wants to compete with the few giants that will be left? On the other hand, a new golden age of television is not out of the question, provided the legacy broadcasters position themselves anew.”


ARMOZA TRIVIA APP GOES LIVE ISRAEL’s Armoza Formats has launched its first app — a fast-paced live-trivia game called 10Cash, which debuts this month in Israel. The app, produced by Israel’s largest online platform Walla!, allows players of all ages to win instant cash prizes by answering 10 increasingly difficult trivia questions across a range of topics. Avi Alkalay, editor-inchief of Walla!, said 10Cash had the potential to become “the most viral trivia format ever proposed for mass participation on the mobile screen”. Armoza Formats CEO Avi Armoza said: “Nowadays, everyone is looking for ways to reach the valuable mobile-first generation. 10Cash fills this need.” He added that the app also offers clients advertising and sponsorship opportunities, along with the ability to expand their databases.

Presenter Wade wades in with new eco-themed rivers series ANIMAL PLANET’s River Monsters star Jeremy Wade is highlighting environmental damage across the world’s rivers in his latest series, Jeremy Wade’s Mighty Rivers. The six-part show is a natural progression from River Monsters, but delves deeper into the ecological challenges each habitat faces, according to Wade. “Once again, we’re using the fish and apex predators as a barometer for the health of a river,” he said. “If they’re missing

from the food chain, that’s a sign that’s something’s wrong.” Exploring rivers as diverse as the Ganges and Yangtze in Asia, and the Zambezi in Africa, Wade engages locals, using his linguistic skills to uncover the stories surrounding the rivers, as well as plunging beneath the surface to reveal incredible, underwater worlds. “Freshwater life is not nearly as well covered in the media as marine life. But rivers are central to our communities and, as wa-

ITVS GE’s Ronan Hand (left), Jeremy Wade and Icon Films’ Lucy Middleboe

ter-based life-forms, the water cycle flows through every one of us. This really matters.” “It’s a timely moment to launch a show like this, in a climate of global activism,” said Ronan Hand, senior vice-president global content, non-scripted of distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE). “It’s also about making a conservation show entertaining. Jeremy’s authenticity really speaks to the people he meets.” “One of the biggest challenges for the new series was following the incredible success of River Monsters,” said Lucy Middleboe, commercial director at producer Icon Films. “The rivers are there, the fishing is there, but this is also a journey into broader themes. As well as delivering a call to action, each episode will supply updates on what has happened since filming, and connect viewers with their local rivers.”

10Cash (Armoza Formats)

HAT TRICK MOVES HOUSE TO SAT.1 HAT TRICK International and Germany’s ProSiebenSAT.1 have agreed to produce a local adaptation of factual house-swap format Rich House Poor House. SAT.1 has commissioned a four-episode series, produced by Imago TV, which will air with the title Plotzlich Arm, Plotzlich Reich – Das Tausch-Experiment.

SAT.1’s Joachim Drees (left), Cassandra Toller and Sarah Tong of Hat Trick International with SAT.1’s Hendrik Niederhoff

All Media’s international androids RUSSIAN distributor All Media brings an all-new drama line-up from Russian producer Yellow Black and White (YBW) to MIPTV. Among the flagship projects is the 16-part sci-fi drama Better Than Us, which has recently sold to China — while deals are already being negotiated with Spain, France and the US. The story follows working android robots that develop feelings of their own, and the series has been taken on by Creative Artists Agency which is pitching format remakes in the US. The Counted is another YBW original series located in an isolated region of northern Russia where scientists are trying to discover the mysterious source of a fast-spreading deadly virus. The series, recently shown in

Russia on the SVOD platform Start, already has interest among French distributors and channels. All Media is presenting the series at Cannes alongside the football-themed dramedy, Offside. “From market to market, there is more and more interest from

Better Than Us (All Media)

MIPTV News 2 • 42 • 10 April 2018

international buyers in Russian content,” said Zhanna Shakhshaeva, head of the international department at All Media, adding that Russian series are finding new audiences at international festivals like MIPDrama and Series Miami.


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GLOBAL WINS RIGHTS TO NTV DRAMA REAFFIRMING the growing international popularity of Russian content, Global Agency has secured the worldwide rights for Aria Of The Doomed, the NTV Russia-produced series portraying the lives of women in the Stalinist camps. “The unfolding saga about human kindness and strong spirits facing the most unimaginable ordeal in the most inhumane conditions will touch everyone’s heart,” said Timur Weinstein, general producer of NTV. The historical drama, which covers the period 1938 to 1945, sees Olga Pavlova (Darya Ekamasova) and Sofia Ter-Ashaturova (Ekaterina Guseva) meet on a convict train. With Olga having been arrested as a spouse of an enemy of the state, and Sofia detained after a report from an anonymous informant — a common practice during the Stalinist purges — the women have to find the strength to survive terrible cruelty in the prison. Izzet Pinto, founder and CEO of Global Agency, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with NTV, Russia’s leading channel, for their engaging and emotional period drama. Our goal is to deliver this epic content all around the world, and we hope Aria Of The Doomed will win the love of audiences globally.”

Aria Of The Doomed (Global Agency)

22 Media aims to score early to feed appetite for sports 22 MEDIA International, the new boutique distributor specialising in sports-based factual content is currently focusing on soccer-themed shows, according to the company’s Peter Dunits. The launch catalogue includes Zig Zag’s The Next Jamie Vardy and Goalhanger Films’ Keane & Vieira: Best Of Enemies. Dunits hailed the insatiable appetite for football-based content — especially in the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. “I’m in Cannes to licence shows but also find new titles that tell the story behind the story,” he said. “I’m looking for titles that show how footballers train, what they

eat, their lifestyle, the politics around the sport.” According to Dunits, one of the biggest obstacles to sports content reaching mainstream schedules is that it is often presented as one-off series that broadcasters aren’t able to schedule. “What I’m doing is aggregating content that they can air as part of strands,” he said. There are some huge companies in the sports rights sector such as IMG and Pitch International. “But the advantage of being a boutique is that you can respond very quickly to new opportunities, for example around branded content. It’s also true

22 Media International’s Peter Dunits

that some smaller producers like the personal attention and faceto-face service boutiques offer.”

ZAFARI, the latest show from Denmark’s Ink Group, about diversity in the animal kingdom, has “Hollywood in its DNA”, according to Claus Tomming, Ink’s managing partner. “Created by David Dozoretz, who is known for his work on Star Wars and Mission Impossible, it has a Disney-style movie quality. Zafari is the story of a secret valley at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro filled with animals magically born with the skin of other animals. It’s not just about inclusion — but celebrating difference,” Tomming said.

Bard and Vegard’s Norwegian tales AFTER creating a popular talk costing 30m, the cross-country show as well as conceptual music ski champion who crashed his videos including The Fox, which car while drunk then ran away, has been watched close to 750 and the Justin Bieber water million times on YouTube, brothers Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker, known to their millions of fans as Ylvis, have just completed a TV series called Stories From Norway (7 x 26 mins). Each episode is based around real incidents: “There’s the diving board built by a local council that was supposed to cost 1.5m kroner but which ended up Vegard (left) and Bard Ylvisaker MIPTV News 2 • 44 • 10 April 2018

scandal,” said Bard. “Our way of telling the story is to create a demo with actors and real experts who are interviewed for inserts, then we go back and forth until we feel that we’ve nailed it.” “We always tell the story straight, and then draw the humour from what we create around it,” Vegard added. Stories From Norway is also available as a format. Negotiations are currently at an advanced stage with several territories.


MIPTV short-form finalists return with a tale of horror PATRICIA MOORE, a horror story centred on a family of cannibals, is making its MIPTV debut after its creators took part in last year’s inaugural Digital Short-Form Series Pitch. Co-produced by Australia-based Cobbstar Productions, France’s Black Sheep Films and French streaming platform Blackpills, Patricia Moore is a nine-part 10-minute series aimed at digital-native viewers internationally. Blackpills commissioned it after seeing Cobbstar and Black Sheep Films introduce the concept during their joint entry in MIPTV 2017’s Digital ShortForm Series competition. “So, everything started here one year ago,” said Black Sheep’s CEO Augustin Bernard. Because of their collaboration’s success, his company and Cobbstar have agreed to continue

their partnership on short forms and other content formats. “We are here as a proven Australian-French partnership to secure financing for our drama slate,” said Brian Cobb, Cobbstar’s founder, CEO and executive producer.

