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4 August 2022

What are their plans for MIPCOM Cannes?

We ask key content distributors what being back in Cannes means to them… 

By Andy Fry

With preparations for this year’s MIPCOM Cannes now underway for everyone, it’s looking very much like it is going to achieve the kind of scale the industry was used to back before the pandemic.

So we asked some leading distribution executives about their plans for MIPCOM Cannes. While it’s early days, most have already started setting out their strategy.   

Tell us about some of your plans for the first full MIPCOM Cannes, back in the city for the first time since the pandemic

Tim Mutimer, CEO Rights, Cineflix Media

We’re already deep into our MIPCOM planning. Our team attended MIPTV and the full sales and acquisitions team will be back on our usual stand. We’ve got a lot of new programming to launch so we’re expecting a really busy market. We’re planning to upgrade our terrace so we can offer clients sundowners as a nice way to round off the day.

Hana Palmer, head of sales, Abacus Media Rights  

We will attend MIPCOM with a stand, and both sales and acquisitions executives. We will be launching a number of premium titles, including comedy drama Sort Of (S2 8 x 30’), non-fiction series The Family Court Murders (4 x 60’) and single doc The Ghost of Richard Harris (1 x 90’).

Tim Gerhartz, president & MD, Red Arrow Studios International

We’ll be back at MIPCOM in full force with the same stand we had prior to the pandemic and with our entire sales and acquisition team in attendance. MIPCOM remains a tentpole market both for RASI and our partners, so we can’t wait to return to Cannes.

Keren Shahar, COO & president of distribution, Keshet International

We’ll be in full attendance, with our most significant delegation since MIPCOM 2019 – we’ll have some 20 representatives across various Keshet divisions – and a stand.  Our focus for MIPCOM Cannes is seeing more of our clients in-person than we have been able to in the past two or more years. Plus, it happens to be Keshet International’s tenth anniversary this year, so we’ll be marking that punctuation point in a low-key way.   

Yuki Akehi, director, international business development, Nippon TV

We were rewarded by embracing the challenge of exhibiting in person at MIPTV 2022, as evident by the format deals that followed. We will be back for MIPCOM Cannes with a brand new and bigger stand. Our sales team facing our US and European clients will all be there, as well as the marketing team. We will also bring our creative directors, known for creating our unique, crazy-fun Japanese gameshow/reality formats that are always asked for at markets.

Tell us about one or two headline shows…

Hana Palmer, Abacus Media Rights 

One title we’re particularly excited about presenting at MIPCOM Cannes is the recently announced true-crime drama Maxine (3 x 60’), the investigation of school assistant Maxine Carr and her fiancé Ian Huntley for the double murder of Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. We’re also looking forward to launching high-end factual series The Frontier (6 x 60’), which will dispel the legends of the Wild West, and a brand-new documentary from filmmaker Dan Reed, Escape From Kabul (1 x 85’), which examines 18 dramatic days in August 2021 as US forces withdrew from Afghanistan.


Tim Gerhartz, Red Arrow Studios International

It’s a little too early to reveal our new shows – but I can say that we’ll be launching a big US reality dating show and a social experiment format, both in keeping with the noisy shows that buyers have come to expect from us. In scripted, we’ll have loud and edgy shows hailing from producers around the world, as well as big returning titles, such as third seasons of Vienna Blood and Departure.


Keren Shahar, Keshet International

Rabbit Films’ 10-part crime drama Summer Of Sorrow is one to look out for – it’s a beautifully shot, coming-of-age mystery selected for the MIPTV Drama Showcase earlier this year. From Israel, we’ll also have the first of a new slate of dramas commissioned by Keshet 12 alongside the second season of the competition format The Perfect Dessert. And on the factual side, we have another documentary offering from Paralympian Ellie Simmons – this time about adoption.


