Although the floor of MIPCOM was devoid of traffic for much of the week, event organizer Reed Midem has announced attendance was down only 15.5% over last year, at 11,762 delegates. Oddly enough, considering the decrease in warm bodies, many on the floor claimed it was one of the best MIPs in recent years and that meetings were less frantic and more productive.
The BBC and French/German broadcaster ARTE have made a formal pact to jointly develop, produce and commission new works – primarily documentaries – for a minimum of two years. The films will focus on cultural, social, historical, political and artistic themes relevant to a European audience.
Discovery Networks Asia and the Singapore Economic Development Board have partnered to create a content development fund valued at US$7.5 million. The purpose is to develop local doc production in Singapore over the next five years.
American network NBC has agreed to purchase Telemundo Communications Group, a 24-hour Spanish language network serving 86 markets in the U.S. The deal went through for US$1.98 million, half in cash and half in General Electric stock (GE is NBC’s parent company).
The 25th International Wildlife Film Festival (April 20 to 27, 2002), held in Missoula, U.S., has put out a call for entries. The deadline is January 15. For more details, visit: //www.wildlifefilms.org
The CPB/PBS Producers Academy is offering stipends to 20 producers to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (January 10 to 20, 2002). Each bursary covers five days of screenings, hotel accommodations, half of travel costs and a portion of ground transportation. The deadline for applications is November 2. Applications can be found at //www.pbs.org/producers/news/sundance_form1.html
From November 7 to 14, Japanese broadcaster NHK will be offering the Japan Prize, an event that brings together TV professional and educators from around the world to judge and discuss education programs. Prizes include the US$5,000 Grand Prix, which last year went to Through a Blue Lens (Veronica Alice Mannix). For more info, go to //www.nhk.or.jp/jp-prize
Moxie Films, a New York-based non-profit org, has put out a call for entries for its MoxieDocs and MoxieShorts competitions. The deadlines are November 15 and December 14 respectively. For applications and guidelines, visit //www.moxie-films.com
The Miami Film Festival (January 24 to February 3, 2002), which includes a documentary competition, is accepting submissions. Forms are available online at //www.miamifilmfestival.com
CNN topped cable ratings in the U.S. last week, with Nielsen pegging the network’s primetime ratings at an average of 1.9 million homes, with a 2.2 rating.
The premiere episode of Survivor: Africa on CBS came in strong, but still second to NBC‘s Friends. The reality show averaged 23.84 million viewers and a 10.4 rating/23 share among adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen.
U.S. network ABC has pulled The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal from its lineup, saying it plans to relaunch the series mid-season instead. An ABC spokesperson said that while the relaunch date has not yet been set, execs are considering whether to switch the show from its current Friday night timeslot.
Doc-makers who wish to try their hand at a fiction film can apply for help from the U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund and the BBC. As a joint venture, the New Cinema Fund, BBC Films and BBC2 wish to help filmmakers who have proven themselves in other genres, but who have never undertaken a fiction feature. They have agreed to develop and coproduce an initial slate of four films.
NATPE has offered to run a shuttle bus between the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Venetian hotel, so that buyers and sellers on the floor of the market will have access to those holding court off site.
In total, 1,628 participants took part in SPORTELMonaco 2001. Next up for the franchise is SPORTELAmerica in March.
At the Chicago International Film Festival (October 4 to 18) Cool and Crazy (Knut Erik Jensen) won the Gold Hugo for best doc feature; Domestic Violence (Frederick Wiseman) took the Silver Hugo; Emir Kusturica’s Super 8 Stories (Emir Kusturica) won the Gold Plaque; and Trembling Before G_D (Sandi Simcha Dubowski) was award the Silver Plaque.
France’s Tele Images has increased its stake in GTV (formerly Gaumont TV) from 49% to 66%. Christian Charret remains president of GTV.