Amanda Groom, Non-Executive Director of FOS, reports on her findings at this year’s MIPCOM event in Cannes.
Change was palpable in Cannes this year and the Weinstein name came up frequently. Perhaps the best thing to come from the Weinstein drama has been the discussion; a collective raising of awareness and a reduction of the stigma involved in the act of reporting on a compromising situation.
We witnessed a progression from meaningful discussion on diversity towards action. Notably, this was the first year Diversify TV held its Excellence Awards, with support from A+E Networks, EbonyLife TV and Viacom. Lenny Henry also talked about tax breaks for diversity in a much-discussed keynote. The result was a feeling of a genuine paradigm shift towards an understanding that all voices matter, both on and off screen – something that we at FOS have publicly committed to addressing.
The tech advances in VR and AR change were also apparent, as were the strong directional movements of investment and consolidation that are arguably inevitable in the face of the perceived threats from the great five now named FANGA: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Apple.
Several big telcos have decided to invest, developing studios, distribution entities, new distribution opportunities for example Telefonica, investing $70 million to make 6 dramas and Deutsch Telekom committing to 6 or 7 dramas a year.
There was a new phrase: that whilst content remains king, storytelling is emperor, and platforms are queen – so when it comes to putting those trends, content and money together lines are blurred between business, industries and the creation process itself.
Confidence came from clear IP ownership with there being practical reasons for wanting to have lots of creative IP and there was a notable increase in global relationships and creative company collaboration.
I was lucky enough to moderate a panel of amazing industry heavyweights including:
Steve November, Creative Director UK TV, Lionsgate UK
Takis Candilis, Head of Scripted, Banijay Group
Rola Bauer, Managing Director STUDIOCANAL
Beyond Coproduction – Making Global Creative Connections
The panel explored the multitude of new, innovative and original ways of one-time competing companies now working together in innovative ways to create advantages for all – the sum of one plus one being greater than its parts, with international coproduction being the norm for high-end, big-budget content. The panel discussed their coping strategies for skyrocketing budgets –including forming new relationships, designing co-commissioning and co-development strategies to create locally appeal content with international potential, and also the need for regional authentic voices as being key to great story telling for local markets. Finally it was good to see that sways of change continue across ASEAN nations as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines flex their muscles and push into international markets with enterprising financial and practical support initiatives stimulating local TV businesses in partnership with international companies.
One example of this included Thailand’s BEC World chief commercial officer Ron Kamnuanthip, indicating a different level of commercial interest layered on top of the regular thriving trade in content licensing. Whilst Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry assistant director, Anthony Rivera, said opportunities to support the domestic media industry were being explored, hinting that the Philippines is also exploring a new agenda, possibly supported by government trade bodies, eager to do for their creative industries what Korean, Singaporean and Japanese governments have done for years.
A summary of this year’s MIPCOM can be seen here: