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Mipcom TV Gathering Salutes Argentina

MADRID – It is not too surprising that Argentina on Monday was named for the Mipcom 2013 Country of Honor.

Mipcom will be held in Cannes Oct. 7-10. In making the announcement, Mipcom execs cited the “diversity and richness of content produced across Argentina.” And as the vast world of Spanish-speaking TV audiences shifts its taste, Argentina was pioneering these shifts before anyone else.

For example, one new TV trend is Latin America’s robust diversification from selling telenovelas and into formats and docus. At the current MipTV in Cannes, Mexico’s Televisa is unveiling its first formats (thanks to a new output deal with La Competencia in Spain). Brazil is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for formats.

But Argentina was there first. It also was at the forefront of another trend that is moving rapidly across Latin America: youth novelas, such as Argentina’s “Rebelde Way.” Other non-novela TV formats that are proving influential: satirical current affairs magazine “Caiga Quien Caiga”; shorter-format series “Killer Women,” now receiving a U.S. makeover from ABC Studios, Electus and Latin World Ent.

Running through both Mip Junior (Oct. 5-6) and Mipcom (Oct. 7-10), the Country of Honor focus will feature conferences, screening showcases, one-to-one co-production meetings and Argentine-themed networking events, organized by Mipcom and the Incaa Argentine National Film Board.

These will take in Argentina’s latest pioneering push into Digital Terrestial Television, aimed at powering up regional TV production. From 2010, an Incaa TV fund has financed 2,000 hours of fiction and docus, destined for DTT channels, often outside Buenos Aires.

“From Ushuaia in the south to La Quiaca in the north, including the global production capital of Buenos Aires, Argentina stands apart in Latin America as a truly dynamic producer of television content for international markets,” Incaa president Liliana Mazure said Monday.

Before the start of the Mip TV market in Cannes, the weekend saw Mipdoc, a docu gathering that featured a showcase of eight Argentine documentaries, including “Leo’s World,” a constantly updated portrait of soccer star Leo Messi, and “Photos, Portrait of a Country,” co-helmed by Diego Lerman, one of a slew of Argentina movie directors who have crossed over to TV.

Elsa Keslassy contributed to this report

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