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Rome’s MIA market, an increasingly popular showcase for TV series, feature films and documentaries, has confirmed that it will have its sixth edition in the Italian capital, in a “protected and COVID-proof environment.” It will also be launching a virtual initiative for those who can’t attend.

The MIA market (Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo, or International Audiovisual Market) will take place Oct. 14-18 in Rome in the area called Distretto Barberini “thanks to protocols enabling full national and international participation at every event, with every necessary public health precaution in place,” said the organizers.

The event will also be launching MIA Digital, a platform that will connect thousands of users and give them access to a vast catalogue of new content.

Ahead of its launch this fall, MIA Digital will feature two virtual panels discussing distribution and production on May 14 and May 18. The first round-table, which is being hosted in cooperation with industry orgs EAVE and EPC, is titled “Back to the Future: after the lockdown what scenario for audio-visual production?”

Moderated by Variety’s Nick Vivarelli, the first panel will discuss the challenges of producers as they look to restart their activity and begin safely shooting once again. Among the issues that will be debated will be insurance, talent availability and protocols for COVID-proof sets. The line-up of participants (pictured) will include Marta Donzelli (Vivo Film, Italy); Jonas Dornbach (Komplizen Film, Germany); Alexandra Lebret (European Producers Club); Alvaro Longoria (Morena Films, Spain); Giannandrea Pecorelli (Aurora TV, Italy) and Carole Scotta (Haut et Court, France).

Submissions of films, dramas and documentaries for MIA’s Pitching Forum and Co-Production Market will open on May 15. As many as 50 international projects will be presented at the event before an audience of local and international players. MIA hopes to gather top European and American broadcasters and OTT platforms at the October-set showcase.

Last year’s MIA edition gathered 2,600 participants, 44% of whom were international guests. Panels, screenings, pitching forums and content showcases were attended by 4,295 people. Since launching in 2015, MIA has seen its participation skyrocket by 84%.