Black Sheep producer Mathieu Van de Velde added: “We believe the young people consuming digital-first content today are developing a consumption habit that, at some point, all traditional broadcasters will have to adapt to.”

Black Sheep’s Augustin Bernard (left); Cobbstar’s Brian Cobb; with Black Sheep’s Mathieu Van de Velde

Doc chronicles pipeline protest CANNES is a long way from the protest camp where Waste Win Young and Linda Black Elk have opposed a major oil pipeline on sacred land. But as the documentary End Of The Line: The Women Of Standing Rock (1 x 90 mins) shows, these Lakota women are as accustomed to addressing far-flung meetings as

they are to facing water cannons in the depths of a Dakota winter. “The protest is a hook for us to tell the story of what’s happening to indigenous people in America,” said director Shannon Kring of Red Queen Media. “The battle to stop the oil pipeline desecrating their ancient burial and prayer sites and

Waste Win Young (left), Shannon Kring and Linda Black Elk

polluting their water, is linked to that against forced sterilisation, the boarding school atrocities and the foster care system.” Kring’s film follows Lakota women like Win Young — a grandmother and archaeologist — as she persuades banks and pension funds around the world to divest hundreds of thousands of dollars from the pipeline company. Black Elk is also seen: she went from being a teacher and healer to being arrested, receiving death threats, and seeing peaceful protesters hosed with water, tasered, and shot with rubber bullets. End Of The Line was 85% crowdfunded on Indigogo, and is supported by the Finnish Film Foundation and TV broadcaster YLE. It is available for pre-sale and is scheduled for delivery in September 2018.

MIPTV News 2 • 45 • 10 April 2018

MAT BRINGS CAR WARS TO CANNES EXECUTIVE producer Mat Steiner is in Cannes to present Carnage, a highaction reality show in which contestants battle it out in customised cars. Steiner, the founder and managing director of Primal Media, said the UK company’s latest format was part of a new trend of making “grand, epic, filmic” productions. Carnage features ordinary people who have transformed their own vehicles into powerful combat machines. The show, which debuts in the UK on Sky One next month, sees contestants fighting it out in a number of arenas using a bizarre array of weapons and tactics. The combat arenas are now permanent fixtures, opening up the opportunity for international productions with local presenters and contestants. Primal — a joint venture with Lionsgate — and Motion Content Group, which was joint producer of the show, are inviting companies to talk to them during MIPTV about taking the show to new markets and territories.

Primal Media’s Mat Steiner

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La Brasserie du Casino 5 Square Mérimée

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La Crêperie de la Croisette 82 boulevard de la Croisette Côté Sushi 17 Square Mérimée Le Frensh 43 rue Felix Faure Le Kid 69 boulevard Carnot O 7bis 7 bis rue des Gabres Pizzaiola 10 Rue Marceau Steak n Shake 2 Place du Général de Gaulle Le Triomphe 4 rue Jean Jaurès

From €30 to €40 Arcimboldo 22 rue Latour Maubourg Le Bistro Canailles 12 rue Jean Daumas Le croisette 1 boulevard de la croisette L’Espelette 12 rue Macé Le Jardin 15 avenue Isola Bella La Maison Corse 11 rue de la Miséricorde Le Meat 15 rue Saint Antoine Noon 22 rue Latour Maubourg

L’Entrecôte 21 rue des Frères Pradignac

Happy Series by CANNESERIES Every day from 6pm to 8pm, partners bars, pubs & restaurants offer you preferential rates on drinks selections during the whole Festival. La Belle Epoque 6 rue des Frères Pradignac

Le Ma Nolans 6 rue Buttura

Le Barre 17 rue Gérard Monod

Le Morrisons Lounge 8 rue Tesseire

La Biererie et la Brasserie du Casino 5 Square Mérimée

Le Morrisons 10 rue Tesseire

La Bouche à Oreille 7 rue des Gabres Charly’s Bar 5 rue du Suquet Le Chrysties 22 rue Macé L’Endroit 10 rue du Suquet L’Entrecôte 21 rue des Frères Pradignac Le Hookahs Club 10 rue du Batéguier

Le Pint House 19 rue des Frères Pradignac Plage C Beach 45 boulevard de la Croisette Le Posto Publico 9 rue Victor Cousin Le Quay’s Quai Saint Pierre Le Tube 10 rue Florian Le Zoa 2 Place du Général de Gaulle

Le Zoa 2 Place du Général de Gaulle

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09/04/2018 15:32


Telsete and Newen offer

action-packed daily drama PRODUCED by Telsete and Newen Group, Tomorrow Is Ours is TF1’s highly successful new daily series. Set in the Sete region of France on the Mediterranean coast, the series features an A-list cast, suspenseful story and compelling narrative. “It’s a strong character-driven saga filled with thrills, and romance, as well as comedy elements, and is led by wonderful actors, including Ingrid Chauvin and Alexandre Brasseur,” said Newen Distribution’s group managing director Malika Abdellaoui. Newen Distribution manages sales for the Paris-based Newen Group, which is owned by TF1. Tomorrow Is Ours unfolds in the once-peaceful town of Sete, which is thrown into turmoil following a violent explosion in a boat marina. Amid the cha-

os, protagonist Chloe Delcourt searches frantically for her missing son. “The show has already found a home on Amazon Prime Video in France, Fox Life in Italy, Series+ in Canada, RTBF in

Belgium and RTS in Switzerland, and we’re very excited to be partnering with such great international broadcasters,” Abdellaoui said. The daily series is being sold as 190 x 26 mins or 95 x 52 mins.

Tomorrow Is Ours cast and crew

Big Music Quiz scoops export prize TO COINCIDE with MIPFormats this year, TV France International and La Fabrique des Formats announced the winners of the fourth edition of the awards for the top exporting French format, and the most promising format. The Big Music Quiz, an entertainment show co-developed by EndemolShine France and Ardisson & Lumieres, has been honoured with the Export Format Award 2018. “As a group, we aim to create local formats that travel all over the world,” said Nicolas Coppermann, president of EndemolShine France. “So I’m very happy one of our French shows is making such an incredible journey, with Eastern Europe next on the horizon.” First launched in France in 2015 on TF1, where it is known as Le

Grand Blind Test, the show has already aired on major networks in seven countries — Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Vietnam. The show sees celebrities compete — individually or in teams, — in a series of challenges in-

volving popular songs. The series Calls, from the new Creation Decalee label of Canal+, was awarded most promising format. Calls involved creating a TV series entirely around sounds and the actors’ voices – without any images at all.

Mathieu Bejot, executive director, TV France International (left); Nicolas Coppermann, president EndemolShine France; Herve Michel, president TV France International; Vincent Panozzo, head of programmes, creative and international department, EndemolShine Production

MIPTV News 2 • 47 • 10 April 2018

MOVIE FIRST FOR MONDO MONDO TV Iberoamerica, part of the Italian group Mondo TV, one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content, has unveiled plans to produce a major film for the first time in its history. The film will be based on Heidi, Bienvenida — Mondo TV’s successful live-action comedy-drama for teens, about the adventures of a happy, carefree girl who leaves her beloved mountain home to live in the big city. “We are thrilled to be able to announce this exciting project. Expect a feast of adventure, comedy, music, magic and much, much more as Heidi comes to the big screen,” said Maria Bonaria Fois, general manager of Mondo TV Iberoamerica. Like the TV series, the film will be co-produced by Mondo TV Iberoamerica and Alianzas Producciones and will be written by Argentinian author Marcela Citterio. The screenplay will be adapted from the Heidi book Citterio is writing for leading Italian publisher Mondadori. As well as the co-producers and writer, many of the popular cast members from the TV show will be part of the transition to the big screen.

