With less than two weeks to go until MIP-TV 2014 opens its Palais, we chatted with Laurine Garaude, head of Television at Reed MIDEM, to find out what’s in store for this year’s edition.

Just yesterday, Reed MIDEM announced the four TV executives who will be honored with the second annual MIP-TV Médaille d’Honneur Award: 20th Century Fox Television Distribution’s president of International Television, Marion Edwards; Konstantin Ernst, CEO of Channel One Russia; Herbert G. Kloiber, chairman and owner of Germany’s Tele München Group; and the CEO of Australia’s Seven West Media, Tim Worner.

The MIP-TV 2014 Médaille d’Honneur awards will be handed out during a gala dinner on Wednesday April 9 at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes.

Garaude told us all about what’s new for buyers, sellers and all types of attendees.

1. What are the preliminary attendance numbers for MIP-TV?

We are expecting over 11,000 participants from over 100 countries, including some 1,600 exhibiting companies. New exhibitors include Bloomberg, a new Mexican Pavilion, a new Chinese Pavilion from Beijing, and new exhibitors from Italy, South Africa and Nigeria.

There will be a “Focus on Israel” this year highlighting the creativity and innovation from this country through a number of sessions, screenings and matchmaking and networking events.

We are expecting over 4,000 buyers of which some 1,000 are from digital channels or online platforms.

What’s interesting is that we are truly witnessing a convergence between the worlds of TV, Internet and advertising which together are creating a new age of storytelling. In fact, “A New Age of Storytelling” is the overall theme of this year’s conference program, and it well represents the major developments today through 3 facets:

1) New storytellers

2) Stories from around the world

3) New forms of stories being created for all platforms with interactivity and multi-screens.

2. What is Reed MIDEM doing to try and attract more buyers to MIP-TV?

Of course, the most important reason to attend is to meet with all the companies from around the world proposing new programs. In addition much of the program is designed for buyers, there’s a special first-timer rate for buyers coming for the first time, and in terms of the actual program, there’s a very large focus on screenings, which is a continuation of the strategy developed over recent years.

There will be the Fresh TV sessions from The Wit, including this year a Fresh TV Fiction and Israel.

The World Premiere Screening this MIP-TV is Power brought by Starz, created by Courtney Kemp Agboh starring Omari Hardwick and executive produced by 50 Cent. All three will attend the screening and the red carpet. There are also many other launches and screenings including The Honourable Woman in the presence of Maggie Gyllenhaal. Many other celebrities will be attending, including Amy Poehler, Kim Cattrall and creatives such as Chris Long, Tom Fontana and Franck Spotnitz.

New this year is the “Junior at MIP-TV” program in response to a demand from buyers, and more particularly the “Future of TV Kids Summit,” which will bring together 80 top decision makers, including top kids buyers and producers to discuss the future of kids programming. There’s also “The Co-Production Marketplace: Kids TV Co-Production with Asia Matchmaking” that will see producers from Asia pitching to buyers from around the world, and vice versa.

As part of Junior at MIP-TV Amazon Studios’ Tara Sorensen will present their new preschool channels.

3. Do any of the conference activities have a buying/selling component, or are they mainly educational?

There is a mix, from high profile Media Mastermind Keynotes featuring for instance, Chris Albrecht (Starz), Ynon Kreiz (Maker Studios) Rola Bauer and Olivier Courson (Studiocanal), Maurice Levy (Publicis Groupe) Deb Roy (Twitter), Avi Nir (Keshet), Alex Carloss (YouTube) to very hands on case studies and workshops.

There will be many producer showcases as well. There’s a Producer’s Toolbox featuring sessions on how to pitch, how to find sustainable financing, how to create successful scripted formats and an entire 4K program and screenings.

There are also many matchmaking and networking events. The Kids TV Co-Production session is one example as well as matchmakings within the MIPCube program, including, Digital Commissioners Matchmaking, VoD Enablers Platforms Matchmaking, Second Screen Experts Matchmaking and more.

Also part of the program are a number of thought leadership summits including the Digital Minds Summit and the International Drama Co-Production Summit, held for the third year which is extremely popular and brings together top executives involved in leading new international co-production projects.

Co-production is also at the heart of this year’s MIPDoc with the introduction of the Co-Pro Marketplace.

4. What is brand new for this year’s edition of MIP-TV?

We are introducing the MIP Digital Fronts, the new international screenings for original online video. This is a first; there are no international screenings for this content until now. We have created this event in order to launch the international digital content marketplace and to highlight new creative talent.

YouTube, Maker Studios, Dailymotion and Vice are Founding Partners, and there will also be presentations by digital producers including Vuguru, Smokebomb Entertainment, What’s Trending, Hoodlum and Jimmy Lee among others.

The MIP Digital Fronts will also feature high profile talent including Leah McFall, Ray Wise, Finn & Jack Harries and more.

The MIP Digital Fronts are a key event for the entire community, including buyers, producers and press as well as advertising agencies, media buyers and brands.

The MIP Digital Fronts will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, with a special rate for participants interested in attending MIPTV those two days only.

5. How do you expect the addition of Junior at MIP will affect the market?

As always, we have many companies that produce and distribute kids programming at MIP-TV, with over 1,400 executives buying kid’s content.

We created the “Junior at MIP-TV” program in response to a demand from buyers. The “Future of TV Kids Summit” will bring together 80 top decision makers, including top kids buyers and producers to discuss the future of kids programming.

There’s also “The Co-Production Marketplace: Kids TV Co-Production with Asia Matchmaking” that will see producers from Asia pitching to buyers from around the world, and vice versa.

Junior at MIP-TV is also important as it’s a natural link to MIPCube and the MIPDigital Fronts. Kids are the early adopters of new ways of consuming content, so when you’re talking about new forms of stories, innovation naturally comes from kids programming. It’s very much an incubator of new trends, which is why in this context, discussions around the “Future of Kids TV” are essential.

6. Anything else you’d like to let our readers know?

Mexico will be very active in the run-up to the Country of Honor at MIPCOM. There will be a new Mexican Pavilion at MIP-TV. Mexico will also host numerous events, including the MIPDoc and MIPFormats opening party and the MIPDoc Snack and Screen Viva Mexico, a showcase of the best in Mexican documentary and factual programs.

The opening cocktail will be held at the Martinez right after the World Premiere Screening of Power and it will feature the International Digital Emmy Awards preceded by a star-studded red carpet.

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