Yuki Akehi, Nippon TV

The format of Old Enough! is a priority. After we streamed the original Nippon TV version as a finished series on Netflix this year, it created an incredible international buzz and we have been receiving many offers from countries wanting to create their own local version. We look forward to meeting more companies to pique their interests or explain how it could be produced: our bible is very detailed and enticing, based on our 30+ years’ track record.


Tim Mutimer, Cineflix Media

Following the successful launch of Reginald the Vampire at MIPTV with Jacob Batalon, we’ll be launching our scripted series Last King Of The Cross starring Tim Roth, Lincoln Younes, and Tess Haubrich. We’ve partnered with Helium, Mark Fennessy’s new production company and we’re thrilled with the quality of their debut drama. It’s set in Sydney’s late 1980’s club scene - perfect for a big launch party… We’ve also got a great slate of unscripted content including two true crime series, a natural-history series, home-and-design shows, and more!

After the long break from the market on-the-ground, what are your expectations for MIPCOM Cannes this year now we’re all back?

Tim Gerhartz, Red Arrow Studios International

I think MIPCOM will really return with a bang this year, with lots of companies putting significant resources behind the event. However, this year we’re anticipating it will be more of a market for meetings, rather than being driven by screenings as it has previously done.


Keren Shahar, Keshet International

For us, MIPCOM Cannes is primarily about reconnecting in person – with clients and producers, as well as other members of the KI team. I think we’re likely to take longer meetings this time – instead of the usual “assembly line” schedule of 30-minute meetings, because we’ve really missed our clients and friends.


Yuki Akehi, Nippon TV

We will certainly use an evolved approach: we will have online pre-meetings then meet in person in Cannes to discuss crucial deal-making points. This hybrid style will save both parties’ time, which then could be used to meet more clients and create new opportunities.


Tim Mutimer, Cineflix Media

It’s back to business as normal. We organised an event for buyers at The London Screenings and attended MIPTV, Realscreen, Banff and NATPE Budapest, so the year is shaping up to be pretty normal!


Hana Palmer, Abacus Media Rights 

We believe MIPCOM this year will be back to business as usual. There may be a handful of our clients still unable to attend but largely we expect it to be a very busy and successful market for AMR.

What big content or strategic trends will we all be talking about?

Keren Shahar, Keshet International

We are definitely noticing a bigger appetite for unscripted - with the streamers in particular - as companies look to be more fiscally conscious. Scripted is still in demand, with opportunities for co-pros – again, going back to the need to cut budgets – and higher demand for acquired premium scripted series and non-English dramas.


Yuki Akehi, Nippon TV

Following the recent establishment of a new Content Strategy Division, there has been a greater strategic emphasis on IP ownership and partnerships. Through this new division, the company aims to accelerate large-scale co-development and co-production projects with streamers, broadcasters and producers around the world. Having experienced success with scripted and non-scripted formats, the goal is to build strategic creative collaborations with partners to create original content for viewers worldwide.


Tim Mutimer, Cineflix Media

We’ll still be talking about the impact of consolidation and the future of digital, in particular FAST channels and the changes we’re seeing in SVOD and broadcasters’ on-demand offerings.


Hana Palmer, Abacus Media Rights

How the cost-of-living crisis will impact the market – will streamers still forge ahead or be more cautious, will there be increased focus on acquisitions and co-productions over more costly commissions, or will commissions continue at the same rate?


Tim Gerhartz, Red Arrow Studios International 

I’m anticipating that the direction and funding of scripted content is going to be a notable discussion at MIPCOM. Big IP-based drama that has the potential to attract a large audience will continue to remain key, but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with mid-range budget projects – especially as many traditional broadcasters are shifting their budgets from scripted into unscripted content.


About the author


Andy Fry is a freelance journalist who contributes regularly to leading TV and marketing trade magazines - MIP Daily News, Lions Magazine, Location International, Broadcast International, Worldscreen, Sport Business, C21, TBI, DTVE and many more.

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