Rome’s innovative MIA market dedicated to international TV series, feature films, and documentaries is gearing up for its eighth edition with an increased international industry presence, a new animation section, and lots of European content – most of which in early stages of production – on display.
The upcoming Oct. 11-15 MIA mart (whose acronym stands for the Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo or International Audiovisual Market) this year is positioned prior to the Mipcom content market and conference that runs Oct. 17-20 in Cannes, since Mipcom has shifted its dates forward.
But the repositioning has not impacted the number of registered attendees which is up more than 12% compared with past MIA editions. More than 900 international industry execs are expected to make the trek, and counting, organizers said at a Rome press conference on Thursday.
Significantly, U.S. streamers will be at MIA in full force. