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MARKET

With only two months before MipTV kicks off from Cannes, RX France (formerly Reed Midem) has revealed that more than 100 companies have confirmed their attendence for this year’s in-person TV content market, running April 4-6.

Having faced various COVID-related setbacks over the past two years, MipTV has reinforced its strict health and safety protocols implemented to guarantee a safe and successful event and will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all delegates looking to attend.

Confirmed exhibitors thus far include Arte France, Beta Film, Catalan Films, CJ&EM, DR, Federation Entertainment, France Televisions, Kanal D International, Lionsgate, Newen Connect, NRK, Red Arrow Studios, SBS Content, SVT, Telefilm Canada, TF1 Studios, Unifrance, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, Warner Bros., YLE and ZDF Enterprises, among others.

Buying and acquisition companies sending executives include, but are in no way limited to, Amazon, BBC, DR, France Televisions, Globo Brazil, ITV, Mediaset Group Italy, Mega TV, Movistar+, Nine Network Australia, Nordic Entertainment Group/Viaplay, Orange, RTE, RTL (Deutschland), Seven Network Australia, Sky, Starzplay, ViacomCBS, Warner Media Kids and YLE.

“MipTV is back!” said RX France entertainment division director and MipTV director Lucy Smith. “Two months out from the market and we’re enjoying great momentum with confirmations continuing to come in daily. There is a huge appetite globally from the industry to gather in Spring and we look forward to hosting everyone soon.”

AWARDS

Spain’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor Australian actress and producer Cate Blanchett with the first-ever International Goya Award at this year’s prize ceremony, to be held in Valencia on Feb. 12.

The new Goya was created as a means of recognizing “personalities who contribute to cinema as an artform which unites cultures and viewers from all over the world,” according to the Academy. In a statement, the organization praised Blanchett for “being an extraordinary figure of world cinema” and “an actress who has played unforgettable characters that are already part of our memory and our present.”

Timing could hardly be better as Blanchett’s Spanish star is likely to rise after the recent announcement that she will play the lead in Pedro Almodóvar’s “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” the legendary Spanish director’s first English-language feature. English-language fare generally does well in Spain, but better still when one of their own filmmakers is at the helm.

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Steven Chee

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Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche is joining Michael Douglas in headlining the Fourth Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival, the first international film festival to award winners with NFTs and Crypto, which streams on YouTube on Feb. 22. Binoche will also step in as honorary jury chairperson for the global shorts festival which spotlights young filmmakers. Both Binoche and Douglas will contribute their signatures to custom NFTs that will go to winning filmmakers. In addition to working with the Meihodo jury in their selection process, Binoche will also appear during the virtual ceremony, welcoming this year’s finalists and offering insights and inspiration from her time in the industry.

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Juliette Biniche Photographer : © Fred Meylan

APPOINTMENT

FRAPA, the Format Recognition and Protection Association, is shaking up its management structure and has appointed Eric Kafoe as managing director while long-time FRAPA administrator Bianca Rootsaert will shift into the role of general manager. As demand for global formats has grown, so too has FRAPA’s membership, which now includes the likes of BBC Studios, ITV Studios and KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency), among others.

“Thanks to market fragmentation, consolidation and digital disruption, the global format industry’s terms of trade are changing almost by the week.  The board, all of whom have busy day jobs, realised that we needed a dedicated TV-industry insider to help us navigate these challenges and keep FRAPA relevant and influential. Erik ticks all the boxes,” said Jan Salling, head of BBC Studios Nordics Productions.

PRODUCTION

Work has begun on the expansion of Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios, home to series including “The Outlaws” and “Showtrial.” The £12 million ($16 million) redevelopment, which will extend the film and TV production facility into a neighboring industrial site, is set to be completed by the summer. It will include building three new sound stages – taking the total from eight to 11 – as well as ancillary spaces including production offices, prop stores, costume/makeup areas and break out areas. The redevelopment is thanks to a West of England Combined Authority investment, with Bristol City Council contracting ISG to carry out the works. The council have also ploughed £1.6 million ($2.17 million) into the original studio site for renewal and repair works.

Laura Aviles, senior film manager for Bristol City Council, who is responsible for The Bottle Yard Studios & Bristol Film Office, said: “We’re making sure Bristol seizes the opportunities presented by the U.K. production boom with both hands, so that local crew, companies and new generations of talent can reap the benefits in employment, business and skills development.” – KJ Yossman

SUPPORT

Channel 4, in partnership with New Writing North, have set up a 3-year support program for new and emerging writers in the north of England. The Talent Development Partnership will run from 2022-24 and include awards, work placements, script development and workshops, among other opportunities. The partnership aims to “identify and support new writers from the north through innovative programming and networks with a particular focus on supporting writers from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the television industry.” – KJ Yossman

FORMATS

Endemol France and Olympic Judo champion Teddy Riner are teaming up to launch Yasuke Production, a new company which will develop and produce sports-focused formats for broadcasters and platforms around the world. “I first discovered the world of production through the France 2 documentary ‘La Quête,’ which traced my journey to the Tokyo Games,” recalled Riner. “This gave me the drive to deepen my knowledge, to undertake, to work, and to think about formats that could be adapted in the sports sense… I believe this partnership will evolve to become the most beautiful playing field.” Yasuke Production is equally-owned by Endemol France, a Banijay company, and Riner.

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Teddy Riner Credit: Banijay