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Mipcom ends on a high note

Strong celebrity lineup bolsters brisk market

Driven by a starry lineup and a “can do” attitude toward cracking new business models that embrace traditional and digital media, the 26th Mipcom sales mart wraps today on a high as energy returned to the Croisette after the downbeat atmosphere of recent markets.

Organizers Reed Midem said that 12,400 delegates (including 4,200 buyers) from more than 100 countries attended the event.

“I think this reflects the renewed confidence in the industry and a willingness to go that extra mile to support a show,” said Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem’s TV division.

The celeb cast list included rocker Gene Simmons of Kiss fame, leading a powwow on brand building; helmer Oliver Stone, hyping his skein “The Untold History of the United States”; and “Mad Men” actors Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss.

Robert Redford returned to Cannes to celebrate the first anniversary of the European rollout of the Sundance Channel, and Brit Stephen Fry came to plug his BBC series “Planet Word.”

“It was a vibrant, busy market with a strong emphasis on high-quality drama,” said Sophie Turner Laing, managing director of entertainment, news and broadcast operations at Blighty’s pay TV platform BSkyB. “The studios gave greater and earlier insight into their 2011 development slates, which was hugely useful.”

Lionsgate’s managing director of international, Peter Iacono, detected a schizophrenic attitude from buyers.

“Buyers are either really cautious or, if they want something bad enough, wildly aggressive,” he said. “The middle is harder than ever. That is where you have to put in the work.”

CBS Studios international president Armando Nunez added, “The doom-and-gloom has lifted … No one is saying we are out of the woods, but there has been an energy present at Mipcom that is very encouraging.”

Just as encouraging was the strong Asian contingent — some 1,200 delegates, organizers said.

“Animation is proving particularly vibrant with the return to Cannes of iconic brand ‘The Power Rangers’ and the launch of ‘Le petit prince,’ ” Garaude said.

Reed Midem announced that it will partner with mobile industry body the GSMA to launch the three-day Connected Creativity Forum at next year’s Mipcom. The idea is to get content creators and distributors under one roof to discuss the needs of the connected device community and entertainment industries.

Reed Midem and Variety parent Reed Business Information are both divisions of Reed Elsevier.

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