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admin   November 21, 2019

Rajinikanth, thalaiva (leader) to millions of fans, is an enigma that can’t be decoded. With the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) getting ready to honour the superstar with a special ‘Icon of Golden Jubilee’ award, Pickle explains what makes Rajini the icon that he is

The amazing Rajinikanth story is no less fascinating than a movie script. There are multiple strands to the narrative, and each one of them can yield enough by way of drama to sustain a full-length feature.

What sets Rajinikanth apart is the fact that he is more than just another movie star idolized in a populous nation that loves its filmed entertainment. He is a true-blue phenomenon whose clout transcends boundaries of both land and language like a few things can in contemporary Indian pop culture.

One of the strands of the Rajinikanth saga pertains to the rags-to-riches tale of a Bangalore bus conductor who went on to become one of the greatest luminaries that Indian cinema has ever produced, a transformation that borders on the fantastical.

The other thread of the story relates to the emergence of the larger-than-life myth of a towering showbiz personality who commands unquestioning loyalty from a fan base that keeps growing steadily and spawning ever-new crops of Rajini-isms on the social media and elsewhere.

Rajini does not have Greek God good looks, nor does he have the height or physique to tower over everything else in a movie frame. Yet his screen presence is extraordinary. His flashy mannerisms, his flamboyant swagger, and his punchy one-liners add up to a totality that is beyond analysis.

It is next to impossible to put a finger on the exact reasons that make him such a peerless icon. Part of the difficulty stems from the fact that Rajini himself has never made calculated career moves. He has merely gone along with the flow and ended up in a place where a few ever have.

For a man who has achieved the kind of sustained success that he has, he has his feet firmly planted to the ground – an attribute that immeasurably enhances his stature.

Unlike other Indian movie stars, Rajinikanth keeps his on-screen persona well removed from his real-life identity as a husband, father and grandfather. He rarely appears at public events, but exercises great influence on Dravidian culture and politics.

But his appeal is certainly not limited to the confines of Tamil Nadu and its cinema. His is a recognizable face across the country and in parts of the world where Tamil cinema has made inroads in recent years.

Who else but Rajinikanth could be at the receiving end of a musical tribute of the kind that Bollywood megastar Shahrukh Khan paid him in Chennai Express. The song, Lungi Dance, aimed at “all the Rajini fans”, became a chart-topper and continues to be a favourite with DJs around the country?

So confident is he of his fan following that when Rajinikanth appears in public, he does nothing at all to hide the tell-tale signs of age that a 69-year-old grandfather must necessarily live with.

At an event organized to launch the music of the science fiction epic Enthiran/Robot, he got up on the podium and narrated how he was mistaken for just another man in the crowd by onlookers in a Rajasthan village, where the film was being shot. He was hard pressed, he admitted in public, to convince fans who were milling around lead actress Aishwarya Rai that he was the hero of the film.

Nothing says more about Rajinikanth the man and the movie star than the kind of unassuming candour that he resorts to when talking about himself and his achievements. At times it is difficult to believe that a superstar who, with the fee that he got for Sivaji (2007), became the highest paid Asian movie actor after Jackie Chan has no starry airs whatever. Is he for real?

Awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2000, Rajinikanth was named the recipient of the ‘Centenary Award’ for the ‘Indian Film Personality of the Year’ at the 45th International Film Festival of India in Goa. The well-deserved honour was bestowed on the megastar at the opening ceremony of the film festival on November 20. Five years on, at the 50th edition of IFFI, he receives another award to add to the trophies in his collection.

Rajinikanth’s acting career began nearly 40 years ago, with K Balachander’s
National Award-winning but controversial film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), in which the budding star played a small role as the abusive and long-lost husband of the film’s heroine. Kamal Haasan was the lead actor of Apoorva Raagangal.

Rajini’s next film was the Kannada-language Katha Sangama (1976), an offbeat omnibus film directed by Puttanna Kanagal. It was not until his mentor Balachander made Anthuleni Katha in Telugu that Rajini landed a pivotal role in a film. An even more prominent character came his way in Balachander’s Moondru Mudichu (1976).

In the early years of his career, Rajini played largely negative roles, especially as a womanizer or a perfidious friend, in several Tamil and Telugu films. He graduated to essaying lead roles and appearing in a large number of films in the late 1970s, but his screen image as a dashing leading man began to crystallize only in the 1980s.

Who could have ever imagined that an actor who early in his career played, among other things, a village ruffian who rapes a blind girl, a man who nonchalantly lets his friend drowns so that he can marry the former’s girlfriend, and a pornographer who secretly films his wife in the act without her knowledge would turn into a screen superhero endowed with bionic powers?

Rajinikanth had 15 releases in 1977 and 20 in 1978. These films were made in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. He not only starred in many remakes of Mumbai hits of the 1970s and 1980s on the way to becoming the pivot of the Tamil cinema business, he also acted in several Hindi films without quite replicating his southern success.

This was a crazily frenetic period for the star. MGR had just bowed out of the movie industry to concentrate on politics. Rajini and his contemporary Kamal Haasan (he had 33 releases in 1978-79) moved into the breach. Rajinikanth, generous to a fault, has always praised Kamal Haasan for inspiring him with his professionalism.

His characteristic humility notwithstanding, there can be no denying that the box office clout that Rajini wields is unparalleled. While Kamal Haasan sought to experiment with his screen roles, taking on a wide array of characters in the 1980s and 1990s and earning the reputation of a thinking man’s movie star, Rajini focused on developing a screen persona with wide mass appeal.Both succeeded in their chosen endeavours.

In the 1990s, Rajini became such a commercial force that nobody in the Tamil movie industry could do without him. In 1991, Mani Ratnam cast him in Thalapathi, who co-starred Malayalam superstar Mammootty.