Author Marcela Citterio (left), Heidi actor Chiara Francia and Mondo’s Maria Bonaria Fois

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3BOX INTERNATIONAL SALES SPANISH-German distributor 3Boxmedia brings the third season of Maraton Man to Cannes. Produced by Movistar+, the travel programme follows Raul Gomez, a compulsive runner, as he travels the world looking for the most curious, hard and extreme races. Iceland, The Newborn Island (1 x 50 mins/4K), Wild Pottoka Horses and the series Wild Italy are new releases from the company’s wildlife catalogue. Maraton Man (3Box International Sales)

DISTRIBUTOR Studiocanal debuts family drama Come Home (3 x 60 mins) at MIPTV. The Red Production company series, made for BBC One, from screenwriter Danny Brocklehust (The Five, Ordinary Lies) and starring Christopher Eccleston and Paula Malcomson, is an emotional story told with levity and truthfulness. It explores the messy realities of parenthood, marriage and what happens when a mother switches the reset button on her life and walks out on her family, leaving her three Come Home (Studiocanal) children behind.



CANAMEDIA comes to MIPTV with its most diverse factual slate to date. New titles include: The Wanderers (6 x 10 mins/2 x 30 mins/HD), profiling six Australian street artists on the road; Longevity Road Trip (5 x 30 mins/HD), where couples embark on journeys to explore and keep them young; Organic Panic (10 x 30/HD), examines if organic is really healthier; Aryan Saga (1 x 60 mins/HD), about the Aryans of Ladakh, India; and Alien Life (And Where to Find It) (1 x 60 mins/HD), a documentary uncovering the latest developments in astro-biological research which leads to the CGI creation of what alien life looks like.

A RANGE of new documentaries tops the MIPTV list for Quintus Media. The Forgotten Nuclear War (2 x 48 mins) explains the background of America’s nuclear tests at Bikini-Atoll, revealing the real reasons behind the project and explaining the continuous effect the bombs still have today. Exceptional Engeneering (8 x 48 mins) takes a look behind the scenes of the construction process of some of the biggest and most innovative projects, including cranes, airplanes and the largest motorbike factory. Rocket Science - The Success Story Of Ariane 5 (2 x 48 mins), looks at the development of one of the most successful and reliable The Forgotten Nuclear War space rockets in history. (Quintus Media)

CYBER GROUP STUDIOS NEFERTINE On The Nile (52 x 11 mins/2D/3D/HD), is an animation in production from Graphilm and Cyber Group Studios, and brought to MIPTV by Paris-based Cyber Group Studios. The series, which is pre-sold to RAI (Italy), follows Nefertine, a little girl who aspires to be the first female scribe in the history of Egypt. Nefertine is already a budding young journalist who uses her papyrus diary to record the adventures she has with her friend Piramses.

The Wanderers (Canamedia)

FIRST HAND FILMS SWITZERLAND- and Berlin-based distributor First Hand Films unveils a comprehensive biography of Adolf Hitler in Cannes, The Hitler Chronicles – Blueprint For Dictators (4 x 50 mins/13 x 50 mins/1 x 195 mins/1 x 460 mins). Produced in HD by Epoche Media Production, the series features more than 40% of never-before-seen footage, and is 50% in colour, tracking Hitler’s The Hitler Chronicles – Blueprint For Dictators (First Hand Films) life from cradle to grave.

Nefertine On The Nile (Cyber Group Studios)

MIPTV News 2 • 48 • 10 April 2018

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ALBATROSS World Sales’ latest releases include: Lola Montez (1 x 52 mins/4K), a docu-drama about Ludwig I’s mistress who in the 19th century became the cause of the king’s abdication; Queen Without Land (1 x 52 mins/4K), about a polar bear mother struggling to raise her cubs as their home melts away; Magical Oman (2 x 52 mins), a portrait of the Incense Road; and The Queen Of The Night and The Hidden Life Of Sierra Morena, two new episodes of the wildlife series Stories Of The Mediterranean Forest (6 x 52 mins).

THE ORIGIN: Five Elements Of Human Civilization (5 x 50 mins/UHD) is a documentary series brought to MIPTV by Korea’s EBS. The series tries to find the connections and relationship between humans and five elements; fire, water, iron, wood and earth. Also, it attempts to delve into The Origin: Five Elements Of Human Civilization (EBS) the technological relationship between the East and the West and the meaningful development that has derived from the tension and divergence of the two worlds.


Lola Montez (Albatross World Sales)

TERRANOA THE ARROW Of Time: Gorbatchev And The Opportunity For Peace Wasted (1 x 90 mins/2 x 45 mins) is a new documentary, brought to MIPTV by France’s Terranoa. The film features exclusive interviews with the former Russian president and revisits the history of nuclear weapons and the threat of war since the cold war. Other priorities include: Maurice Bejart, The Soul Of Dance (1 x 52 mins), celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French-born choreographer who brought contemporary dance to the world stage; and Homo Spatius, a gathering of firsthand accounts from astronauts of the The Arrow Of Time: Gorbatchev And sometimes damaging effects of space The Opportunity For Peace Wasted flights on their body and mind. (Terranoa)

RED BAND Club (6 x 52 mins), based on the series Polseres Vermelles, has been adapted in Italy, Germany and the US. The French adaptation, brought to Cannes by TF1 Studio, is close to the true story of Albert Espinosa who inspired the original Catalan series. The story is about a group of kids confined to a hospital but determined to live their teen years to the fullest. Always uplifting, the series is not afraid to show the pain these teenagers are going through. The company also brings dramedy procedural Munch, about an unconventional lawyer who defends the innocent and marginal against the odds. The first season (8 x 52 mins) is complete and the second season (10 x 52 mins) is due for completion later this year.

Red Band Club (TF1 Studio)

MOMEDIA LINEUP INDUSTRIES AMSTERDAM -based distributor Lineup Industries is bringing a new format to MIPTV, Long Lost Identity, from the team behind Long Lost Family. The KRO NCRV-owned format follows adopted people as they return to their birth country for a six-day trip with their adoptive parent in a meditation on roots, belonging and identity. During the visit they meet someone of a similar age from their original community.

Long Lost Identity (Lineup Industries)

MOMEDIA presents Galapagos in Cannes, a three-hour 5K exploration of a place where life has played out in isolation from the rest of the world, looking at the remarkable collection of flora and fauna, against the backdrop of a stunning yet brutal tropical paradise. The UK company is also highlighting Pinkfong, an animation about a prince from planet Staria. The show includes hundreds of kids’ favourite songs and stories, including nursery rhymes, phonics songs, number songs, bedtime lullabies, children’s classics and fairy tales.

Galapagos (MoMedia)

MIPTV News 2 • 49 • 10 April 2018

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CORUS STUDIOS TORONTO -based Corus Studios, a division of Corus Entertainment, introduces three documentary series at MIPTV. Big Rig Warriors (10 x 30 mins) follows five dynamic truckers and the families, and friends who support them, during an exciting racing season. Rust Valley Restorers (8 x 60 mins) profiles an unusual community of automobile restorers in the Rocky Mountains, transforming piles of rust into collectible car treasures. In each episode of World Without (9 x 60 mins) the series imagines the world without a specific country and what would have transpired around the world without its various achievements. Island Of Bryan (13 x 60 mins) is about a family that moves to a tropical island to restore a rundown beachfront resort. Stitched (12 x 60 mins) is an original fashion competition in which four contestants compete in themed challenges, with one eliminated each week. One designer rises to the top with a couture-level creation that earns them the $10,000 prize. Stitched (Corus Studios)

AUTENTIC DISTRIBUTION AUTENTIC Distribution comes to Cannes with a suite of new programmes, including: The Emperor’s Darling - Josephine De Beauharnais (1 x 52 mins), telling the untold story of the stealthy French Empress; Deltas Of The World (5 x 52 mins), looking at the diversity of deltas, from the arctic to the tropics, on the border between land and sea; and Fish Fraud – The Ecolabel MSC (1 x 52 mins), which lifts the lid on shady operations in the fishing industry.

Fish Fraud – The Ecolabel MSC (Autentic Distribution)

WIZART ANIMATION YOKO is produced by Wizart, Somuga and Dibulitoon Studio, commissioned by RTVE and ETB in Spain, and brought to MIPTV by Wizart Animation. The pre-school series is focused on three children and their love of outdoor play, mixing friendship, nature and imagination. The show currently airs in 60 countries across the world. Season two, which contains 14 episodes, is currently in production and is scheduled to be completed later this year.

