The excessiveness of MIPCOMs past may be a distant memory, but this year’s market – in Cannes from October 7 to 11 – exhibited its share of flair. At the opening night party, Cirque du Soleil performers dazzled as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Canadian pubcaster CBC/Radio Canada, while the next night, guests to the Chum Television International fête witnessed a live demonstration of ‘genital origami’ by a couple of the Puppetry of the Penis boys (flip books were available to those who missed the show). And, these were only the official engagements.
Apart from the fun and frivolity of the evenings, participants at this mipcom stayed focused on business. Similar to MIPTV in the spring, the floor traffic seemed lighter than previous years, but delegates uniformly declared that their daily agendas were packed with scheduled meetings. According to event organizer Reed Midem, 10,272 participants attended from 2,721 companies and 90 countries.
On the factual front, deals were signed and announced with a healthy buoyancy, particularly for reality shows. New York-based MTV Networks continued to capitalize on its success with The Osbournes, cutting deals with nine broadcasters, including TV4 in Sweden, TV2 in Denmark, RTE in Ireland and the South African Broadcasting Corporation. London, U.K.-based prodco September Films closed several pre-sales for its 8 x one-hour reality show Bridezillas, to Holland Media Group, TV New Zealand, TV Denmark, Israel’s DBS and UPCTV in Poland.
U.S. cablecaster Tech TV made good on its promise to buy docs for its new ‘Secret, Strange and True’ strand, picking up films from the bbc and Channel 4 International in the U.K., among others. French channel Voyage closed pre-sales for its 13 x 26-minute archeological series Living Stones (coproduced with Alpa Line and Odyssée, both French companies) with buyers in Hong Kong and Italy.
In terms of distribution, Belgium’s CDC United Network announced a deal to represent the doc catalog of Miami, U.S.-based channel Infinito Television (about 100 hours). And, London-based producer/distributor Parthenon Entertainment signed a substantial agreement with the National Wildlife Federation (a U.S. conservation organization), securing the right to repackage and distribute the NWF’s wildlife television series, which includes such titles as Dolphins in Danger and Wild City.