MIPCOM CANNES has announced that Banijay’s Chairman of the Americas Cris Abrego and award-winning actress, Emmy®-nominated director, producer, and activist Eva Longoria will take part in a joint future-facing keynote at the forthcoming 39th International Co-Production & Entertainment Content Market (16 – 19 Oct). Collaborators for over 20 years, the keynote will highlight the experiences and insights of these two prominent professionals: one of the Americas’ foremost creative entrepreneurs and television executives, and, the other, one of the entertainment industry’s most distinguished, recognised, and influential leaders. Their joint conversation, “The Future of Content: What Comes Next?” will delve into the latest themes defining the entertainment industry, forecasting how they may shape the future both creatively and commercially. The fireside chat will take place in the world-renowned Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Monday, October 16 at 16.00 as part of the conference programme’s Media Mastermind series.
Renowned as an entrepreneur, entertainment executive, award-winning producer, and philanthropist, Abrego today serves as Chairman of the Americas for media and entertainment powerhouse Banijay, leading acquisitions and new business ventures across North and South America. He previously served as President and CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings. As co-founder and CEO of 51 Minds Entertainment, Abrego was one of the pioneers of the celeb-reality genre with breakthrough shows such as The Surreal Life, growing the company to be a major unscripted studio acquired by Endemol five years following. He began his career at Bunim/Murray Productions, where he worked on unscripted hits The Real World and Road Rules. Abrego also serves as Chair of the Television Academy Foundation, the charitable pro-social arm of the Television Academy, and as a member of the Executive Committee for the Television Academy. Celebrated globally for her breadth of work in front of and behind the cameras, Longoria founded production company Unbelievable Entertainment in 2005, soon after her breakthrough onscreen role on Desperate Housewives, to intentionally bring stories from Latinx and other underrepresented communities to screen. The prolific company has since been behind hits including Grand Hotel (ABC), Telenovela (NBC), the Emmy Award-nominated documentary Reversing Row (Netflix), and the celebrated culinary docuseries Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico (CNN). Named by Variety as one of its ‘Directors To Watch’ in 2021, Longoria made her feature directorial debut with the critically and audience-acclaimed Flamin’ Hot, released earlier this year with Searchlight Pictures on Disney+ and Hulu. Longoria also directed and produced the Sundance-premiered and critically-acclaimed documentary La Guerra Civil (DAZN) chronicling the historic bout between boxing legends Oscar de la Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez. A dedicated philanthropist and activist, she has consistently lent her voice to a range of key issues, including diversity and inclusion in the media, Latina entrepreneurship, and STEM education. “MIPCOM CANNES is one of the industry’s most significant global marketplaces, and it’s an honor to join the conversation as a keynote speaker alongside Cris,” said Eva Longoria. “Our industry is facing tremendous disruption and transformation which can lead to opportunities that can transform and reshape the future of what content looks like. I’m looking forward to discussing how we can drive what’s to come.” “It’s become commonplace to reflect on the extraordinary moment of inflection we find ourselves in, and yet we must continue to consider how the seismic shifts in the entertainment ecosystem create new opportunities for business and creative leaders to determine what’s next,” added Cris Abrego. “I can think of no better setting for this conversation than alongside Eva at MIPCOM CANNES, the annual gathering that has distinguished itself as course-setting for the global and U.S. content industry.” “The MIPCOM CANNES stage is the place to hear unrivalled insight from the entertainment world’s biggest, most influential figures,” said Lucy Smith, Director MIPCOM CANNES. “Eva and Cris are true creative leaders whose impact and accomplishments extend way beyond their credits on screen. With the industry at a pivotal point, this is an unparalleled opportunity to hear the combined perspectives of one of the Americas’ leading executives and one the world’s recognised filmmakers and public figures on the factors shaping its future. We look forward to welcoming them warmly to Cannes.”