The 72nd Festival de Cannes will open with the Competition screening of Jim Jarmusch’s new film, The Dead Don’t Die. On May 14, on the screen of the Grand Théâtre Lumière, the film by the American director and screenwriter will be this year’s first Palme d’Or competition screening.
The independent filmmaker’s newest foray into genre film (after the western with Dead Man, Samurai/crime film with Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and his vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive) promises to be “the greatest zombies cast ever disassembled”: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez, RZA, Sara Driver, Austin Butler, Luka Sabbat, Eszter Balint, Carol Kane and Tom Waits.
The Dead Don’t Die also reunites Jarmusch with many of his frequent collaborators including Director of Photography Frederick Elmes (Night on Earth, Paterson, Broken Flowers) and Editor Affonso Gonçalves (Only Lovers Left Alive, Paterson). The Dead Don’t Die is Jim Jarmusch’s thirteenth feature film and stands as not just a humorous and sometimes scary subversion of the genre (with a nod to George Romero’s seminal film, Night of the Living Dead) but also a tribute to cinema itself,
In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behaviors. No one quite knows why. News reports are scary and scientists are concerned. But no one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing Centerville: THE DEAD DON’T DIE — they rise from their graves and savagely attack and feast on the living — and the citizens of the town must battle for their survival.
Since Stranger Than Paradise, Caméra d’or winner at the Festival de Cannes in 1984, which was a landmark in the history of new independent American cinema, Jim Jarmusch has been sharing with us his artful, soulful universes, inspired soundtracks, offbeat humour, and the meanderings of his anti-heroes in an always slightly strange world. At Cannes, his elegant, rock and roll cinema, often presenting an alternative America, has been honoured with four awards, including the Short Film Palme d’or in 1993 for Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California and the Grand Prix in 2005 for Broken Flowers.
In 2016, Jim Jarmusch had two films in the Official Selection: Paterson with Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Driver, in Competition, and Gimme Danger, the music documentary on Iggy and the Stooges as part of the Midnight Screenings.
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.
The Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes announces the launch of Cannes XR, a program fully dedicated to immersive technologies and entertainment in the very heart of the Palais des Festivals. From May 14-19, Cannes XR will bring together artists, producers, investors, programmers, and tech leaders, offering a multitude of networking, financing and distribution opportunities.
Dedicated to the XR entertainment industry, Cannes XR aims to be a community-based marketplace oriented towards B2B networking, and to serve as a structuring point for the XR ecosystem on an international scale. Cannes XR is also a major showcase, gathering and shining the light on hundreds of XR experiences curated by the best XR International Studios. Industry Leaders (SDKs, LBEs) will be invited to spread knowledge through a series of summits and talks. XR Artists and Producers will be given the opportunity to promote and, potentially, finance immersive works in progress through pitch sessions, as well as present their works to festival programmers and distributors by registering in a dedicated Library. Cannes XR will boast an 80 seat conference room, a VIP Showcase Lounge to present new projects, a VR Arcade with 10 VR pods offering more than 200 films, and a dozen booths for XR tech companies – in total, Cannes XR will cover 1000 sqm.
“Cannes has been a pioneer in placing VR at the forefront within the film community with the creation of Next five years ago at the Marché du Film and the acclaimed presentation of Iñarritu’s Carne y Arena in the Official Selection in 2017 which was awarded by the Academy just after Cannes”, shared Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes. “With the creation of Cannes XR, the Festival is pursuing its efforts to foster all cinematographic art forms as it engages new audiences and draws different professionals in the Riviera”
Within this new context, the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes and SpringboardVR have decided to partner up to offer selected XR studios the exclusive opportunity to distribute their XR works to global audiences. A dedicated Cannes XR channel, which gathers immersive works collected from 500 amongst the best XR studios across the globe, will be pushed and monetized through a network of 500 LBEs via SpringboardVR’s marketplace.
“We’re very excited about taking this game-changing step for VR in Cannes with SpringboardVR”, said Jérôme Paillard, Executive Director of the Marché du Film. “SpringboardVR will give Cannes XR the opportunity to travel beyond the Riviera and reach audiences worldwide as never before.”
Elie Levasseur, Cannes XR Program Leader, added: “Obviously, the Entertainment XR industry will need to conquer the general public at some point to pursue its development. Therefore, Cannes XR is committed to using its international notoriety to bring immersive narratives to moviegoers around the world and make the XR ecosystem grow.”
