Speakers at Rome’s MIA market, the growing showcase for international TV series, feature films and documentaries, include Michael Ellenberg, founder and CEO of Media Res, the studio and production company behind AppleTV’s “The Morning Show” and HBO’s upcoming “Scenes from a Marriage.” The event’s sixth edition runs both physically in the Italian capital and online Oct. 14-18. (Find the full schedule here).
Stephen Cornwell, co-CEO of London and L.A.-based The Ink Factory, producer of “The Night Manager,” among other top titles, is another keynote speaker. Both Ellenberg and Cornwell hold online conversations about their careers.
Other speakers at MIA include Erik Barmack, CEO of Wild Sheep Content, and former VP, international originals at Netflix; Vince Gerardis, CEO of Startling, and winner of four Emmys as co-executive producer of “Game of Thrones”; Thomas Benski, CEO of Pulse Films; and Roeg Sutherland, head of media finance at Creative Artists Agency.
Among the projects to be pitched to prospective buyers at MIA is “Lafayette,” a costume drama set during the American Revolution written by David Franzoni, who won a best picture Oscar for producing “Gladiator.” “Lafayette” is being produced by France’s Nicolas Deprost via his Wild Horses shingle.
Other standout projects at MIA include “Thank You for Playing,” a thriller from France’s Black Sheep Films and It’s Alive Films in which five professional online gamers are sent to a training camp in Lapland to try and beat artificial intelligence software. And from Italy’s Redstring and Minerva Pictures “Miss Fallaci Takes America,” about the 1958 journey to the U.S. of groundbreaking journalist Oriana Fallaci.
The Drama Pitching projects will compete for MIA’s new ViacomCBS International Studios Award.
New film titles that will be seeking co-producers at MIA include “The Last Shot,” a biopic to be directed by “Money Heist” creator Alex Rodrigo about Spanish photographer adventurer and humanitarian Luis Valtuena, who was killed in Rwanda; “The Beautiful Summer” from Italy’s Laura Luchetti, who made a splash with 2018 teen runaway drama “Twin Flower”; and “The Sorcerers” from Chilean auteur Christopher Murray (“The Blind Christ”), produced by Juan de Diot and Pablo Larrain’s Fabula.
Docs being pitched at MIA include Wim Wenders-produced “Barca Nostra – The Boat Beyond the Sea,” which centers around a fishing boat that sank between the Libyan coast and the city of Augusta, Sicily, killing hundreds of migrants. This tragic relic was turned into an artwork shown at the 2019 Venice Biennale by Swiss-Icelandic artist Christoph Büchel.
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%.
This year, due to COVID-19, it will be impossible to replicate that type of attendance, but with the November American Film Market going entirely online, as has the Mipcom TV market in Cannes — which directly precedes MIA — the Rome new concept mart looks set to raise its profile.