In the wake of the success of Thalapathi, films such as Annamalai, Mannan, Valli (for which the actor wrote his first screenplay), Muthu, Yejaman, Veera and Baasha, hit the screens in quick succession, catapulting Rajinikanth to a zone that nobody in Indian cinema history had ever penetrated.

His career experienced somewhat of a slump at the turn of the millennium when Baba, scripted by him, failed to deliver the goods at the box office. The distributors were left in the red as a result and, in an unprecedented
move, Rajini decided to make good the losses. After a brief hiatus, Rajini bounced back with Chandramukhi in 2005 and Sivaji in 2007.

The first time that Rajinikanth was labelled a ‘Superstar’ was in mid-1978, the year of Bairavi. Distributor S Dhanu put up a 40-foot cutout of Rajini at Plaza theatre in Madras.

The civic authorities ordered the cutout to be pulled down on the grounds it could pose a safety hazard on the road. Dhanu reinforced the cutout and so it stood right there, staring down on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.

The man in the cutout quickly seared himself into the collective consciousness of Tamil movie fans. And that is where he continues
to be to this day.

At the fag-end of 2014, on December 12, his 64 th birthday, the Rajini starrer Lingaa, co-starring Sonakshi Sinha and Anushka Shetty, went head to head with Aamir Khan’s PK.

Rajinikanth, a year shy of 70, continues to be a box-office gale force. Between 2016 and 2019, the megastar delivered a string of hits – Pa. Ranjith’s Kabali and Kaala, S. Shankar’s 2.0 and Kartik Subbaraj’s Petta, which, until Bigil came along, was the highest grossing Tamil film ever. The latest Rajinikanth starrer Darbar, directed by A.R. Murugadoss, is slated for release on January 10, 2020.

Featured Post

IFFI 50 & Fantastic-Lifetime Achievement Award to Isabelle Huppert

admin   November 21, 2019

IFFI is back, this time in a much bigger and better way. For, this year marks its golden jubilee. A lot of interesting things are in store, from special screening for the visually impaired to screening films that have turned 50 and best of Oscar winning movies. Here’s a trailer of IFFI that kickstarts on November 20 in Goa.

The international film festival of India (IFFI) is one of the most-awaited
events for film fanatics, theatre artists, aspiring actors and industry professionals. The film extravaganza brings the best of craft and cinema from across the world, under one roof. Needless to say, besides a chance to witness great cinema, the event is a reservoir of knowledge.

Organised by the government of India, the event is planned and executed by a Steering Committee which consists of industry leaders and big wigs who can be credited with the event’s success. This year, the Steering Committee includes members like Union Minister Prakash Javadekar; Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant; I&B Secretary Amit Khare; Chief Secretary, Goa, Parimal Rai; Vice Chairman, Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), Subhash Phal Dessai; representatives of the film community including Shaji N Karun, Shri AK Bir, Rahul Rawail, Manju Borah, Ravi Kottarakara and Madhur Bhandarkar; senior officials of Directorate of Film Festivals, Entertainment Society of Goa, I&B Ministry and Goa Government. Besides, Bollywood leaders like Karan Johar, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Feroze Abbas Khan and Subhash Ghai will also be part of the Steering Committee.

This year, IFFI, slated to happen In Goa from November 20 to 28, 2019, is marking its golden jubilee. The event has got bigger and better this year as it enters its 50th edition.

Internationally acclaimed French actor Isabelle Huppert would be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award. Huppert, who has worked in films like The Lacemaker, Violette Nozière, La Cérémonie, among others, has appeared in more than 120 films since making her debut in 1971. She is the most nominated actress for the César Award, the national film award of France, with 16 nominations, and has won it twice. She was a regular with some of the most acclaimed filmmakers of the French New Wave, including Claude Chabrol and Bertrand Tavernier.

Like stated earlier, IFFI not just gives you a chance to experience unforgettable cinematic treat, but also provides you a platform to network, learn and enhance your knowledge about the nuances of film making. This year, the event will have multiple masterclasses, In-Conversation sessions and workshops from the industry people from all across the globe. For instance, ace Indian filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Priyadarshan will share their experiences and teach nitty-gritties of film direction, actors like Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor TaapseePannu, Rakulpreet Singh will talk about their career highlights and industry experiences, along with Meghna Gulzar, Imtiaz Ali, Rahul Rawail and others talking about the art of filmmaking. Besides, there’s lots more into these masterclasses.

Besides showcasing 200 landmark films that have been lauded all across the world, the event also has an impressive line-up of previous movies, including the ones that have bagged the Golden Peacock Award.

There is also a section that will showcase incredible Oscar winning movies like the Godfather, Forest Gump, Gone with the Wind, among others.

That apart, special arrangements will be made for the visually impaired to let them also enjoy cinema, along with sections like World Panorama and Kaleidoscope, that will leave cine buffs asking for more.

So, while you have been waiting for the event to begin, with a bated breath, here’s a sneak peek of what this year’s edition has in store for you.

Indian Panorama is a flagship section of IFFI, which showcases the best of contemporary Indian Feature and Non-Feature Films of the years . This year, the Feature Film Jury is headed by acclaimed filmmaker and screenwriter  Priyadarshan . The Jury has chosen the film HELLARO (Gujarati ) directed by Abhishek Shah as the Opening Feature Film of Indian Panorama 2019

Best fiction films from around the globe

Under the section ‘World Panorama’, the event will showcase 64 award-winning feature-length fiction films, that are produced between 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2019, from around the globe. Adam, A First Farewell, far From Us, Give Me Liberty, among others, are some of the films under the section.

The Best of Indian Cinema

IFFI 2019 will be a golden chance for you if you want to witness the best of contemporary Indian Feature and Non-Feature Films of the years. The jury, including industry bigwigs like ace filmmaker Priyadarshan and well-known documentary filmmaker Shri Rajendra Janglay, have chosen films like Hellaro (Gujarati), Pareeksha (Hindi), Ek Je Chhilo Raja (Bengali), Uri : The Surgical Strike (Hindi), Gully Boy (Hindi), Super 30 (Hindi), to name a few, which will be displayed under the section.

Impressive lineup for the ‘Golden Peacock’

The section consists of line-up of extra ordinary work from all across the world, in the run up for the much coveted ‘Golden Peacock’ award. The trophy, that will come along with a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh this time, will be given to one out of 15 movies have been produced and coproduced by 22 countries. Movies that will fight against each other include names like Balloon (China), Antigone (Canada), Jallikattu (India), among others.

Missed Mumbai International Film Festival? IFFI is here to help!

IFFI works hard to showcase the best of cinema to its audience. This year, it will showcase 17 award-winning films, from Mumbai International Film Festival, made in the last 10 years which includes documentaries, short fiction and animation films across the globe including Germany, Russia, Romania, United Kingdom and South Korea apart from India.

Treat for the visually impaired

IFFI aims to reach out as many as people as it can to let them explore and experience the kind of cinema that it offers. And considering movie watching is not easy for the visually impaired, the event has done its bit so that this section of audience doesn’t feel left out. It will organise special screenings of 3 brilliant films; Lage RahoMunna Bhai (Hindi), M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (Hindi), and Questao De Confusa (Konkani); along with audio description that translates images, visual information or non-dialogue portions of film into spoken words so that visually impaired people can access, and enjoy the films.

Honouring living legend Amitabh Bachchan

The 50th edition will honour megastar Amitabh Bachchan with the prestigious DadasahebPhalke Award, for his stupendous work and immense contribution to the Indian cinema. Highlighting his work, the event will showcase 6 of his films; Deewaar, Badla, Paa, Piku, Sholey
and Black; that made a mark in the world.

Films that have turned 50!

As IFFI marks its Golden jubilee, it has crafted a special section ‘The Golden Lining’ as part of which it will screen best films that have completed 50 years, from across the world. The package includes Films in Odiya, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Assamese and Malayalam. Some of the iconic movies to be shown are Aradhana by Shakti Samanta, Satyakam by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Stree by Siddharth and Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai by Ram Maheshwary, among others.

IFFI also hosts many retrospectives, tributes, master classes and special sections, which enhance the variety and depth of the event. The master classes have emerged as a highlight of the festival, especially for film school students who converge in Goa during the eight-day event

Iconic work by 18 National awards winner Mrinal Sen

This year, a new section‘Indian New Wave Cinema’ is dedicated to 12 films produced in India from the late 1950s to the late 1970s that were distinct in the narrative, style and budget, compared to those being produced in the mainstream cinema. This includes work of filmmaker Mrinal Sen, who has won 18 National Film Awards 18 times, the Padma Bhushan (2008) and the DadasahebPhalke Award.

Indian New wave Cinema Screenings in IFFI 2019

  • Ajantrik (1957)
  • Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960)
  • Bhuvan Shome (1969)
  • Swayamvaram (1972)
  • Ankur (1973)
  • Uttarayanam (1974)
  • Bhumika (1976)
  • Agraharathil Kazhuthai (1977)
  • Thampu (1978)
  • Uski Roti (1969)
  • Duvidha (1973)
  • Tarang (1972)

Date with master filmmakers

Like every year, this year too, the event will bring to you work by master filmmakers, under its section Master frames. The section has the section has 17 films, like By The Grace Of God, Adults in the Room, The Golden Glove, to name a few it by filmmakers of international repute like Pedro Almodovar, Lav Diaz, Xavier Dolan, Dardenne Brothers, Costa Gavras, Wernor Herzog, HirokazuKoreeda, Fatih Akin and more.

Finest work by Ken Loach

The event will showcase some of the finest works by two-time Palme d’Or winner Ken Loach is widely acclaimed across international cinema as an independent filmmaker and documentarian. Some of the landmarks films that will be shows as part of Ken Loach: Retrospective section are Kes, sweet Sixteen, Fatherland, Sorry We Missed You, and more.

Celebration time at IFFI

You missed Oscarwinning movies? IFFI is here for you!

This year, it is Oscar raining at the IFFI. The event has shortlisted the best of Oscar-winning movies to be showcased at the do. These include names like Monos (Columbia), Stupid Young Heart (Finland), Adam (Morocco), Beanpole (Russia), System Crasher (Germany), and many more. Get set to witness the best of world cinema and some of the stellar performances.

Golden Peacock Films of last 49 years!

Golden Peacock award has been a coveted title conferred by IFFI, to the world class cinema. In an effort to let cine aficionados enjoy and witness the stupendous award moving movies, in case they missed any one, the event will showcase all the Golden Peacock movies of the last 49 years under the section Golden Peacock retrospective.

Restoring Indian Classics

IFFI aims to cherish rich cinematic heritage and sharing it with new set of audience and introducing to them the glories of the past. The “Restored Indian Classics’ sections aims the same with showcasing two of the finest Indian films, Kalpana by Uday Shankar and TitasEkti Nadir Naam.

The Best from Asia

This year, IFFI has curated films that have made their mark from across various Asian countries and filmmakers. Titled as ‘Soul of Asia’, the section includes movies like Chinese films Feelings to Tell by Wen LI, Taiwanese film Ten Years Taiwan, Japanese film Ten Years Japan, Wet Season directed by Anthony Chen coproduced by Singapore and Taiwan, and more.

The ‘Gandhian’ film

IFFI, in association, with the International Council for Film, and Television and Audio-Visual Communication Paris (ICFT) will present a UNESCO Medal to a selected film which upholds the values exhibited by Mahatma Gandhi for his immense contribution to the society for preserving peace & non-violence. Indian film BahattarHoorain, along with other movies like Oray, Rwanda and Sanctorum, among others, are in the running for the title.

The power of silence!

