The 20th annual Le Rendez-Vous, France’s international TV Market dedicated to domestic content, started on September 7 at the foot of the Pyrenees in the resort town of Biarritz.

Organized by TV France International (TVFI), the Paris-based French association that groups together all of the countries’ major TV producers and distributors, the Rendez-Vous will showcase over 1,160 programs.

Over a four-day period, 285 confirmed buyers will be able to screen over 770 new shows; more than enough to keep them from wandering off to surf on Biarritz’s legendary beach. This is the seventh year the event will be held in this Atlantic Ocean resort on the west coast of France, having moved from the warmer Mediterranean waters of St. Tropez.

The buyers will come from 66 countries, mostly from key television territories including Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Russia. The French sellers, on the other hand, will represent 62 of TVFI’s member companies.

All buyers are invited to Biarritz by TVFI, offering them a round trip ticket from Paris CDG to Biarritz and a four-night stay in one of the many deluxe hotels in the resort town.

Buyers will also be kept busy with a full schedule of events, mostly dealing with France’s recent successful export: formats. There will be a panel discussion on French formats, as well as an awards presentation on the market’s opening night rewarding the most successful French formats, with an award for the best-selling French format and an award for the most creative new format.

There won’t be too many dramatic changes from past editions, according to Mathieu Bejot, TVFI’s executive director, as participants are reportedly happy with the balance between screenings and meetings.

The Rendez-Vous will also host the premieres of two new programs: White Soldier (distributed by Lagardere) and Witnesses (distributed by Newen). There will also be two dedicated evenings, one focusing on World Medicine (ARTE France) and the other on The Darwinners (Mediatoon Distribution).

There will also be the traditional press conference touting the export numbers for French programming. Bejot told VideoAge that the outlook for the French industry as a whole continues to be optimistic, and industry reports to be released on September 9 at the end of the conference are expected to be positive.

Last year Bejot reported annual international sales for French content worth 217 million euro, their highest level in 12 years.

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