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MIPCOM: A Cinema Market?

The 25th edition of MIPCOM, the indispensable meeting place for the world's audio-visual industry, throws opens its doors on Monday, October 5th, in Cannes.

The global content event runs until next Friday. During these intense few days, the 13,500 participants from 4500 companies from every corner in the world will again chart the course for entertainment content across all platforms. If it hasn't been co-produced, bought, sold, financed, distributed or at least seriously discussed at MIPCOM, it may as well be the sound of one hand clapping in a lonely forest.

MIPCOM, and its sister market MIP in April; have become the gateways through which entertainment content must eventually pass.

In these times of economic uncertainty, the market is an excellent reflection of the entertainment industry: it took a blow when the crisis began, steadied itself, and is now holding its own. Attendance is down slightly (an estimated 9%), but one would never know it from the amount of feverish activity in the Palais and nearby hotels.

Lisa Romanoff, of Vision Films, notes that "MIPCOM just keeps getting more and more important as markets like NAPTE take a nose dive. You could have rolled a bowling ball through the exhibition center at Vegas. There may be fewer people at MIPCOM, but we don't feel it. The quality executives and buyers are still here and our business is up. You have to put something on those screens, and MIPCOM is where buyers come to find it."

What is especially relevant for the cinema world is how important MIPCOM has become for film producers.

Romanoff continues, "I see more and more faces in my booth from film markets like AFM and Cannes. As the content delivery converges, MIPCOM becomes more crucial as producers find large chunks of their budgets in the ‘after-markets.' You can't just do film anymore. No one can ignore the spiraling importance of the other platforms for their products."

MIPCOM has responded brilliantly to the needs of the industry. Besides offering a perfect venue for dealmakers, the event is an important forum for helping execs chart the future in a rapidly changing environment.

The nearly non-stop conference schedule is so tempting that it's sometimes difficult to leave the auditoriums and get back to the floor. Among the offerings this year are:

- Monetising content online: find new revenues. Meet the major players

- Games screenings: the best in online and virtual game

- New funding: latest incentives from film commissions and funds.

- Formats: rich new opportunities

- Pay-TV vs. Web Video: who'll get more eyeballs?

There are also major keynote addresses by industry leaders. Coming to Cannes this year are:

"The Simpsons" executive producers Matt Groening & Al Jean,

Fremantle Media visionary Tony Cohen

TiVo leader Tom Rogers.

Hasbro head Brian Goldner, and 

Publicis chief Richard Pinder.

And, of course, a gathering of industry movers and shakers is the ideal place to network. Even first timers are amazed at the number of cocktail parties and screenings where one can chance upon the perfect person to make a deal.

The event is also a superb place to publicize a product. While the nearly 300 journalists are dwarfed by the multitudes of press who swarm to more glamorous events like the Cannes Film Festival, press events here don't have to fight massive media clutter. Information is more focused and manageable, and the chances of getting your project noticed are appreciably higher than at film markets.

For all the right reasons, the feature film world is paying closer attention to the myriad of possibilities offered by MIPCOM.

For more information, go to

By Edward Flaherty


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