Before movies were made with dialogues, films at their nascent stage were released without any dialogues. They still left an impact, solely because of superb acting and emoting skills of the actors, background skills and excellent direction. This year, IFFI will bring back the lost era and mark the stupendous art of filmmaking by showcasing classic silent movies, played with live music. The charismatic experience with be a part of the section ‘Silent Film with Live Music’.

The Syria massacre

Immigration is one of the major problems that we face today. The Syrian immigrant crisis has found cinematic voice through master filmmakers over the last few years as an acknowledgement to this ongoing crisis. IFFI, in its own way, is working to solve the menace. This edition will see the special screening of the film ‘I’m Gonna Tell God Everything’ that narrates the heart wrenching story of Syria between 2011 and 2018.

French Homages

IFFI will pay homage to filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci and Agnes Varda, who passed away in November 2018 and march 2019. The Dreams and Varda are the two French films that will be screened under this section.

Focus on Takashi Miike

With IFFI going bigger and better the event will this time focus on Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike by dedicating an entire section ‘filmmaker In Focus’ to him. This will include showcasing five of his finest films like First Love, Ichi the Killer, Audition, Dead or Alive, 13 Assassins. Miike is often considered as one of the most outstanding filmmakers from Asia and around the world with a cult status due to his films often mixing distinctly different genres and creating movies which stand out due to their mind-bending nature.

Debutants like never before

IFFI has always been a platform for budding filmmakers. This year too, it will see the best of debutants showcasing their work and fighting it out to be on the top under the Debutant Competition Section.

20 handpicked world-renowned films

Festival Kaleidoscope, one of the most loved and important sections of the festival, brings hand picked films that have already made a mark in the world. This year 20 such films have been curated from all across the world. So, in case you have missed the ‘not be missed’ cinematic experience, you have a reason to cheer.


  • APAROOPA (Biju Phukan)
  • BHUVAN SHOME (Mrinal Sen)
  • EK ANEK AUR EKTA (Vijaya Mulay)
  • GANASHATRU (Rama Guha Thakurta)
  • HUM (kadar Khan)
  • HUM APKE HAIN KAUN (Raj Kumar Barjatya)
  • KANOORU HEGGADITHI (Girish Karnad)
  • PHOOL AUR KAANTE (Veeru Devegan)
  • RAJNIGANDHA (Vidya Sinha)
  • THE TIDAL (Vijaya Mulay)
  • UMRAO JAAN ( Khayyam)
  • VEYILMARANGAL (MJ Radhakrishnan)

The best from Russia

Every year IFFI features ‘Country of Focus’ by picking up the best cinematic work and contribution of a particular country. This year, the country in focus is Russia. You will get to witness some of the best Russian films like Abigail by Aleksandr Boguslavskiy, Acid by Alexander Gorchilin, Great poetry by AleksandrLungin, to name a few.

The Goan story!

Held in Goa, IFFI, every year, dedicates a section that displays the best work from the Konkan film industry, that has been growing fast in the past few years. This year too, the festival has picked the best Konkani films that have made a mark across the globe. the list includes names like A rainy day, Amori, Digant, and more.

The awards that the competitive festival offers are significant in money terms. IFFI hands out prize money to the tune of US$ 200,000. The winner of the Golden Peacock for the best film takes home $80,000. That apart, the best director and the Special Jury Prize winner bag $30,000 each, while the two acting prizes come with a cash component of $20,000 each

The Best IFFI Jury of this Century

The jury is an integral part of any film festival. And IFFI takes care that it ropes in the best from the industry to judge and select the movies it wants to show. This year John Bailey, Cinematographer and Ex. President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will chair the International Jury of 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). French filmmaker Robin Campillo who was also a member of the Cannes International Jury 2019, renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yang and Lynne Ramsay, who is one of the leading lights of young British cinema will be the co-jurors. Eminent Filmmaker, Ramesh Sippy is the Indian member in the International Jury.

Indian IP Guide/Catalogue

admin   September 21, 2019

Services Exports Promotion Council, set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India is working to create an Intellectual Property (IP) Guide for the Media & Entertainment sector with a catalogue of original IPs already created in the M&E verticals (animation, films, gaming) and IPs that are the works (in print and digital formats). This Guide will help small and medium entertainment companies to navigate critical aspects of IP creation. This will be released at MIPCOM 2019 on October 14. The objective is to present IPs from India to the  buyers, distributors, co-production partners and expand global footprint. The focus of the IP guide (M&E) is to project properties created out of India. If you have questions Contact/WhatsApp: SEPC’s Javed Ahmed  91 9015480563 or WhatsApp Pickle Media: 91 9884562227.

Request you to fill details below and send it on priority before October 1st, 2019.  

If you have more than one IP for catalogue, send it in seperate forms


    SEPC: India @ MIPCOM 2019 Directory

    admin   September 10, 2019

    For the second consecutive year, SEPC will bring out MIPCOM India directory for wide distribution in print and digital formats to MIPCOM delegates before and during the event at the India Pavilion. Request you to fill details below and send it on priority before September 30, 2019. Please list most up to date direct e-mail for personnel in charge to ensure you receive all future correspondence.

    Take a look at India@MIPCOM directory 2018 in this link


    If you have questions contact/whatsapp: SEPC’s Javed Ahmed  91 9015480563 or Natarajan Vidyasagar Pickle Media: 91 9324516661


      Come to Cannes With Your Kids

      admin   April 12, 2019

      Worried about your children when you were away from home for Cannes Film Festival all these years? Well, this will be a thing of the past from now on.

      For the first time, the Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film, in association with the newly-formed collective Parenting at Film Festivals, is launching a family-friendly festival journey, Le Ballon Rouge, where Children are the new VIPs.

