The spirit of the season permeated Reed Midem’s annual springtime tv market, as international attendees returned to Cannes with renewed vigor for this year’s MIPTV (April 15 to 19). The event never quite achieved the party atmosphere of years past, but it was a distinct improvement from last October’s MIPCOM, in terms of both attendance and mood. Total participants at MIPTV numbered 10,217 (last year’s mipcom attracted only 9,943 attendees), including 2,603 registered program buyers, and they all seemed anxious to get back to business. Some of the fluff was stripped away – fewer cocktails and tchotchkes – but as the week wore on, that proved to be more refreshing than depressing.
September 11 was a subject high in attendees’ minds, particularly with the one-year anniversary of the tragic events less than six months away, but not all buyers were looking for 9/11-related programming. Tore Tomter, head of docs and acquisitions for Norwegian pubcaster NRK, said his channel tends to rely on its in-house production unit to cover current affairs, so he spent his time searching for 10 hours on other topics. By mid-week, he had found six one-hour docs, including HBO’s Dwarfs: Not Only a Fairytale and New York-based Gidalya Pictures’ Bombay Eunuch.
Mark Fichandler, senior director of development and international coproduction for U.S. cablecaster Court TV, focused his energy on sussing out new producers and projects. Like Tomter, he met with success as early as half way through the market. Fichandler cited promising meetings with U.K. companies Bullseye Distribution, Tiger Aspect and Optomen, as well as Aussie distrib Beyond International. In addition, he noted that Court TV is actively seeking coproduction partnerships with U.K. broadcasters Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC.
David Bernath, VP, program planning/acquisition, of Los Angeles-based E! Entertainment Networks revealed he is looking to add formats to the Style channel’s mix, along the lines of C4′s Nigella Bites, ideally to introduce as early as this fall. He said he had an eye on a couple of shows, though he declined to share the details.
Not everyone left MIPTV happy, however. Simon Willock, group head of factual for Southern Star and director of the British Television Distributors Association, said the BTDA has filed a complaint with Reed Midem over such issues as ballooning costs and the unilateral decision to move MIPTV’s dates to March next year, which coincides with the end of the U.K.’s fiscal year. According to Willock, the btda’s concerns are under consideration by Reed Midem.