PLANETA JUNIOR GORMITI is a new 3D CGI animation series, produced by Giochi Preziosi, Planeta Junior and Kotoc. The first 26 episodes are scheduled for delivery this year, with a planned total of 52 x 11 mins. Aimed at boys five to eight, the story follows four kids who discover the hidden One Tower when all their heroic dreams suddenly become reality.

Yoko (Wizart Animation)


Gormiti (Planeta Junior)

RTE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME SALES IN A behind-the-scenes look at one of Europe’s largest city parks, It’s A Park’s Life (6 x 30 mins) profiles Phoenix Park in Dublin. The series profiles some of the people who give Phoenix Park its unique charm, including rangers James and Ciaran; the park’s only two gardeners, Brian and Mide; Barbara and her six Maltese dogs; and Grainne, the park’s beloved ice-cream lady-cum-matchmaker. The show is narrated by Irish radio and TV personality Baz Ashmawy.

It’s A Park’s Life (RTE International Programme Sales)

MARVISTA Entertainment debuts a slate of movies at MIPTV, headlined by Paint By Murder, a thriller set in the art world that features Kate Miller, played by Alexxis Lemire, who is thrust into the high-stakes world of priceless art and auctions, where she unravels a deadly conspiracy. The thriller also stars Jordi Vilasuso, Stephen Graybill, Mira Furlan and Brad Greenquist.

Paint By Murder (MarVista Entertainment)

MIPTV News 2 • 50 • 10 April 2018

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JAVA FILMS PARIS-based documentary distributor Java Films is launching Death In Leon in Cannes. Produced by JWP, in association with Movistar, the series continues the trend for narrative true-crime series which investigate the crime and reveal injustice. Recent deals have been signed with HBO Espana and DR.

BROUGHT to Cannes by the UK’s TCB Media Rights and produced by T2MP, Montana Wild looks at the daily life of rural, funny and atypical characters in the state, including: Rick, a wild game hunter who was a guide for over 20 years; Nathaniel, living in his small hut in the mountains; Scott and Suzy, who also decided to live in the middle of nowhere; and Jerry, a seasoned trapper. Montana Wild (TCB Media Rights)

Death In Leon (Java Films)

MAGNIFY MEDIA THE UK’s Magnify Media presents Political Blind Date at MIPTV, produced by Open Door Co and Nomad Films for TVO, Canada. In each episode, two politicians, adversaries on opposite sides of politics, get to take each other on a day-long ‘date’ built around a polarising issue in an effort to get them to connect on a human level, and maybe even work together for the common good.


Political Blind Date (Magnify Media)

PBS INTERNATIONAL returns to MIPTV with: Trump’s Takeover (1 x 60 mins/ HD), an examination of President Trump’s high-stakes battle for control of the Republican Party; #MeToo, Now What? (5 x 30 mins/HD), an open conversation about sexual harassment with host Zainab Salbi; Nova Wonders (6 x 60 mins/HD), a series following researchers tackling the biggest unanswered questions about life and the cosmos; and World’s Greatest (36 x 60 mins/HD), a new series that travels the planet, revealing the world’s greatest cities, natural wonders, animal encounters, journeys and adventures, monuments and islands.

NBCUNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION NEW SERIES from NBCUniversal include: Reverie (10x 60 mins), starring Dennis Haysbert with Sarah Shahi as a professor and former hostage negotiator, who is brought in to save people who have lost themselves in a virtual-reality program in which you can literally live your dreams; Rise (10 x 60 mins), about a teacher who takes over the theatre department; Safe Harbour (4 x 60 mins), about six friends on a yacht trip from Brisbane to Indonesia; telenovelas Al Otro Lado Del Muro (74 x 60 mins) and Enemigo Intimo (53 x 60 mins); biography Jose Jose, El Principe De La Cancion (80 x 60 mins); comedies A.P. Bio (13 x 30 mins) and Mustangs FC (26 x 30 mins); and animation series The Boss Baby: Back In Business (26 x 30 mins) and Trolls: The Beat Goes On! (52 x 30 mins).

Trump’s Takeover (PBS International)


Reverie (NBCUniversal International Distribution)

TM INTERNATIONAL’s latest highlight is new series The Name Of The Rose, based on Umberto Eco’s worldwide best-selling book. The eight-hour series follows William of Baskerville and his novice Adso of Melk, who arrive in a secluded monastery in the Alps, where they become witnesses to a series of mysterious murders in a world of secrets, betrayals and forbidden passion. The cast includes John Turturro, Michael Emerson, Rupert Everett, Damian Hardung, Sebastian Koch, James Cosmo, Richard Sammel, Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Greta Scarano. The series is produced by 11 Marzo Film, Palomar and TMG in association with RAI Fiction. MIPTV News 2 • 51 • 10 April 2018

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BYRON & The Flea (52 x 7 mins) is presented at MIPTV by Spain’s All The Kids Entertainment. The animation series features Byron, a placid sausage dog who lives happily with his owner. His comfortable life changes when he is visited by a coquettish, romantc — and yet determined — flea who sets up home in his long hair. Together they must learn to coexist and tolerate each other.

WOODCUT Media is to produce a third season of the true-crime series Britain’s Most Evil Killers (10 x 60 mins), and its international counterpart World’s Most Evil Killers (10 x 60 mins). Season three is destined in the UK for free-toair channel Pick in 2019. Stories featured include those concerning Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, Robert Black and Gary Ridgway, The Green River Killer. Each episode features first-hand accounts of their behaviour from the detectives who worked the case, journalists, relatives and survivors, alongside experts who provide analysis. The series is distributed internationally by Keshet International.

INCENDO CANADIAN producer and distributor Incendo’s priorities include: drama series in development Los Juniors and Echo And The Edge; and TV movies Second Opinion, The Queen Of Sin and Twisted. The company also operates in Canada through a joint venture with 20th Century Fox International Television (Fox/Incendo) and it handles theatrical distribution in Quebec for Paramount Pictures.

Byron & The Flea (All The Kids Entertainment)

ALPHA GROUP ANIMATION THE PARIS -based media division of Alpha Group Animation brings the third season of Super Wings to MIPTV. The series features Jett, a plane who travels around different cities in the world delivering packages to children. On every delivery Jett encounters challenges that his friends help him with. The first seasons premiered in 100+ territories including TF1 in France, KiKA in Germany, Clan in Spain, Netflix and Sprout in the US Super Wings (Alpha Group Animation) and Tiny Pop in the UK.

MILLIMAGES NEW SERIES Louie & Yoko Build (78 x 7 mins), commissioned by France Televisions, follows on from the success of earlier series Louie Draw Me. The new series features a fresh graphic style and Louie has swapped his pencil case for a magic toolbox. With the help of Yoko, they build what their friends need and show kids how to do it. The French company also brings the third season of Molang (52 x 3.30 mins), along with 9 x 7 mins specials — including Summer Break, Halloween and Christmas.

Louie & Yoko Build (Millimages)

The Queen Of Sin (Incendo)

NEWEN DISTRIBUTION TOPPING the drama slate for France’s Newen Distribution is Tomorrow Is Ours (190 x 26 mins/95 x 52 mins), produced by Telsete and Newen Group. TF1’s new thriller series is set to air on Amazon Prime Video in France, Fox Life in Italy, RTBF in Belgium and RTS in Switzerland. Other titles include: Ben (6 x 52 mins), a new police drama produced by Capa Drama, with the second season in development; spy mini-series Thanksgiving (3 x 52 mins); and Nude (10 x 26 mins), a comedy series commissioned by OCS. Formats on offer include daily competition show from TF1, My Best Christmas Ever. Youth programming includes tween scripted-reality show The First Years (438 x 11 mins); and Pants On Fire, a 40-minute comedy studio entertainment format. Documentaries include: The Mediterranean Burnout (1 x 52 mins/90 mins), about the threats that the Mediterranean Sea faces; Celine Cousteau: The Adventure Continues; and The Shadow Of Gold (2 x 52 mins), a worldwide investigation into the business surrounding the precious metal.

