Fests partnering on comedy confab

Event will resemble Banff World TV Festival

The Just for Laughs comedy fest is partnering with the organizers of the Banff World Television Festival to launch a World of Comedy Conference, kicking off during Just for Laughs next year.

Two-day confab, organized by Achilles Media, will ramp up and centralize the industry events and programming that are currently part and parcel of the English-language portion of Just for Laughs, which runs for about 10 days every July in Montreal.

Confab will look something like the Banff World Television Festival, with networking sessions, a conference program, people’s choice-style awards, pitching sessions, customized VIP tours of the fest’s hottest acts, screenings, a broadcasters-only forum and a TV and film marketplace. Idea is to increase the appeal to broadcasters, producers, studio executives, agents, writers and financiers to maximize dealmaking at the fest.

Just for Laughs has been expanding ambitiously of late. The fest launched a French-language spinoff in Nantes, France, in 2006, and the inaugural Just for Laughs Toronto spinoff runs July 26-28.

More than 2 million people attend Just for Laughs in Montreal each summer, including 1,000 industry executives. Just for Laughs TV shows air in more than 125 countries.

This year’s fest, which began July 8, runs through July 29. The English-language portion wraps on Sunday.

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