“SpringboardVR is honored to connect these creators with audiences outside the Festival through its industry-leading platform for location-based entertainment,” said Will Stackable, Co-Founder, SpringboardVR. “With our network extending to 46 countries, 500+ locations and over 4 million playtime minutes a month, this kind of immersive storytelling is a perfect complement to our portfolio of curated interactive experiences.”
During an extended Festival window, 100% of the revenue generated on SpringboardVR will go to the XR Studios. With this operation, Cannes XR and SpringboardVR wish to join the list of Festivals that actively support XR creation by adopting a unique approach: revealing the richness and diversity of XR works at a larger scale, not only to festival goers but also to global audiences.
Cannes XR is open to industry professionals accredited at the Marché du Film and the Festival de Cannes.
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.
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.
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 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.
FRANCE COUNTRY OF HONOUR PROGRAMME OF EVENTS:
. 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.”
With major film production houses trying to reach out to new audiences, dubbing studios are witnessing phenomenal growth in India. Manish Dutt, MD, VR Films, talks about how he is helping bridge the language gap aided by technology and what future may hold for the industry
Manish Dutt runs India’s biggest dubbing factory, managing over 900 artistes who lend their voices in several languages to keep his pipeline engaged. Even after clocking 50,000 hours of dubbing and witnessing 80 percent year-on-year growth, Manish’s VR Films is hungry for more.
“India is emerging as a hub to dub for Hollywood and European language films,” says Manish, Managing Director, VR Films. “We are positioning ourselves to be a one-stop shop for all dubbing and sub-titling requirements. Our dubbing factory is making Hollywood in India.” “We have done a number of Chinese fi lms to English, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. Also, when we dub Chinese films into English (neutral English) it is accepted globally,” says Manish.
Recently, a major studio asked VR Films to dub their library catalogue in Marathi and Bengali besides Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Soon, you will see Hollywood dishing out dubbed films in West Bengal and Maharashtra to engage with new audience.
The cloud has opened up new business opportunities. “If anyone wants to send their films for dubbing, then all they need to do is to provide an online link and tell us to localise content. We have the capability to do dubbing in 50 languages. We can deliver the product in 10 days and the end product can be retrieved from the cloud.”
The regionalization of TV channels further improved bottomlines of dubbing studios. VR Films dubs all Discovery Channels English feed to Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. “We do around 1600 hours of TV dubbing every year.”
Interesting local dialects and nuances play a major part in work process and that is the reason for their footprint in state capitals. “We don’t dub Bengali in Mumbai. We dub it in Kolkata. Similarly, we do Tamil dubbing in Chennai. The authenticity, nuances and local idioms will be felt when you dub locally,” notes Manish.
He spent four years (1992 to 1996) working with UTV and started his own venture doing fi lms for Channel V. Manish is aided by his brother Krishi Dutt. They belong to a family of cinematographers who worked in Mumbai in sixties and seventies.
Set up in 2000, unlike other studios VR Films doesn’t let out their studios for rentals. Its 36 studios are spread across Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. They have done over 500 dubbings for Hollywood films.
Twentieth Century Fox’s ‘Beyond Enemy Lines’ was their first Hollywood project. “It was a major challenge and our dubbing was cleared in first take. We did Steven Spielberg’s ‘Minority Report’ and there is no stopping since then,” says Manish, who is well-known in the film market circuit (at Cannes, Berlin and Hong Kong).
The closing down of single screen has had a major dent in import of fi lms, especially ‘C’ grade films, which once formed a major chunk of business for VR Films. “The market is getting tougher for small Hollywood films because regional language films are doing well. There is no space for small Hollywood films in India. The product has to be big to get screened in theatres today,” says Manish.
The entry of players like Netflix and Amazon has, however, brought excitement to VR Films. “The change is happening right now. The digital is going to explore and throw new work on us,” says a confident Manish.
In 2000, a chance meeting with CEO of Warner Brothers opened up big biz opportunities for Manish who dubbed an entire animation catalogue for the company. That was followed up with Cartoon Network and later Pogo.
He feels that Indian film producers are satisfied and very averse to risk. “The world is talking of $1 billion revenue from a film and we are still talking of Rs 200 or Rs 300 crore. I am waiting for a day when a Shah Rukh Khan film will get released on a Friday in 20,000 cinema halls in 40 languages. It can happen. That should be our vision,” says a confident Manish.
“We will see a global impact when we release our films in dozen languages outside India. We are talking 4,000 prints. The world is talking 20,000 prints today. Our mindset has to change,” says Manish.