Tomorrow Is Ours (Newen Distribution)

MIPTV News 2 • 52 • 10 April 2018

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TOEI Animation’s MIPTV catalogue includes four new series and a feature film. Based on a children’s book series, Butt Detective is a comedy aimed at kids aged three to 12, following the adventures of a gentleman detective and his colourful allies. First published in 2012, and present in classrooms across Japan, the brand is growing internationally. Bakutsuri Bar Hunter is a new series that takes place in an intriguing world where the barcodes marking personal belongings harbour secret life forms known as bar souls. Anime GeGeGe No Kitaro returns with a new series about the supernatural creature with a strong sense of justice. People across town send him letters asking for help, which Kitaro tries to do by fighting against strange spirits. First introduced in 1968, GeGeGe No Kitaro has included at least five long sagas and eight movies. Saint Seiya also returns with new series Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho, the cosmic adventure with a cast of female heroines. Altogether, the Saint Seiya franchise comprises 255 x 30 mins episodes and six movies. Digimon Tri. 6, the sixth film in its series of animated features, brings the cast back for a final adventure. Taichi Yagami is now having a peaceful life in high school until Digimons sudSaint Seiya: Saintia Sho (Toei Animation) denly appear in the real world.

MADRID-based Imira Entertainment is in Cannes with two new short-format series. AstroLOLogy (288 x 2 mins) is a non-dialogue star-sign-based comedy for kids. The twelve zodiac symbols are transformed into human-like characters with differing personalities, and at the end of each clip is a message that explains the star signs. Buck & Buddy (60 x 5 mins) is also a non-dialogue slapstick comedy featuring Buck the beetle and Buddy the stick insect in growing-up stories that explore innocence, fun and fearlessness.

9-12 April 2018 Cannes-France

AstroLOLogy (Imira Entertainment)

ORANGE SMARTY A NEW format showcased at MIPTV by the UK’s Orange Smarty is Do The Right Thing. Made by GooWoo Media, broadcast on Channel 5 and hosted by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, the series tells extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Showing in a primetime slot, the format features surprises, 169_FZ_N2_TV studio reunions and efforts to make people’s dreams come true.




a year-round networking tool MIPTV News 2 • 53 • 10 April 2018

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Splish Splash (CineGroupe)



QUEBEC-based CineGroupe is highlighting Splish Splash (52 x 2.5 mins) at MIPTV, a series aimed at three to sixyear-olds. Produced in 3D and animated on a Macro-photographic environment, Splish Splash takes place in a universe in which the characters — tiny drops of water — take kids on journeys of discovery, while children become aware of the environmental value of water. The company also brings Tshakapesh Super-Heroes (13 x 13 mins), an animation featuring a folkloric hero found in the Cree and Innu legends, produced with a modern-day superhero approach.

FOLLOWING a series of first-look deals with Lambent Productions and Renowned Films, Passion Distribution is launching several new titles in Cannes. From Lambent Productions comes new documentary series, Secrets Of The World’s Super Skyscrapers (2 x 60 mins), revealing the inner workings of the world’s most extraordinary skyscrapers. From Renowned Films come: Generation Grime (1 x 90 mins), charting the origins of the definitive current British music movement, featuring Dizzee Rascal, Wretch 32 and Wiley; and The Peng Life (4 x 30 mins), featuring YouTube talent Elijah Quashie, known as ‘The Chicken Connoisseur’, as he travels and critiques the finest, most extravagant, weirdest and most wonderful bargain foods, drinks, cars, events and jewellery. Lifestyle series include: food-adventure series Chilli Hunter (8 x 30 mins) and Where To I Do? (8 x 30 mins) focusing on wedding locations. Factual entertainment series include Pioneer Production’s Animals After Dark, airing on Channel 5 as Nocturnal Britain (3 x 60 mins).

KESHET INTERNATIONAL KESHET International has teamed up with studio Youngest Media to produce a new shiny-floor game show. The Search transforms the globally popular wordsearch puzzle into a physical game, putting contestants’ speed, knowledge and their ability to work together to the test. The show, available in 30-minute and 60-minute versions, is commissioned by Keshet 12 and Keshet International is 217_RM launching the DATABASE_N1_TV format at MIPTV.

The Search (Keshet International)

Where To I Do? (Passion Distribution)


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MIPTV News 2 • 54 • 10 April 2018

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TAPE Consultancy, the London-based content-focused research company, and Eurodata TV Worldwide, the international division of Mediametrie specialised in TV ratings and content trends, launch the new Content Evaluation Service at MIPTV. This service provides an objective assessment of the intrinsic audience potential of scripted projects throughout the development process, from brief treatments and outlines, to full-blown scripts, or produced pilots. The content evaluation service identifies key strengths and weaknesses of a project and marketing/promotional assets.

DHX BRANDS, the brand management and consumer products arm of DHX Media, is in Cannes with the Teletubbies franchise, following a recent deal that sees the new Teletubbies series go to South Korea’s public broadcaster KBS. Additionally, SMG Holdings/Joon International has been appointed licensing agent for Teletubbies in South Korea and is expected to begin rolling out a consumer products programme in the territory later this year.

NEW DOCS THE NEW line-up for MIPTV from Germany-based documentary distributor New Docs includes two specials by Berlin producer Telekult: Sex And Love 3.0 (1 x 52 mins/ HD), looking at the future of love, partnership and sex in the digital age; and The Breast Milk Boom (1 x 52 mins/HD), exploring the latest scientific research into the subject of breast milk. California Dreaming – One Step Ahead Of The Future (5 x 45 mins/HD), explores a state that was once the destination of explorers and g o l d diggers, and is now a haven for visionaries.

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Sex And Love 3.0 (New Docs)

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MIPTV News 2 • 55 • 10 April 2018

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YETI Tales (75 x 7.30 mins/1 x 26 mins/40 x 2.30 mins) is produced by Paris-based Darjeeling and Moving Puppet, and brought to Cannes by Miam ! animation. The pre-school puppet show features Yetili, a plush toy in a bookshop who comes to life to read to his two mice friends. The company also brings Little Malabar (26 x 4 mins), from Lille-based producer Tchack, a pre-school series focusing on science and astronomy, about a little boy who travels in space. China’s Youku, Alibaba’s online video hub has taken both series after initial discussions at last year’s MIPJunior.

TVN PRESENTS its newest factual series The Harbour (8 x 32 mins), The Prison (7 x 22 mins) and The Initiation (9 x 23 mins) at MIPTV. The Polish TV station also brings the second season of drama series and format Diagnosis (26 x 60 mins), the fifth season of drama and format Second Chance – What Matters Most? (65 x 60 mins), and new seasons of a range of lifestyle and travel programmes. TVN also highlights Letters To Santa 3, a romantic comedy that unfolds on Christmas Eve, and Taxing Love, a show that proves love can blossom anywhere, even in the tax office. Kids Meet The World, which uses local broadcasting stations’ heartwarming films of meetings between children and well-known athletes. Richer Multilingual Services, the free VOD internet service currently offers subtitles and dubbing in six languages: Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Spanish. Expansion of content is planned and interviews and documentaries will add to the line-up of travel shows.

198_MIP CANCUN_N3&4_TV Yeti Tales (Miam ! animation)

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MIPTV News 1 • 56 • 9 April 2018

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The Harbour (TVN)

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SPANISH distributor Comercial TV brings a range of shows to Cannes, including: 30-minute competition format Face2Face, in which pairs of identical twins provide a canvas for teams of hair, make-up and fashion experts to transform them, based on various themes; Mother Chef, profiling well-known chefs’ first steps in their mother’s kitchen; Dark Times, a docu-drama series recreating true murder cases; and family gameshow format The Lucky Goal, where families represent teams and are sponsored by a figure of national recognition. Mother Chef (Comercial TV)

VIVICAST Media presents its largest slate of new 4K and UHD series, together with a line-up of 4K networks at MIPTV. Content priorities include: Water Puppet – Behind The Curtain (1 x 80 mins 4K/HDR/HD), a travel and arts documentary about a Vietnamese tradition dating from the 11th century; Sex, Power And The Divine (1 x 44 mins/HD), exploring the roles of women in India; Maximum Foodie (10 x 60 mins); Journey To The Kung Fu World (4 x 60 mins), part China travelogue and part spiritual investigation; and — available for the Americas — Journey To Herculaneum (1 x 52 mins/4K/HDR/HD) and Landscape Hunter (7 x 30 mins/4K/HDR/HD), profiling Italy. Vivicast is also showcasing co-production opportunities including Ball Trip (12 x 26 mins/4K/ HDR), about football through the eyes of a football fanatic.

