MIPCOM preview: Off the Fence

Realscreen speaks with OTF's head of distribution Marije Plaum ahead of MIPCOM as she prepares her 'helicopter view' of the market.
September 2, 2010

Marije Plaum (pictured) has been with Amsterdam-based Off the Fence for five years and was promoted to head of distribution just before last April’s MIPTV.

After her first MIPTV in the role, entering this year’s MIPCOM, Plaum is focusing on how best to serve OTF’s clients. ‘I look more at the possibilities of how OTF is being perceived, how we can improve our role… Instead of just talking about the particular films or possible deals, I look more at the helicopter view,’ she says.

At this upcoming market, Plaum and team will be focusing on a new genre to OTF, lifestyle, as well as the type of programming that the company is known for, nature and wildlife. Of the 350 hours of programming OTF is bringing to Cannes, some of the titles include Downsized, an 8 x one-hour Pie Town Productions series about a formerly affluent family making lifestyle sacrifices, and the one-hour program Slaveship Mutiny, an OTF production for THIRTEEN in association with ARTE France, WNET.ORG and DTI South Africa. The one-off tells the story of the final days of notorious slave ship, the Meermin.

During MIPCOM, Off the Fence will also have a launch party for the new blue-chip, six-part series Life Force, a coproduction between NHK, NHNZ, France Television and Science Channel. Also launching during the market will be OTF’s new user-friendly website.

As for what buyers might be in the market for, Plaum believes long-running series, quality and strong stories are the key ingredients. From OTF specifically, buyers are no longer just looking for nature and wildlife, but all genres. She also says that OTF is currently looking to expand sales in Africa, with a colleague attending DISCOP Africa. Southeast Asia is another territory that the company is keen on exploring further, as well as smaller territories where new buyers are interested in buying more of the lifestyle programming.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.