Following a decade of continuous growth, MIFA, the International Animated Film Market of France’s Annecy Festival, is aiming for even more expansion in 2017 in dimension, duration and activities.
MIFA, already the biggest dedicated animation market in the world, attracted 2,800 participatants in June 2016, up 4.5% vs. 2015. 370 buyers, distributors and investors (1.5% above 2015) and 1,200 companies (up 4.7%) attended the event.
“The increasing number of participants, the riches of the program and decisionmakers’ attendance throughout the Annecy Festival week have motivated the organisation to extend MIFA 2017 to four full days,” from Tuesday June 13 to Friday June 16, “giving delegates the opportunity for more networking,” MIFA announced in a statement.
The main MIFA exhibition area will now have over 1,000 square meters of floor space, including a welcome zone and areas for public organisations and schools, as well as a space for technical companies and recruiting studios.
This reorganisation will free up the ground floor space for the conferences, previously based at the Chambre de Metiers, which will now unspool at the Imperial Palace hotel, MIFA’s main venue, the statement added.
The next edition will also see the launch of MIFA Campus, aimed aimed at sparking contacts between industry professionals and emerging talent, mainly dedicated to students and young talent from emerging countries in animation.
MIFA Campus will offer workshops and presentations with an editorial line to encourage a greater understanding of the sector as well as the possibility of meeting well-know industry names.
“By facilitating contact between talents and professionals, MIFA is now positioned not only as the leading trade market for animation, but also as a springboard and an invaluable source for studios whose growth is highly dependent on attracting the best profiles,” said MIFA head Mickael Marin.
Starting at Mifa’s 2017 edition, the MIFA Campus will complement the recruitment sessions, scheduled for June 14-16.
The Annecy’s market is also launching a new session, Meet the Publishers, aimed at producers and book publishers.
For the 2017 edition, MIFA opened on Nov. 7 the call for short, feature film, TV series and transmedia projects, which can be submit online until Feb. 1.
Last year, 411 projects from all over the world registered for MIFA – of them, 15 were projects from the U.S. Market. Finally, some 30 projects were selected, presented at the festival, pitched at the market and won awards in some cases.
The MIFA’s Pitch Sessions, an opportunity to talk up projects before an audience of producers, distributors and financers, will run June 14-15 in 2017.
“Most of the projects pitched in the past finally get made,” according to Geraldine Bache, MIFA head of projects.
Some examples include TV series: Frederic Martin and Baptiste Lucas’ “Mouss & Boubidi,” a prize winner in 2006, broadcast by France 3 in 2009, and Javier Galan’s Spain-France co-production “I, Elvis Riboldi,” a winner in 2014, set for completion in 2017.
Animated feature projects that won prizes at MIFA encompasses Jung and Laurent Boileau’s 2009 winner “Approved for Adoption,” distributed by Gkids in the U.S. in 2013, and Ebsen Toft Jacobsen’s “The Great Bear,” which won in 2008 and was released in 2011 in theatres in Denmark, Norway and France.
In line with its continuous growth, Annecy’s MIFA is teaming for the first time this year with Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur market to launch a new Ventana Sur sidebar Animation!, showcasing seven feature films and six TV series projects. A jury will select two winning projects – a series and a feature – that will form part of the MIFA Pitches program in 2017.