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Ilene Chaiken, a creative force behind “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Empire” and “The L Word,” will participate in a keynote interview at the upcoming MipTV market in Cannes.

Chaiken is best-known for creating the Showtime series “The L Word.” She also executive produced Hulu’s critically acclaimed “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and was the showrunner for the first four seasons of the Golden Globe-nominated Fox series “Empire.” Chaiken is an executive producer on “The L Word” reboot, which was recently commissioned by Showtime.

MipTV praised Chaiken for “bringing more awareness [of] the importance of diverse and equal representation in all its forms, both in front of and behind the camera,” through the series she has created. She’s currently under a multi-year producing deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

Chaiken’s keynote interview will be one of the highlights of MipTV’s content development side, which notably includes the second edition of In Development, the Cannes drama creative forum launched in partnership with the Canneseries festival. In Development aims at bringing together commissioners and financiers around new curated content and stories.

“MipTV will place a large emphasis on content development,” said Laurine Garaude, head of Reed Midem’s TV division. “This focus on content development, talents and pitches is necessary because the industry has changed with the arrival of streaming services and more and more deals are getting done at an earlier stage.”

MipTV, which expects some 3,500 buyers, is launching the Mip Buyers’ Exchange, a curated program to provide exhibitors with additional pre-scheduled buyer meetings according to their specific needs.

The MipDrama Buyers Summit screenings showcase is also being expanded with 12 series compared with six last year.
Canneseries will host the world premieres of 10 series in competition, and four series out of competition — one of which will be a joint MIPTV world premiere, said Garaude.

Another addition to the conference lineup is the Data Downloads, a new section dedicated to analyzing business trends and insights.

As previously announced, MipTV has chosen France as the Country of Honor of the upcoming edition. The spotlight on French creation will include a dedicated program of conferences and promotional events dedicated to France’s TV industry.

French animation and drama exports have been on the rise within the last few years. The revenue of French TV programming in foreign markets reached €325 million in 2017; it was the second-best performance in the past 20 years, according to the organization TV France International. Some of the hit series that have traveled around the world include Canal Plus’ “The Bureau,” “Midnight Sun” and “Baron Noir,” as well as France Televisions’ “Candice Renoir” and OCS’s sci-fi series “Missions.”

“It could not be better timing to celebrate France’s creativity and savoir-faire on the international content scene,” said Garaude. “Over the years, French production has taken a growing share of the international market in every genre, from animation to documentary, formats and, of course, drama series.”

MipTV will take place April 8-11.