      Work-life balance is a constant challenge for parents in modern society. In the film industry it is a daily battle. A vast majority of film professionals must travel regularly to film festivals and markets, sometimes with their babies and young children, and may have have a tough time combining their family and professional priorities. So often, it is just easier to leave the children at home, or more drastically, they may feel forced to make a decision between their career and the prospect of starting a family.

      Festival de Cannes General Delegate Thierry Frémaux and Marché du Film Executive Director Jérôme Paillard said of the initiative: “Although the ever-present issue of work-life balance affects everyone, regardless of gender, we know the impact on women is much greater. There is much work to be done by major festivals to make their infrastructure and services family-friendly, to more effectively enable participation of women in the industry, who will benefit from a better balance and thus more success. We are excited to lead the way among major festivals and hope other festivals will follow.”

      The core team from Parenting at Film Festivals said: “We’re heartened and amazed that the Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film have listened so intently to our concerns. They embraced the vast majority of our proposals and are seriously considering the rest for 2020 once the demands for these services have been evaluated. We believe this will pave the way for an unprecedented new children-friendly journey that other festivals can take inspiration from.”

      Aurélie Godet from Parenting at Film Festivals added: “Even though my son was only one month old when I first took him to a film festival, it was as difficult – and expensive – as I was warned it would be. Parent-friendly services at festivals are rare and I went head-on into problems other mums stumbled over before me… until I made a few phone calls to work friends and asked for tips. Making things change was always going to be about joining forces, taking these calls for help to a larger scale than the individual conversations I had with Sarah, Michelle and others.”

      Named after the popular children’s film by Albert Lamorisse, Le Ballon Rouge offers a concrete package of 5 key services for families:

      • Family-Friendly Accreditation Process: Film professionals travelling with babies and young children will have a special accreditation in order to access the dedicated services the Marché is providing, including the Pantiero’s Kids Pavilion and the Palais’ Change & Feeding Corner, as well as two additional badges for nanny + baby (free of charge). Cinando will host on its site the newly-created group Parenting at Film Festivals to better identify the community and its needs.
      • Le Ballon Rouge Kids Pavilion: located at the Village International Pantiero, this 25m2 tent with terrace will welcome families from 10 am-6 pm daily from the 14th until the 21st of May. There, parents can choose to either spend time with their children, have family-friendly meetings in dedicated areas, or leave their children for up to 6 hours in the care of professional nannies provided by a specialised company. This special service will be offered by a cluster of partners – full list of partners below in How was this set up?. A small compensation will be asked to parents wishing to benefit from this service.
      • Le Ballon Rouge Express-Changing & Feeding Corner: a dedicated room for parents and carers for breastfeeding, feeding or nappy-changing, will be open from 9 am-6:30 pm daily from the 14th until the 25th of May in the Palais des Festivals.
      • Easy Access: priority access to the Marché will be given to parents entering with children at the Palais’ main entrance, Riviera entrance and Pantiero entrance. As the stroller approaches with its dedicated Ballon Rouge flag, staff will help them through security.
      • Le Ballon Rouge Baby VIP Kit: in collaboration with Parenting at Film Festivals and Cinando, a dedicated bag for children will be offered, with family-friendly map and services in Cannes, Marché access flag, list of certified nannies for after-hours care, and other helpful items.

      Annecy Festival Announces its Jury

      admin   March 22, 2019

      The Annecy International Animated Film Festival has revealed the jury members for the 2019 edition (June 10-15). The Jury members come from three continents and nine different countries, This year’s jury has a female majority and they will reveal the winners on Saturday 15th June during the closing ceremony.

      Feature Films

      Julie Gayet, Producer, Rouge International (France) First an actress (The French Minister, 8 fois debout), Gayet is also a producer (Raw by Julia Ducournau, The Insult by Ziad Doueiri). In 2018, she distributed the Chinese feature film Have a Nice Day by Jian Liu, screened at the festival the same year.

      Yoshiaki Nishimura, Founder, CEO & Producer, Studio Ponoc (Japan) The first two feature films that Nishimura produced for Studio Ghibli, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) and When Marnie Was There (2014), were Oscar nominated in the Best Animated Feature category. In 2014, he founded Studio Ponoc. His most recent production, the short films anthology Modest Heroes, will be presented at Annecy as a French premiere.

      Nora Twomey, Partner & Creative Director, Cartoon Saloon (Ireland) One of the driving creative forces of acclaimed production studio Cartoon Saloon, Twomey’s feature film The Breadwinner won three awards at Annecy in 2018: the Jury Award, Audience Award/Première and Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film, sponsored by the SACEM.

      Short Films

      Camélia Jordana, Singer & Actress (France) Winner of the César Award for Most Promising Actress for Le Brio, Jordana was the voice of Spider-Gwen in the feature film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, that was presented at the Work in Progress at the 2018 festival and released the same year.

      Izabela Plucinska, Director & Producer, ClayTraces (Poland) A regular at the festival since her student years, Plucinska is a master at modelling clay animation. Her short films have been in the Official Selection numerous times, including Darling in 2013 and Sexy Laundry in 2015.

      Koji Yamamura, Director, Yamamura Animation, Inc. (Japan) An internationally renowned director, Yamamura has received more than 90 awards including the grand prizes from four renowned animation festivals: Annecy (Cristal for Short Film for Mount Head in 2003), Zagreb, Ottawa and Hiroshima. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is also a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts.

      Graduation Films and Off-Limits Short Films

      Antonio Canobbio, Senior Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Titmouse, Inc. (U.S.A.) Of French origin, Antonio Canobbio oversees the creative direction of all Titmouse projects, including the TV series Little Big Awesome and the feature film Nerdland, that was presented at Annecy 2016 at the Screening Events.

      Dean DeBlois, Writer & Director, DreamWorks Animation (U.S.A.) A Golden Globe winner and two-time Academy Award nominee, DeBlois is the writer/director of the acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. He is a regular at the festival and the first images of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) were shown during the Screening Events in 2018.

