The International Cannes Series Festival, which will host its inauguration edition next April and will run alongside MipTV, unveiled part of its program on Monday at Mipcom.
Set to take place April 4-11, Canneseries will host an official competition, as well as a digital competition, free screenings and an industry sidebar called In Development.
Like Cannes Film Festival, Canneseries will have an industry component, the Cannes Drama Creative Forum. As part of this forum will be organized a two-day sidebar called In Development which will connect writers and producers with international decision-makers and financing partners, including commissioning editors, distributors and talent agencies. In Development will include matchmaking meetings, panels and keynotes.
The ambassadors of In Development comprise well-respected execs such as Rola Bauer, Studiocanal TV’s managing director, Jimmy Desmarais from Altantique Productions, Ben Donald from BBC Worldwide, Marie Jacobson from Sony Pictures Television Networks, Katie O’Connell from Platform One Media, Christian Wilander from Pinewood Television, Philipp Steffens from RTL Television, and Anna Winger, the creator of “Deutschland 83/86,” among others.
“In Development heralds a new concept in discovering and harnessing fresh creative talent from around the world. MipTV and Mipcom have supported early-stage projects for many years, organizing the MipTV International Drama Coproduction Summit since 2011,” said Laurine Garaude, director of TV at Reed Midem.
Canneseries’s managing director Benoit Louvet, a former exec at TF1, said the partnership between Canneseries and MipTV which jointly created In Development reflects their shared “desire to provide content creators with the opportunities and networks.”
Albin Lewi, the artistic director of Canneseries, pointed out the official competition will aim at screening new half-hour and one-hour series from all around the world, preferably world premieres, and will only consider first seasons of shows. “We will open the competition to every genre, in every format, every distribution form and no selection quotas applied,” said Lewi, who added nevertheless than animation would not be eligible for this section.
Created under the impulse of Cannes mayor David Lisnard, the festival will also aim at pleasing audiences to build up buzz around shows presented at the fest with a week of free screenings, encounters and events organized at theaters across the city of Cannes, under the label Canneseries Addict. Non-industry audiences will be able to see and hear cast members and showrunners promoting their shows.
Introducing the event on Monday, Fleur Pellerin, the former culture minister of France who now presides over the festival, said Canneseries has several assets: its spotlight on series which have become an ultra-creative and a popular art form, the expertise and infrastructure of MIPTV market for TV and digital content; and the iconic backdrop of Cannes, which hosts many global events such as Cannes Film Festival and is beloved by talent and professionals alike. Canneseries will also present three high-profile series out of competition.
Aiming to promote innovation, the festival will boast a competitive section dedicated to short formats. “We’re looking to turn the spotlight on these new, promising and innovative formats, which reflect current and new ways of watching series,” stated the festival. A dedicated international jury will present the award for Best Digital Series.
Sisde Babett Knudsen, the critically acclaimed actress of “Borgen,” is set to preside over the first edition of the festival. Canneseries will be announcing its official selection and jury members early next year.
Knudsen has starred in Susanne Bier’s “After the Wedding,” Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” and Ron Howard’s “Inferno.” She also won a Cesar award for her part in the French film “Courted” and earned a Cesar nomination for her performance in Emmanuelle Bercot’s “150 Milligrams.”
“Being patron of this very first edition of Canneseries is an honour, and I am pleased that Cannes will now be hosting its own festival for series. I look forward to discovering new creative talent and interesting series,” said the actress.