APC KIDS NHK WORLD-JAPAN NHK WORLD-Japan brings a range of its programming to Cannes, including: Biz Stream, highlighting the latest economic trends, corporate strategies and developments and providing coverage of expanding Asian economies; Japan’s Top Inventions, featuring interviews and drama segments to illustrate Japan’s craftsmanship in 15-minute episodes; J-Arena, a show about judo, looking at the athletes, training and competitions; and Kids Meet The World, which uses local broadcasting stations’ films that show heartwarming exchanges between children and athletes. Richer Multilingual Services, the free VOD internet service currently offers subtitles and dubbing in six languages: Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Spanish. Expansion of content is planned 201_RM MipChina_N3&4_TV with interviews and documentaries adding to the line-up of travel shows.

APC KIDS, the children’s entertainment distribution arm of About Premium Content (APC), highlights Kid-E-Cats in Cannes, based on a Russian series produced by CTC Media and Studio Metrafilms. Kid-E-Cats tells the story of three kittens who are forever ready to jump into action with endless enthusiasm and energy. APC Kids has secured a broadcast deal with MTVA in Hungary, adding to the launch in 142 territories on Nick Jr since the end Kid-E-Cats (APC Kids) of 2017.

Registration deadline:

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www.mip-china.com or contact your MIP representative

MIPTV News 1 • 57 • 9 April 2018

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2 May 2018

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Creativity versus algorithms

Outfit7’s Talking Tom & Friends started on mobile

Animation is booming online, offering a route to market for a new generation of original content creators. But the key is to follow the route carefully. Andy Fry reports


HE INTERNET has been an amazing platform for launching live-action talent, but it has always proved challenging for emerging animators. Ask experts why and they tend to cite two key reasons: algorithms and economics. Samreen Ghani, head of oper-

ations at DHX Media-owned WildBrain, for example, says: “The 100% biggest barrier for animators is lack of understanding of how online works and lack of clarity about the route to success.” Ghani is certainly not negative about the potential for online animators — and can cite examples of those who have made

it work — but she says it is important to know what you are up against: “Let’s say you’ve made a two-to-three minute piece of animation and it gets five million views. You’re looking at a potential return of $10,000. But one piece of animation isn’t enough to gain momentum on a platform like YouTube, so you need to have lots of episodes backed up and ready to go. Overall, you might be spending 12-24 months producing and distributing content without knowing if it will ever be viable. So you need to be entrepreneurial and not easily discouraged.”

MIPTV News 2 • 61 • 10 April 2018

Samreen Ghani:

“You might spend12-24 months producing content without knowing if it will ever be viable. So you need to be entrepreneurial and not easily discouraged”


FEATURE: ANIMATION WildBrain curates the online activity around TV brands created by DHX and third parties. In February 2018, for example, it took on the job of managing Cyber Group Studios’ YouTube channels. It also manages Turner International YouTube channels in the EMEA. Brands that feature prominently on these include Fireman Sam, Strawberry Shortcake and Caillou. Each month, WildBrain generates up to three billion views across 600 kids brands, so an obvious question is whether it is the kind of platform that could also help new animators to get started. Ghani says WildBrain can support new content, but that it would be wrong to view it as a kind of online kids’ content commissioner: “Most of what we do is about supporting established brands. When we do get into origination, it tends to be data-driven, rather than supporting a new story or character concept.” In truth, Ghani says, WildBrain does not need to make risky investments in online origination because there are often other original options available to it. “For example, we are sometimes presented with very good series that have not yet found international broadcast,’ she adds. A classic example is Sunny Bunnies (26 x 3.5 mins) a short-form series from Belarus that had seen

no exposure outside its home market until it featured on WildBrain. Some 250 million views later, the show has secured numerous international TV deals and is being set up as a licensing proposition. “We also manage a Korean property called Larva [104 x 2 mins], produced by Tuba for KBS. That now has two million subscribers on YouTube and has secured a deal with Disney XD LatAm,” Ghani says. “Another Korean property generating a lot of audience on YouTube is Keyring’s Spookiz.” Another options that involves a relatively low-risk exposure is digging back into the DHX archive. “Take a franchise like Brum, which has pretty much been washed through distribution as a live-action show,” Ghani says. “That was revived as an animation series, with the first episode premiering on the Brum YouTube channel.” Another approach is to work with pre-established brands. Last year, for example, WildBrain teamed up with Icelandic brand Tulipop to make a series of 2.5 mins shows based on the latter’s nature-informed animated characters. The double benefit here was a new show for children aged seven-plus and content that could support Tulipop’s consumer-product promotion across multiple territories.

Hopster’s Clever Brenda

You hear a similar story from Wayne Davison, managing director of content acquisition at Little Dot Studios. Like WildBrain, Little Dot manages online content for a number of clients, including Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and Silvergate Media. It has also launched Wizz, a pre-school aggregation channel that acts as the hub and home for several high-quality series, such as Baby Jake and Ruff Ruff, Tweet & Dave. Like Ghani, Davison says there is a fundamental problem with online: “How do you get the algorithms on a platform like YouTube to surface your content? We’ve all seen examples of amazing content with 100 views because achieving some kind of virality is really hard.”

Terry Brain’s Weirdy Rhymes

MIPTV News 2 • 63 • 10 April 2018

Wayne Davison:

“How do you get the algorithms on a platform to surface your content? We’ve all seen amazing content with 100 views because achieving virality is really hard” A big part of Little Dot’s business involves “working with clips, compilations and mash-ups to support existing shows”, Davison says. And while that may involve navigating around rights restrictions, it does not really require origination, he points out. “We are making a lovely series with Tony Collingwood called Tony’s Sketchbook,” he adds. “But mostly, we’re steering away from origination because there’s just so much content online. And it’s important to keep in mind that, if anything, YouTube is pushing more towards TV-style premium content rather than low-cost animation.” It is for reasons like these that a lot of online animation origination grows on the back of a related business model or usage pattern. The Hopster pre-school animation app, for example, launched using licensed content from established TV suppliers. Now available in some 100

FEATURE: ANIMATION countries, “it has evolved so that around half of our platform’s content is games and interactivity”, says Hopster founder and CEO Nick Walters. While TV episodes remain core to Hopster’s subscription model, it was struggling to find the specific content it needed to support its curriculum. “So we decided to produce our own shows,” Walters says. In 2017, this resulted in three short-form series — Hopster Jam, Clever Brenda and Two Minute Tales — “which bring to life themes that are important to our audience” he adds. “We were pleased with the results so, this year, we will increase our origination slate to five or six properties.” While the primary rationale for this approach has been supporting the Hopster platform, the shows have now gone out into international distribution with Aardman. “We know there are broadcasters and digital platforms looking for interstitial content, so we are happy to license it where rights windowing allows,” Walters says. There has been a similar organic growth pattern at Skyship Entertainment, a Canadian-based firm that has had phenomenal international success with its Super Simple online channels. “We originally launched the Super Simple brand as an aid to teachers around a decade ago,” says Skyship co-founder and partner Devon Thagard. “So far, we’ve generated around 8.5 billion views with a combination of songs, nursery rhymes, ABCs and educational series.” Still growing rapidly, the company’s biggest single hit has been its video of the classic Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which generated 765 million views. A step change for Skyship came a few years ago when it joined forces with Tinman Creative Studios. “We’ve made around 10 shows in the last two years — not the 52 x 11 mins you see on TV, but more like 12 x 3 mins,” Thagard adds. “We do that and see how the audience reacts.” To date, Skyship has not actively pursued the TV potential of its growing catalogue of content: “We could package things into

Rovio’s Angry Birds

11- or 22-minute episodes and we have some characters that have generated a lot of momentum, such as Baby Shark and Star and Owl from the Twinkle Twinkle video. But we have a digital audience for our content so we’ve focused more on that so far.” Thagard acknowledges that not all animators will want to spend the rest of their careers creating content for pre-school songs, but he points out that the success of the Super Simple brand means Skyship can now “take a chance” on creative work it likes the look of. “And Super Simple content is just one part of what Tinman does,” he adds. “They also service advertising clients and they do some quite edgy animation that sits outside all of this activity.” As noted, the fact that it is difficult to break through with online animation does not mean that cre-

ators should not try. WildBrain’s Ghani says: “I would counsel every animator to start their own channels and collaborate with their peers and go the traditional route. There’s certainly no excuse for sitting on the sidelines while the greatest revolution in direct distribution is happening. Throw stuff up, learn what does and doesn’t work, and get more sophisticated.” Among those already doing this are Joel Veitch, whose company RatherGood has produced content across TV, commercials, web, short film and music videos. A brilliant illustration of what Veitch is capable of is Dinosaurs: Terrible Lizards, an online short that has had five million views but could easily be reimagined as a TV series. Proof that digital-first can reap rewards include properties such as Rovio’s Angry Birds and Out-

