Against all odds — starting with a Cancun that had once been declared a high COVID-19 contamination area but managed to become a safe or “green zone,” to a shootout between rival gangs in a downtown Cancun hotel in early November, to a full week of rain during the market — participants at this year’s MIP Cancun market declared it a success.

It’s now time to assess this eighth annual MIP Cancun, which will end on November 19 after three days of intense meetings between 82 distribution companies from 22 countries and 96 buyers (also from 22 countries). Among the sales contingent, the largest number came from the U.S. with 20 companies, followed by France with 16 distribution companies, and Turkey with nine.

On the buying side, the U.S. sent the largest delegation with 24 acquisition executives, followed by Mexico with 16, and Brazil was a distant third with eight buyers.

RX France, the market organizers, guaranteed each distribution company a minimum of 17 total meetings (and up to 25) with buyers.

A few distributors reported last-minute travel cancellations from some buyers, but there were several buyers at the pre-opening cocktail party who decided to come at the last minute.

This is especially interesting considering that air travel to Cancun from many Central American countries is pretty tough, often requiring multiple connections and different anti-COVID requirements.

The process of registering for the market was easy since badges were sent via e-mail. The hotel registration, set up in a separate area than for those not MIP-bound, took some time due to the large crowds of MIP attendees trying to check in. On the other hand, obtaining the negative COVID test certificate, which was needed to enter the MIP convention Arena, took less than 30 minutes to procure. The test was free for MIP participants. For other guests it cost U.S.$19.

MIP participants have to wear two bracelets throughout the market. The first is needed to access the sleeping rooms (and for other the hotel services). The second is given to show a negative COVID test.

Yesterday, the market started with a buyers’ breakfast meeting, and featured a seminar about the challenges that face writers and agents alike these days, as well as a screening presentation by the Turkish content distribution group, Inter Medya.

In terms of total participants, the number is officially set at 466, which is roughly 60 percent of those in pre-pandemic times. Among the dignitaries, yesterday, November 17, saw both the Colombian Ambassador in Mexico, Angela Ospina De Nicholls, and the Columbian Consul in Cancun, Maria Fernanda Grueso Lugo, in attendance at the market. The Turkish Commercial Counsellor, Inci Selin Bal Salkim, also paid a visit that same day.

During the three days, the market hosted 16 conferences, three parties (pre-opening drinks, the opening party, and tonight’s final fiesta), and the Produ Awards, which were handed out to 17 LATAM executives.

Pictured in the photomontage above (from top left): At the pre-opening party, l. to r.: TV Azteca’s acquisition director Pedro Lascurain, guest Alejandra Barrios; EVP, and head of Worldwide Sales at Calinos Entertainment, José Luis Gascue. Opening day started with an earthy breakfast for buyers. VideoAge’s Dom Serafini moderated a writers-agents seminar with Brazilian author Raphael Montes de Carvalho (l.), and American literary agent Noah Jones (r.). The seminar was followed by a screenings presentation by Beatriz Cea Okan of Turkey’s Inter Medya.

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