By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

With just two weeks left before the entertainment industry descends upon the resort town of Cannes, France for the 46th annual MIP-TV, industry executives are hoping for some good weather, generous buyers, fewer problems and a chance to meet with those friends who were lucky enough to make the trip.

We didn’t ask, if in the midst of her market preparations, Andrea Stokes, International Sales and Acquisitions manager at Toronto-based Canamedia, is packing a bathing suit or a rain coat, but Stokes spoke with VideoAge about her company’s content at MIP, if the unfortunate state of the worldwide economy might somehow be a boon to her firm and why MIP-TV continues to be a must-attend event every year.

VideoAge International: What product are you bringing to this year’s MIP-TV?

Andrea Stokes: Canamedia is focusing on high-quality HD content this year — in particular, travel/lifestyle programming such as our new series Soccer Shrines and Planet Luxury as well as unique documentaries such as Andy Warhol’s Factory People.

VAI: Why does MIP-TV continue to be such an important market for Canamedia?

AS: MIP-TV (and MIPCOM) are essential for the growth of Canamedia — in securing new international deals and clients and also in acquiring diverse new programming for both TV and DVD sales. Being based in Canada, MIP-TV is the focal meeting point of our year that connects us to the worldwide market… and our friends.

VAI: Are you focusing on any specific territories?

AS: Canamedia always spreads our programming as wide as possible throughout the worldwide broadcasting market — no stone goes unturned. Our series and documentaries all have an international flavor to them that translates well in every territory. This year in particular we have more HD programming than ever before, so we’ll be focusing on those channels that are hungry for quality HD content.

VAI: What do you expect from MIP-TV 2009?

AS: I expect that MIP-TV will be a brisk and busy market — with more companies spreading their interests to include all forms of new media offerings. With the economy in a downward spiral, we all need to diversify to tap every market, especially with the onslaught of shrinking license fees.

VAI: How will the state of the economy affect the market? How will it affect Canamedia specifically?

AS: Canamedia as an independent distributor has just celebrated 30 years in the business, and while we provide a top-notch service to our producers and broadcasters, we keep our costs low. We are proud to offer a catalogue featuring new lifestyle series (travel, sports, home design, health, arts, etc.) that have many continuous seasons so we are always ready for bulk deals and other license initiatives that keep us popular with both large and small broadcasters worldwide. We anticipate that our quality brand of niche factual programming will keep us strong in 2009 and well into the future.