The late Edd Gould’s Eddsworld

MIPTV News 2 • 64 • 10 April 2018

fit7’s Talking Tom & Friends, both of which started in mobile before developing into TV properties. And then there is the 2017 research from online video analytics firm Vidooly, which identified “30 YouTube animation-specific channels that create their own content and have generated more than 11 billion views, and more than 52 million subscribers”. Another bona-fide YouTube hit is Eddsworld, created in 2004 by animator Edd Gould who tragically died in 2012 aged just 23. The show has been continued by Gould’s friends and partners, and is now up to 54 episodes, as well as various other iterations across digital media. The YouTube channel today has 1.4 million subscribers and generates in the region of five million views per episode. Ghani also points to Ross Bollinger’s Pencilmation and Arthur Van Merwijk’s Morphle, “which are both totally killing it on YouTube”. She adds: “Many people will cite animators that have failed, but the above examples show how viable this route is if you’re prepared to start making content. It might take you two years, but you could end up pulling in $1m-$10m a year and having total control.” There have been isolated examples of digital-to-TV transitions, such as Happy Tree Friends, which launched on MondoMe-

FEATURE: ANIMATION dia before becoming a TV series. But a more expansive example of how digital and TV might reinforce each other’s businesses was the 2016 merger of animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment and Frederator Studios, a YouTube animation-channel network founded by Fred Seibert. Commenting on the deal, which created WOW!, Siebert, who is chief creative officer of the rebranded entity, said: “The vertical integration will facilitate the discovery of new digital filmmakers, levelling them up to produce premium, global programming, while simultaneously growing digital platforms.” Among its first big projects, WOW! is producing Costume Quest for Amazon Studios. The animated series for six- to 11-year-olds is based on the popular video game series from Double Fine Productions. One well-established film and TV company that is keen to put its considerable muscle behind online animation is Aardman, the Oscar-winning firm behind Wallace And Gromit. In September 2017, the UK company launched AardBoiled, a YouTube hub for creators of original, off-beat animated comedy. Explaining the initiative, Robin Gladman, Aardman’s senior distribution and acquisitions manager, says Aardboiled is predominantly aimed at young adults: “We curate content — shorts and series — from exciting new talent, who are producing great new characters and new IP that we feel shows strong potential for bigger things. We utilise our in-house YouTube expertise to help these ideas find a larger audience. It’s like a hub for new comedy and a stepping stone for brilliant new ideas to take them to the next level.” The content comes from many sources, Gladman adds: “We have students, freelancers and studios we love. It can come from anywhere — no experi-

ence necessary. The key criteria is that content has to feel original, unique and funny, which reflects our own values at Aardman.”

Robin Gladman:

“Content can come from anywhere — no experience necessary. The key criteria is that it has to feel original, unique and funny, which reflects our own values at Aardman” Most of the content is around one-minute long, with a minimum duration of 30 seconds. “We have a few titles rolling out that have 10 or more episodes in the series, which is great, as we can schedule over a longer period of time with more promotional opportunities,” Gladman says. “We also take short films that have had good festival runs but have not yet reached their true audience potential, which we can help them achieve through YouTube and showcasing [their work] to our partners around the world.”

Arthur Van Merwijk’s Morphle

One of the first projects to launch on AardBoiled was Weirdy Rhymes, a series originally developed by the late director and animator Terry Brain. Joining Weirdy Rhymes at launch was Clod, a new series from Rich Webber, and original series and shorts from directors Dan Bins and Ian Pinder, Dave McKenna, Joe Wood and Ollie Magee, Jane Davies and Sam Morrison. In terms of AardBoiled’s commercial model, Gladman says it is primarily a developmental platform for new content, but that creators retain the owner-

Happy Tree Friends, launched on MondoMedia before becoming a TV series

MIPTV News 2 • 65 • 10 April 2018

ship of their IP. “So the AardBoiled agreement is really a distribution deal,” he adds. “Over the term of the contract, the creator earns a share of any revenue we generate.” Echoing Skyship’s Thagard and Hopster’s Walters, Gladman says AardBoiled is about building a digital fanbase. But he does not rule out the potential for its content to cross into TV. “Some of our long-established TV partners are showing interest in AardBoiled content,” he adds. “We hope this will lead to new opportunities.”


The Asian new wave

The Legend Of The Blue Sea, from CJ E&M, Korea

As in the rest of the world, companies — including Netflix, Amazon and HBO — with deep pockets and commitment to original content, are changing the game for Asia’s drama community. And now several Asia-centric OTT players have joined the party. Andy Fry reports MIPTV News 2 • 66 • 10 April 2018


OR DECADES, the creation of original Asian drama has been dominated by leading freeTV and pay-TV players in South Korea, Japan, India and China, especially Hong Kong. But as in other parts of the world, Asia’s scripted sector is benefiting

FEATURE: ASIAN DRAMA of] 2015, we’ve premiered over 30 series, including dramas, anime, variety shows and one reality series. In India, where we launched our service in December 2016, we’ve announced a similarly ambitious slate, and the first two Original shows to premiere — Inside Edge and Breathe — are among the top and most successful content on the service.” In both countries, Farrell says, the response of customers “has been so fantastic that we’re definitely continuing to invest in our Originals, not only there, but also around the world”. In terms of what he is looking for, he adds: “The answer is simple: a show that is going to make a lot of Amazon customers very, very happy. We’ve made all types of programmes for all types of demographics, simply because Amazon Prime has such a diverse customer base. Men and women, young and old, come to Amazon all the time. We feel a need to have great and exclusive programming for all customers, not just some.”

James Farrell:

“Men and women, young and old, come to Amazon. We feel a need to have great and exclusive programming for all customers, not just some”

from investment by a new wave of SVOD and AVOD players. Netflix, while unable to make much headway in China, has begun to replicate its strategy in other parts of the region by investing in original content for key markets. This has resulted in shows such as Hibana: Spark, a Japa-

nese drama about two struggling comedians; and Love Alarm, a 12-part Korean romance based on a popular animation property. Netflix has also announced several new original series in India, including Sacred Games, Again and cricket-and-corruption drama Selection Day.

Amazon is also busy sharpening up its origination strategy in Asia, according to James Farrell, head of content for Asia Pacific at Amazon Prime Video: “So far in Asia, we’ve focused our original productions in Japan and India. In Japan, where we launched our service in [the third quarter

MIPTV News 2 • 67 • 10 April 2018

That said, Farrell adds: “It’s important to start with the local audience. The goal in Japan is to make shows that the Japanese audience is going to love, and the same is true for India.” In terms of production volume, Farrell says Amazon does not “set a number” in Japan or India, since its business in these territories is still relatively young. “We’re still trying to figure out what types of shows our customers love most,” he adds. “But honestly, the target isn’t the number of shows, but



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FEATURE: ASIAN DRAMA rather the quality of shows. There are months when we feel a certain show just isn’t coming together, so we delay the launch indefinitely until we get it right. Conversely, if multiple productions come together and they all look fantastic, we’re happy to over-index and release more than planned.” If that sounds a little uneven, it is worth keeping in mind that Amazon’s origination strategy is backed up by an extensive acquisitions programme. “Acquisitions are an equally important part of our service,” Farrell says. “One of the principles we adhere to, not just for video but also across our many businesses at Amazon, is selection. We want to ensure customers can find anything they’re looking for. For video, we have Original titles that are unique and exclusive, and the licensed content helps round out our video offering.” It is one of the basic tenets at Netflix that originations, although locally targeted, should be able to play to audiences in other markets. Amazon takes a similar line. “Our feeling is that, if we make a show in India that millions of people there love and want to talk about, there’s a good chance that series is going to work outside of that country as well,” Farrell says. “The first two shows we released

Netflix’s Hibana: Spark, a Japanese drama about two struggling comedians

in India have done very well globally and if/when we find a show that we think has potential to be remade as a format we’ll certainly move quickly to do that.” If there is a difference between Asia and the rest of the world when it comes to VOD, it is that the market has given birth to a number of potent competitors to Netflix and Amazon. One of these is Viu, a pan-regional OTT service launched two years ago by Hong Kong-based telco and pay-

TV company PCCW Media. Now available in 15 markets, PCCW managing director Janice Lee says the service has around 16 million active users across the SVOD and AVOD tiers of its business. Commenting on the reasons for Viu’s popularity, Lee says: “We built it from the ground up to be the most exciting and comprehensive Asia-centric service possible. We have output deals with all of the main Korean content suppliers and also show a wide range of Japanese programming.