      Virginia Mori, Director & Illustrator (Italy) Acclaimed illustrator, Mori is also a maker of short animation films. Her film Haircut was in competition in the Short Film category in the 2015 Festival edition.

      TV and Commissioned Films

      Jinko Gotoh, Producer, Netflix (U.S.A.) Gotoh produced many animated films at Disney-Pixar, including Finding Nemo, and more recently The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. She is currently producing Klaus by Sergio Pablos for Netflix, and Escape from Hat by Mark Osborne. She also serves as vice president for Women in Animation.

      Vrej Kassouny, Director, ReAnimania Int’l Animation Film & Comics Art/Festival of Yerevan (Armenia) Founder of ReAnimania IAFCAFY (2009) and a filmmaker himself, Kassouny has worked on many animated and fiction films as director, animator, producer, and as an actor.

      Judith Nora, Producer, Silex Films (France) Co-founder of Silex Films and Silex Animation Studio, Nora produces animated series including Brazen, adapted for France Télévisions from the famous comic collection by Pénélope Bagieu, and Romanticism: The Adventurers of Art, directed by Amélie Harrault for Arte.


      Anja Kofmel, Director & Illustrator (Switzerland) An animation artist and director since 2010, Kofmel’s first animated feature film, Chris the Swiss, won several awards and was presented out of competition at Annecy in 2018.

      Sébastien Onomo, Producer, Les Films d’Ici/Special Touch (France) Producer at Films d’Ici, and co-founder and chairman of Special Touch Studios, Onomo is also an expert advisor at GOBELINS, l’école de l’image. He produced Funan by Denis Do, which received the Cristal for Best Feature Film at Annecy in 2018.

      Gerben Schermer, Curator Contemporary Art and Animation (Netherlands) Shermer created, directed and developed the international Holland Animation Film Festival (1985-2018). In 2017, he co-curated the exhibition “China, Art in Motion” at the Musée-Château d’Annecy, combining Chinese animation installations and contemporary Chinese art.

      France To Be Country Of Honour at MIPTV 2019

      admin   March 22, 2019

      France will be at the centre of MIPTV 2019 through a series of conferences and promotional events dedicated to France’s TV industry. In September, France’s export promotional association TV France International reported impressive figures for French TV programming in foreign markets for 2017, with total revenue of 325 million euros – the second-best performance in the past 20 years. French exports go well beyond Europe with a notable increase in the United States and Canada, up 16% last year.

      While overall international sales have doubled over the past eight years, French animation confirmed its leading position, thanks to the globally acknowledged expertise of Gallic producers. Animation accounted for 37% of total export revenue.

      Meanwhile, the documentary genre recorded its second-best performance in 10 years, while foreign sales of drama series has known a record year with a 28% increase over 2016. More and more French-made series of all kinds are traveling the world, reaching international audiences. Series like “Le Bureau des Légendes” (The Bureau) or “Midnight sun” (TV France Export Prize 2018) are paving the way to other consistent successes of drama series like long running “Candice Renoir”, Sci-fi “Missions” or political fare “Baron Noir”.

      France is consistently among the leading delegations at MIPTV, with 535 companies and 1,420 participants at the 2018 edition. French exhibiting companies already signed up for MIPTV 2019 include: About Premium Content, Ampersand, ARTE France, Banijay Group, Canal+ Groupe, Cinekita, Cofites, Cyber Group Studios, Eurodata TV Worldwide, Federation International, France Televisions Distribution, Free Dolphin International, Futurikon, Gaumont, Lagardère Studios, Lagardère TV, M6 Metropole Television, Mediatoon Distribution, Mediawan, Millimages, Newen Distribution, Novocomedy Productions, Orange, PGS Entertainment, Prime Entertainment Group, Superights Invest, TF1 Studio, Thema, Trace Global, TV France International, Viz Media Europe, Webedia Rights, Wild Bunch, Xilam Animation, and ZED.

      “This year’s MIPTV Country of Honour programme will showcase the incredible creativity of France’s television industry. No other event brings together so many of France’s leading television executives to address delegates from over 100 countries, and as a French company, Reed MIDEM is proud to play its part in the promotion of French television around the world,” comments Laurine Garaude, Director, TV Division, Reed MIDEM, which organises MIPTV.


      . Game Changers Keynotes – Monday 8 & Tuesday 9 April
      . The French Touch MIPTV Opening Party – Monday 8 April 21.00 – Carlton Hotel, Sponsored by Banijay
      . A Global Overview by Eurodata TV Worldwide – Tuesday 9 April – 14.15
      . Focus on Kids – Tuesday 9 April – 14.30
      . Focus on Drama – Tuesday 9 April – 15.45

      The French keynotes so far confirmed are:

      Delphine Ernotte Cunci, President of the public broadcaster France Télévisions. She began her career with France Télécom, rising from financial analyst to Managing Director of the group, now called Orange. In 2015, Ernotte Cunci was appointed president of France Télévisions, the first woman to hold this post. The state broadcast group operates six national networks and a string of international and theme channels, plus TV and film production entities and the international sales arm, France Télévisions Distribution.

      Gilles Pélisson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TF1 Group, France’s leading free-to-air network, since 2016. In 1995, he became CEO of Eurodisney before being appointed Chairman and CEO in 1997. In 2000, he headed up the management team at the Suez-Telefonica consortium ST3G, and became non-executive Chairman at Noos, France’s leading cable network. Gilles Pélisson joined Bouygues Telecom in 2001 as CEO and was appointed Chairman & CEO in 2004. In 2006, he became CEO and a Board member of the Accor group before being appointed Chairman and CEO in 2009, a position he held until 2011. Until 2016, Gilles Pélisson held non-executive directorships in a number of listed multinationals: Bic (Paris), NH Hotels (Madrid) and Accenture (New York).

