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International Execs Descend on Rome as MIA Market Serves Fresh Films, TV Dramas, Docs

Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries kicks off today with hundreds of international buyers descending upon the Eternal City for four-days (Oct. 16-20) of presentations of fresh top-notch mostly European product and dealmaking done in a more relaxed setting than Mipcom.

The new concept mart now at its 5th edition, which dovetails with Mipcom, will see industry executives flying into Rome from Cannes. But there is also a considerable contingent coming to MIA that skipped Mipcom entirely.

From the U.S. this group includes execs from talent agencies WME and CAA that are increasingly active in packaging overseas projects and representing European talents. Top execs from most of the major U.S. streaming platforms, such as Netflix Director of International Originals Felipe Tewes, will also be attending MIA, as are Hollywood heavyweights Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, who will be a keynote speaker, Stefanie Berk EVP of Television at FilmNation, and Kino Lorber chief Richard Lorber.

Alex Mahon, chief executive of British pubcaster Channel 4, will hold a keynote conversation with “Walter Presents” host Walter Iuzzolino about the convergence between linear and non linear TV programming.

European pubcastsers RAI, France Télévision and ZDF will announce a slate of jointly produced projects, under their The Alliance banner, that include a high-end “Leonardo” series to be helmed by Dan Percival (“The Man in the High Castle”).

The mart is held a stone’s throw from Rome’s cinematic Via Veneto in a central area between the 17th century Palazzo Barberini (pictured) where meetings and several MIA events are held, and nearby cinemas.

The roughly 120 movies in various stages that are being presented to buyers, half of which are market premieres, comprise a robust representation of female directors such as Sally Potter’s Brexit-inspired comedy “Alba,” Belgian director Vanja d’Alcantara’s “Vancouver,” billed as an actioner with a female lead, and “Talitha Kumi,” a sadomasochistic love story by Israel’s Hadar Morag whose first feature “Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me” went to Venice in 2015.

Among standout Italian films being launched at MIA is “The Immortal,” a prequel of hit Neapolitan crime TV series “Gomorrah,” directed by actor/helmer Marco D’Amore, who plays ruthless central character Ciro Di Marzio on the gritty mob show. “The Immortal” which will be released locally in December, is among the country’s most hotly anticipated titles.

Five years after its launch MIA has gained the status of a market that provides exciting new completed and upcoming product, boasts market chief Lucia Milazzotto (see separate Q&A) who notes that the American presence at MIA is larger this year because U.S. companies “need a one-stop-shop to buy European content that they don’t find at Mipcom, since there is too much stuff there,” she says.

They also don’t find it at AFM, “which is the opposite of us,” Milazzotto adds, because AFM is “really all about U.S. product and also you don’t find projects elsewhere in initial stages.”


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