We’re also fortunate to have a large volume of Chinese content from our own TV channels in Hong Kong.” On top of this, Lee says Viu has also started to invest in originals: “I don’t see us producing a large volume of originals because of the cost of doing so. But we certainly see a role for them in terms of differentiating our brand. So far, our main original investments have been in India and Indonesia.”

Janice Lee:

“I don’t see us producing a large volume of originals because of the cost. But we certainly see a role for them in terms of differentiating our brand” For India, Viu teamed up with Annapurna Studios to produce Pill A, a scripted series that deals with issues not usually associated with the sub-continent. It tells the story of a fun-loving twentysomething girl who

Viu teamed up with Annapurna Studios to produce Pill A

MIPTV News 2 • 69 • 10 April 2018



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FEATURE: ASIAN DRAMA discovers she is pregnant after a night out and needs to work out who the father is. Indonesian ro-

mantic drama The Publicist is also clearly targeted at a younger audience. In this series, a PR consult-

ant is called in to help salvage the reputation of an actor caught up in a drug scandal. “We know Ko-

rean content works well in markets like Indonesia,” Lee says. “So with The Publicist, we deliberately went for a style of production that looks like a Korean scripted series.” According to Lee, the decision to create shows for India and Indonesia first is partly about the size of the markets. But there are other reasons: “In Indonesia, in particular, there is an opportunity for OTT services like Viu because the pay-TV market is not very well established. We know from our data that audiences there are eager to watch original content. In addition, content from India and Indonesia can reach audiences in the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore.” Another OTT service that is gaining traction across the region is HOOQ, a joint venture between Singapore’s Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Currently available in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia and

Indonesian romantic drama The Publicist

MIPTV News 2 • 71 • 10 April 2018


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FEATURE: ASIAN DRAMA Singapore, the service is “very much in the space of both commissioning and co-producing content for South-East Asia”, says chief content officer Jennifer Batty. According to Batty, HOOQ has co-produced theatrical film On The Job 2 and TV series On The Job with Globe Telecom and Reality Entertainment in the Philippines. It has also co-produced several movies in Indonesia, including Critical Eleven and Sweet 20 with Starvision, and Marlina The Murderer In Four Acts with Cinesurya. “We also have Danur 2, which just about to be released in Indonesia with MD Pictures,” Batty says. “All these titles are also available on HOOQ not long after their theatrical release.” In addition, the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild was launched in 2017 to attract up-and-coming film talent. Batty says there were 500 entries, which were shortlisted down to 10. From these, six

pilots were commissioned, which hit the platform in late March. “I’m excited to see which pilot wins and is turned into a HOOQ Original series,” she adds. Echoing Lee, Batty says HOOQ “has always been a big supporter of Asian content”. She claims the service has the largest catalogue of local content in the markets in which it operates, excluding India. “We not only commission local content but have strong acquisition partnerships in our territories with theatrical and series producers,” she adds. “HOOQ will continue to license content from around the South-East Asia region and, of course, Hollywood.” Batty says HOOQ Originals complement the platform’s acquisitions, “because they tend to be stories told differently, either through slightly edgier subject matter, the style of execution or even the format of limited series,

which is still not commonly made in South-East Asia”. A priority for HOOQ, Batty says, is storytelling with cultural relevance “that appeals to local audiences or has a colloquial culture that may interest a neighboring country”. But she does not think this precludes the potential for export:

“I think viewers are opening up their minds and looking at content from around the world. We have seen great success in the last few years with content from Asia crossing borders. The stories we are telling at HOOQ definitely have the potential to travel outside of the markets we operate in.”

Web series Dramaworld, Viki’s most ambitious project to date

MIPTV News 2 • 73 • 10 April 2018


“Viewers are opening up their minds and looking at content from around the world. We have seen great success in the last few years with content from Asia crossing borders” Alongside this group of Asia-centric OTT services is another key player, Rakuten-owned Viki, which is distinguished by the fact that its highly engaged online community translates and subtitles dramas as they go up on the site. Estefania Arteaga, director of content programming and acquisition for Viki and head of programming for Viki Originals, says her company has done especially well with Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese dramas. “Our translation model means that Korean series can be viewed on our site in more than 100 different languages,” she adds. Popular on Viki are romantic comedies that target a female audience. In 2016, for example, Viki closed a content deal with Huace Group in China, which gave it access to the popular series My Amazing Boyfriend. It has also shown series including W – Two Worlds and The Legend Of The Blue Sea from, respectively, MBC and CJ E&M in Korea. “We are keeping our eyes open to the possibility of adding other genres that might appeal to men, such as thrillers and cop shows, but for now we are particularly strong in female-focused lifestyle, fashion and romance,” Arteaga says. In addition to the core content outlined above, Viki has also been picking up content from markets including Thailand and the Philippines. “And we have also started exploring the role that original content can play on the platform,” Arteaga adds. Viki’s most ambitious project to

W - Two Worlds, from MBC in Korea

date is web series Dramaworld (10 x 15 mins), co-produced with China’s Jetavana Entertainment (The Karate Kid), EnterMedia Contents (US remakes of The Good Doctor and My Love From Another Star) and Third Culture Content. Set in Los Angeles and Seoul, Dramaworld focuses on a US college student who is fixated on a Korean drama. Through a twist of fate and a touch of magic, she gets sucked into her smartphone and transported into the drama, where she meets her heartthrob. “We were trying to figure out how to come up with something that bridged US and Korean culture and Dramaworld was the result,” Arteaga says. “It got a lot of buzz and has really helped us distinguish our brand, so we plan to do more originals.” To a large extent, decisions about what to commission are data-driven, Arteaga says: “So the fact that Korean content is our number-one vertical makes that the place to start. But we are open to doing something with a Japanese theme.” Alongside these rapidly emerging platforms, Netflix and Amazon have another competitor and one with which they are familiar

from their activities in other parts of the world: HBO. It is worth pointing out that the Time Warner-owned brand straddles premium pay TV and OTT. Jessica Kam, HBO’s senior vice-president of Asia original productions, who was hired in June 2017, says HBO is committed to ramping up its original productions for the region. Among the projects going to production this year are horror anthology Folklore; Grisse, a period action drama set in Indonesia; Teenage Psychic 2, the sequel of a Taiwan comedy drama; and Miss Sherlock, a co-pro with Hulu Japan. “Our goal is to expand our genres and geographic coverage to bring more diversified and authentic content from this part of the world on to our platform” Kam adds. According to Kam, HBO is in “a privileged position” because it attracts all kinds of talents: “We’d like to bring together the best showrunners, directors and screenwriters in the region to produce high-quality series or films, but it’s hard to quantify how many a year,” she says. “We focus more on quality than

MIPTV News 2 • 74 • 10 April 2018

quantity. We then have a complementary acquisitions strategy that gives us the volume and diversity to meet the taste of our audience.” In terms of staying relevant both at territory and pan-regional level, Kam says: “We often source stories that come indigenously from local countries. We select genres that typically travel across borders — horror, action and suspense, for example, typically travel well. We work with storytellers who are good at what they do, but particularly those with international exposure. Often, it’s the humanity in the characters that connects people universally, even though their situations can be very peculiar. We make sure that is in the core of our storytelling, and then we incorporate the local colours and sensibilities to make them truly Asian.” As for going beyond Asia, Kam says: “Some of our shows are already on the HBO US on-demand platforms. If a story is well told with universal values, there is always a chance for global consumption. But it’s important to stress that not every show needs to be created for that purpose.”



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