During the TV market Mipcom, the German TV and digital industries held their traditional German MIP Cocktail, to which were invited many players from the international TV biz.
The hosts of the cocktail, which was held on Oct. 13 at Grand Beach La Plage on La Croisette in Cannes, were Petra Müller of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, and Elmar Giglinger of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Christoph Fey of Entertainment Master Class, Dr. Steffen Kammradt of ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg, Justina Siegmund-Born of Berlin Partner, Carl Bergengruen of MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg and Mariette Rissenbeek of German Films.
The cocktail was sponsored by T Mobile and Audio Network, and the media partner was Variety, which was represented by associate publisher Donna Pennestri, Celine Rotterman and Leo Barraclough. (Continues below…)
Müller and Giglinger spoke to Variety at the event about the state of the TV and digital industries in their regions.
A third of the TV minutes produced in Germany come from the NRW region, and 15 of Germany’s top 20 TV producers are based in NRW’s largest city, Cologne. How has the region built up this strength in TV production?
“First of all it is the presence of the big broadcasters — WDR, RTL, Vox, SuperRTL f.e. — which makes Cologne Germany’s TV capital,” Müller said. “Production companies came to work close to their broadcasters; service providers and studio facilities followed, supported by pro-active media politics. So one thing led to another, turning NRW into Germany’s leading TV and media region.”
There are a wide range of shows and formats produced and created in NRW.
“Most of the big international formats are produced in Cologne, such as ‘Pop Idol’ and ‘Super Talent’ (a UFA show), ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Big Brother’ (Endemol), ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Come Dine With Me’ (ITV), and last but not least Brainpool created and produces ‘Stars in Danger,’ ‘Ladykracher’ and ‘Pastewka,'” Müller said.
“Most scripted entertainment and daily fiction comes from Cologne, as well as young comedy formats like ‘Neo magazine,’ ‘Host in the Box,’ ‘Heute Show.’ And most of Germany’s YouTube stars like Y-Titty or ApeCrime are working here.”
There have been several major developments in the TV and digital industries in NRW in recent years.
“We are very happy that Stefan Oelze’s Seapoint and Jan Kromschröder’s Bantry Bay, both backed by Jan Mojto’s Beta Film, set up their companies recently in Cologne. And with Cologne-based Mediakraft, Ufalab NRW and the young scene of online video content we can also see the digital entertainment sector growing fast,” Müller said.
“We can see another interesting development: high-profile TV series and miniseries are being created in Germany, such as ‘Generation War’ (ZDF) and ‘Deutschland’ (RTL) from UFA Fiction, Constantin’s ‘Guilt’ or ‘Berlin Babylon’ from X Filme, co-produced by Degeto, WDR, Sky and Beta.”
“Everybody is talking about the Golden Age of television, and maybe one of the results of this Mipcom is how the entry of the VOD and pay TV partners in the field of production is giving space and new perspectives to producers.” (Continues below…)
Giglinger is equally upbeat about the state of the industry in his region, Berlin-Brandenburg.
“In the past years, we have had a pretty impressive growth regarding film, TV and digital content. For example, this year two pretty big game companies moved to Berlin: King and SevenGames Network. We are really happy that the German version of Endemol’s ‘Utopia’ will be produced in Brandenburg next year. Then we are very happy to welcome Mr. Steven Spielberg at the end of this year when he will shoot scenes for his untitled Cold War Spy thriller in Berlin-Brandenburg, at Studio Babelsberg.”
“With regard to multichannel networks, we now have three companies that have set up studios in the region — Studio 71, Divimove and (North Rhine-Westphalia-based) Mediakraft Networks, which have also established studios in Berlin. These companies alone deliver more than one billion video views a month. We are pretty satisfied with the situation.”
Among the invited guests at the cocktail were Achim Apell of Kinowelt Television, Rowan Barnett of Twitter, Wolf Bauer of UFA, Oliver Berben of Constantin Film Produktion, Camille Bidermann Roizen of the International Academy, Friedhelm Bixschlag of MMC Studios Köln, Rüdiger Böss of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Philip Borbély of MMC Movies Köln, Bettina Brinkmann of the European Broadcasting Union, Alexander Coridass of ZDF Enterprises, Oliver Fay of Splendid Film and Ralf Gerhardt of Walt Disney.
Other guests included Irina Ignatiew of Red Arrow Entertainment Group, Axel Kühn of Shine, Wolfgang Link of ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland , Michael Loeb of WDR mediagroup, Jan Mojto of Beta Cinema, Martin Moszkowicz of Constantin Film, Darren Nielson of Netflix, Agnes Ostrop of RTL, Astrid Quentell of Sony Pictures, Georg Ramme of Endemol, Christiane Ruff of ITV Studios Germany, Markus Schäfer of MME Moviement, Anke Schäferkordt of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Jörg Schönenborn of WDR, Thomas Weymar of Global Screen, Marcus Wolter of Endemol and Paul Zilk of Reed Midem.