In view of the upcoming MIP-TV in Cannes, April 10-16, VideoAge posed five “frank” questions to MIP-TV’s director of the Television Division, Laurine Garaude.

VideoAge International: Why doesn’t this year’s MIP have a theme?
Laurine Garaude: This year’s MIPTV does have a theme; it’s called “Charting the next decade” and at this first MIPTV of the decade we are introducing a number of new initiatives. Firstly MIPFormats, which is a targeted conference and pitching showcase for the format community. We are delighted to have to-date already over 300 participants registered. They will be able to hear experts from CBS Studios International, Endemol, All3 Media International, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, MTV Networks International, BBC Worldwide, Zodiak Entertainment, Shine Group and many more. Also launching in April is the Producers’ Forum which has been specifically created to offer international producers a platform focusing particularly on international co-production opportunities. Producers will also be able to learn the principles of transmedia storytelling from a guru of the genre Jeff Gomez. Our forward looking MIP Digital program will include our increasingly popular cross media festival, Content 360, an experience showcase area and a series of strategic conferences beginning with an invitation only Digital VIP Summit bringing together over 40 senior executives in digital entertainment; together they will exchange and debate on the key issues of the decade

VAI: Will Warner Bros. be back with a stand this time?
LG: Warner Bros. will be present this year as are all the studios. Warner has chosen to conduct its meetings in a series of suites inside the Palais des Festivals.

VAI: To favor the studios, would you consider moving MIP to early March, before MIPIM?
LG: We speak to our clients regularly throughout the year and we are ready to consider suggestions if they make sense for the majority of companies that attend MIP-TV. We also have to take into consideration the availability of the Palais des Festivals venue.

VAI: In addition to the large number of independent distributors, what is MIP’s main attraction this year?
LG: There are several main attractions this year; our focus on formats with the launch of MIPFormats, the MIP Digital program, the Producers’ Forum featuring coproduction spotlights on Brazil, China, Japan, Malaysia, Canada and a special focus on Singapore. In addition there will be several new coproduction initiatives at MIPDOC. We also have a stellar line-up of keynotes representing some of the industry’s most influential and creative executives including Chris Albrecht, president and CEO, Starz, and ex-president of HBO; Tim Kring, executive producer/creator, of the world famous series Heroes and recipient of the Pioneer Prize at the International Interactive Emmy Awards; Jonathan Miller, chief digital officer and chairman and CEO, Digital Media Group for News Corporation, Elisabeth Murdoch, chair and CEO, Shine Group and Joanna Shields, who are launching a new company together within Shine Group; Ben Silverman, founder and CEO, Electus will talk about his new venture backed by Barry Diller’s IAC group and Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky will kick off Wednesday’s 3D focus.

VAI: What is MIP doing to encourage more buyers to participate?
LG: Actually we are seeing a significant increase in the number of buyers this year compared to the same time last year particularly from Eastern Europe and Russia, China and India. The choice and diversity of content is paramount in encouraging buyers to attend MIP and we have many new exhibitors this year from around the world and numerous country pavilions including an Argentinean pavilion for the first time. MIPFormats is also attracting buyers and more than half of the participants registered for the event are buyers. In addition, at MIPDOC we are introducing a service of online screenings to help buyers prepare for the screenings onsite and continue to screen afterwards. Buyers will also be interested in attending the Producers’ Forum which features the highly anticipated Fresh TV Around the World Showcase as well as regional co-production accelerators.

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