“MIP-TV is one of the most important content distribution markets for Toei Animation,” said Masayuki Endo, president and CEO of Toei Animation, Inc., the Los Angeles business unit of Tokyo-based Toei Animation Co., Ltd. And the company plans on making full use of the April 8-11 content market in Cannes, France, using the fair to find distribution opportunities, as well as make inroads into further international content development. In short, he’s looking forward to four days of hand-shaking, deal-making, and interactions with lovers of animation.

And although many attendees have complained that the number of buyers at MIP-TV has dwindled in recent years, Toei still feels that the market has merit.

“The distribution strategy regarding Japanese animation is changing, especially amidst the increasing mainstream popularity of platforms dedicated to simulcasting international content with subtitles,” he said. “While we sell our series to these services more frequently, there is still a need to get close relationships with TV station buyers as they remain extremely important for our business.”

Toei plans to focus its MIP-TV efforts on Japan, Europe, and North America, which Endo calls “our core territories.”

In addition, “given the LATAM success of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, our latest Dragon Ball animated movie, we clearly identified a growing potential in that territory, and want to leverage our opportunities there,” he said.

Toei also hopes to increase its work in the Middle East. Endo noted that the company already collaborates with local partners there — in Saudi Arabia, specifically— but plans to lay more emphasis on the territory as a whole this year.

The firm is bringing a number of titles to the Palais this year, including Saintia Shō, a new TV-sized episodic series of the Saint Seiya franchise; One Piece Stampede, a feature film based on the ongoing anime series that will coincide with the property’s 20th anniversary; and a new Digimon feature film, which will be available theatrically in early 2020.

“We will also continue to highlight our evergreen animated series, which include One Piece (pictured above), GeGeGe no Kitaro, and Butt Detective. Dragon Ball Super also continues to be a hit among international audiences and we look forward to confirming new markets for its distribution,” he concluded.