      Maxime SAADA, Chairman and CEO of France’s leading pay-TV and media company, CANAL+ Group, and Chairman & CEO of online video platform Dailymotion. Saada joined CANAL+ in 2004, becoming MD in 2015. Last year, in addition to his current position, he was appointed President of the group’s movie and TV production and distribution unit, STUDIOCANAL. CANAL+ Group, which operates premium, free-to-air and theme channels, has a high international profile, with pay-Tv operations in Europe, Africa and Asia totaling 16.2 million subscribers worldwide.

      Régine Hatchondo, Director-General of ARTE France, the French half of the Franco-German cultural broadcast group ARTE. Hatchondo has a long career in the French audiovisual industry, including spells as head of the Forum des images in Paris, the Cannes Film Festival’s sidebar Directors’ Fortnight, and the French film promotion and export body UniFrance. She has also worked as an advisor on cultural and media affairs for the City of Paris and former Prime Minister, Manuel Valls.

      Stéphane Courbit, Marco Bassetti, and François de Brugada of the Gallic-based production and distribution powerhouse, Banijay Group, will share the stage together. Chairman of Banijay, Courbit, began as an independent producer before merging his company to form Endemol France in 1998. He later created Banijay Group, today the world’s largest independent production and distribution company with annual revenue of around €1 billion. He will be interviewed alongside CEO, Bassetti, a leading entrepreneur renowned for founding Endemol Italy before becoming President and CEO of Endemol Group; and CEO of Banijay France, De Brugada, who has long and successfully led France’s most prevalent production business – Banijay France.

      Another joint keynote interview will feature Pascal Breton and Patrick Wachsberger, the duo behind the new joint-venture Picture Perfect Federation, dedicated to the production of premium TV series for the US marketplace and international coproductions. Breton co-founded French independent producer Marathon in 1990 (“St Tropez”). He founded Federation Entertainment in 2013, and recently joined forces with Picture Perfect Entertainment, the production banner of Wachsberger, Co-Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group for the past six years, and oversaw the critically-acclaimed breakout hit “Wonder” and the global box-office phenomenon “La La Land”.

      These keynotes are all scheduled on April 8 and 9. French audiovisual creativity will be showcased throughout MIPTV as part of the Country of Honour programme, with premiere screenings and promotional events.

      New Synergies, New Possibilities Emerge at MIPCOM 2018

      admin   November 24, 2018

      With demand for fresh content growing at a phenomenal pace, the power-packed MIPCOM 2018 witnessed opening of new possibilities for Media and Entertainment sector, as new synergies promise to continue the growth momentum

      A packed MIPCOM 2018, which saw 13,800 delegates, including over 4,800 buyers from over 110 countries in Cannes, reflected significant developments within the content creation industry.

      In line with MIPCOM’s central theme of The Big Shift, those developments included:

      • MIPCOM 2018 Country of Honour, China, clearly indicated its new strategic ambitions to export more programming to the worldwide market and to enter into co-productions with international partners. Multiple deals involving Chinese companies took place in Cannes.
      • High-end drama series, from international sources such as Channel One Russia’s ‘Trigger,’ continue to attract the major SVOD players and TV broadcasters alike. Talent was out in force to support new drama series with creators such as Spain’s Showrunner Alex Pina and Esther Martinez Lobato now considered stars in their own right.
      • Personality of the Year, Issa Rae, inspired MIPCOM delegates by sharing her passion, commitment and encouragement to foster opportunities for up and coming content creators.
      • Momentum continues to grow for the entertainment industry to truly embrace diversity and equality in front and behind the camera.
      • Powerful online companies are talking cooperation with traditional broadcasters while the latter develop their own SVOD strategies.

      “There are new dynamics within the entertainment industry and the good news is that more people are watching more content, for more time, on more devices, than ever before,” notes Jerome Delhaye, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Entertainment Division. “The debate now is how companies will compete or work together to get the right content to the right viewer.”

      MIPCOM opening party – Red carpet-China country of Honour – Changrong Shang and Junjie Teng

      Country of Honour China Makes Coprod/Export Moves

      With 156 companies in Cannes and headed by China’s International Promotion Bureau of the State Council Information Office and China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), the Chinese delegation of over 400 executives, was the largest ever to attend MIPCOM or sister event MIPTV.

      China came to Cannes with ambitions to develop exports of its programming and to foster co-production discussions with international content creators. Speaking at MIPCOM, NRTA Vice Minister Fan Weiping noted, “Over the past 15 years, with the rapid development of China’s economy and society, China’s film and television cultural industry has become increasingly prosperous, and international communications and cooperation have been remarkably active…China would like to sincerely cooperate with all of its friends in order to stimulate a new dynamism in the international development of the audiovisual industry, and to contribute together to the prosperity of various cultures.”

      During MIPCOM 2018, a string of deals involving Chinese companies were unveiled.

      Endemol Shine China signed with film and TV production company Blue&White&Red Pictures and Chinese IP specialist Cloudwood to make a Mandarin-language version of British crime drama ‘Broadchurch’ for the Chinese market. Endemol Shine have also pacted with CCTV to create an international version of popular Chinese series ‘The Nation’s Greatest Treasures’ and will work with CCTV to co-develop new, unscripted TV formats for Chinese TV channels and international markets.

      • Chinese internet service provider Tencent co-produced natural history series ‘Dynasties’ with the BBC Studios as part of a wider deal that sees the duo working together to create a Chinese fan base for the BBC Earth Tribe web site which has just gone live on Tencent Video.
      • Huace Film & TV announced a new phase of collaboration and co-production with eOne.
      • Chinese content company Sansang Media has sold drama series ‘Burning Ice’ to Japanese broadcaster NEP. The series has aired on Chinese streaming platform iQIYI.
      MIPCOM opening party – Red carpet-China country of Honour – Panda Hehe and Happy Dad and Son

      Big Drama Brings Big Names to MIPCOM

      What was clear throughout MIPCOM is that the appetite for high-end series is as strong as ever and companies brought an array of talent to Cannes, including Richard Gere – promoting another BBC political thriller drama ‘MotherFatherSon’ – to add that special touch to their marketing campaigns.

