Rome’s MIA market, the growing showcase for international TV series, feature films and documentaries, kicked off Wednesday in the Eternal City. The sixth edition of the event—whose acronym stands for the Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo, or the International Audiovisual Market—runs both physically in the Italian capital and online Oct. 14-18. (Find the full schedule here).
This year’s edition has attracted 1,400 participants from 41 countries. Of the 600 international executives slated to take part, half will be present in Rome for the physical edition, according to the event’s organizers. At least 80% of the registered Italian participants will also attend in person.
“MIA has responded to an urgency not only in Italy but also internationally, that of maintaining international contacts during a period of isolation,” MIA director Lucia Milazzotto said at a press conference Wednesday, before appearing in conversation with Secretary of State Mirella Liuzzi to discuss new innovations in Italy’s audiovisual industry. “It is safe and comes with the necessary protocols to meet again in Rome, but it maintains its entirety with a digital platform.”
“The strength of MIA is that the supply chain meets here and demonstrates how integrated it is,” said Francesco Rutelli, president of Italian motion picture association ANICA, who will be speaking at the Palazzo Barberini on Friday for the launch of the ANICA Academy, a collaboration among industry players focused on the development of skills and new talent.
“Technology makes it possible to hold a hybrid event of international standing here. Rome itself today is the stage for this fusion. We are the first country where public and private have understood how their integration is strategic and a strength for the country.”
Giancarlo Leone, head of the Italian TV producers’ association APA, who on Thursday presented the “2nd Report on National Audiovisual Production,” a sweeping survey of the Italian industry, added that the event is “a laboratory of excellence” at “an essential moment” for the film and television business.
The five-day event features more than 120 new film and television projects currently in development or production. Sixteen feature film projects will take part in the film Co-Production Market and Pitching Forum, while 13 drama series will pitch to prospective buyers in the Drama Pitching Forum and compete for MIA’s new ViacomCBS International Studios Award.
Other highlights include the What’s Next Italy showcase, presenting seven works-in-progress from the host nation, as well as C EU Soon, a program featuring seven titles from emerging European talent.
Among the key speakers this week will be 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,” as well as Stephen Cornwell, co-CEO of London and L.A.-based The Ink Factory, producer of “The Night Manager,” among other top titles.
Other high-profile international speakers include Erik Barmack, CEO of Wild Sheep Content, and former VP, international originals at Netflix; Vince Gerardis, CEO of Startling, Inc., 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.
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%.