      Hot ticket event on Monday October 15 was the World Premiere TV Screening of ‘Escape at Dannemora,’ Ben Stiller’s TV directorial debut which starts airing on Showtime in the US on November 18. CBS Studios International brought Stiller to MIPCOM. Stiller noted that a few years ago, this kind of action drama would probably have headed to cinemas but that television now offers the best platform for telling great stories.

      BBC Studios latest foray into epic drama, ‘Les Miserables,’ saw leading cast members Dominic West and David Oyelowo in town where they rubbed shoulders on the MIPCOM Red Carpet with Sean Bean (supporting Sky Vision’s ‘Curfew’), Jenna Coleman (‘The Cry’), Colman Domingo (‘Fear the Walking Dead’) and ‘Project Blue Book’ all-star cast Michael Malarkey, Laura Mennell and Aidan Gillen.

      Confirming that prime drama series are coming from around the world, Spanish showrunners Alex Pina and Esther Martinez Lobato (‘La Casa de Papel’) accompanied their latest project ‘The Pier’ alongside lead actors Alvaro Morte, Veronica Sanchez and Irene Arcos. One of the first deals announced in Cannes was that France’s leading private broadcaster TF1 had acquired ‘The Pier’ from distributer Beta Film.

      MIPCOM 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award: Toru Ota, Senior Executive Managing Director of Fuji Television Network, Japan and Paul Zilk,CEO Reed Midem

      Personality of the Year Issa Rae Inspires MIPCOM

      MIPCOM Personality of the Year, Issa Rae, inspired MIPCOM delegates by sharing her passion, commitment and encouragement to foster opportunities for up and coming content creators. Recognised for her generation-defining influence on the entertainment industry, Rae’s web series hit ‘Awkward Black Girl’ which she produced, directed and starred in, paved the way for HBO’s ‘Insecure’ where she is writing, producing and starring in season three, with season four already ordered.

      “Issa Rae epitomises the change within entertainment,” notes Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division. “She launched herself with ‘Awkward Black Girl’ on her YouTube channel and now there is this great TV series on HBO. She has shown young creators that they can produce targeted shows that aren’t restricted by the need to reach the mass audiences craved by the networks. In addition, Issa Rae doesn’t talk diversity…she lives it.”

      Speaking to a packed Grand Auditorium audience, Issa Rae commented on her first web series ‘Dorm Diaries’ that she created while she was a student at Stanford. She said that the traditional (and expensive) route of pitching to networks had proved fruitless as she was told “there isn’t an audience for this type of content.”

      Media Mastermind keynote Cong Yu, Founder & CEO, Iqiyi

      MIPCOM Continues Drive to Support Diversity

      For the second year, MIPCOM hosted the Diversify TV Excellence Awards with the support of A+E Networks. The Awards are dedicated to championing and promoting diversity and inclusion in all forms across the international television industry. Personality of the Year, Issa Rae, took to the stage to hand over the award for Excellence in the Representation of Race and Ethnicity (scripted) to Actor, Writer, Director and Producer Diederick Santer of Kudos Film & Television for ‘Boy with the Topknot.’

      MIPCOM’s popular Women in Global Entertainment Power Lunch, held in partnership with A+E Networks, brought together many of the most influential female figures in TV. Headline speaker, A+E Investigates’ acclaimed host Elizabeth Vargas, noted “change is coming but we need to keep up the pressure.”

      “Diversity and inclusion aren’t some kind of passing moment. They are central to The Big Shift. Inclusion, in all its forms, is essential in the entertainment industry and beyond. We are absolutely committed to using our events to promote and discuss diversity,” says Reed MIDEM’s Jerome Delhaye.

      Richard Gere launch BBC show Motherfatherson

      Mastermind Keynotes Chart Future

      MIPCOM 2018’s conference programme provided a 360° appraisal of today’s TV and digital sector with top executives from around the world.

      • ITV CEO Carolyn McCall explained how her company is moving into the streaming marketplace next year. The SVOD service will feature British-originated content. McCall noted that in SVOD, Netflix might be a competitor while also doing acquisition business with ITV Studios, notably on ‘Bodyguard.’
      • Gong Yu, Founder and CEO of China’s giant video streaming platform iQIYI grabbed the attention of his audience by announcing that the platform intends to start originating content rather than simply buying shows. He noted that AI is transforming the platform’s approach to its 200 million subscribers by creating profiling systems to customise content for viewers.
      • BBC Studios’ CEO Tim Davie reflected on the shift from the company being primarily a BBC programme supplier to new types of agreements with third parties such as the mini-series deal between BBC Studios and Netflix to make a new 3×90 mins version of ‘Dracula.’
      • Twitter’s VP and Global Head of Content Partnerships, Kay Madati told delegates that his company is a partner to TV, not a disruptor. Supported by examples from A+E Networks, Viacom and Sky, Madati explained how Twitter’s engaged and influential audience can extend the reach of linear broadcast content.
      • AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan promoted core values to his audience including the importance of great story-telling combined with great talent. Without naming the mega SVOD platforms, Sapan insisted that talent gets truly special treatment at AMC.
      Women in Global Entertainment power lunch

      “The range of the conference programme keynote subjects and the thought-leaders who shared their ideas, is testimony to the vigour of entertainment in a shifting environment,” comments Laurine Garaude. “We have traditional broadcast companies moving into SVOD. Online platforms are committing to production; AI is being used to deliver dedicated content to viewers. Everyone is trying to create great stories and attract top stars. The Big Shift is also about exciting new opportunities.”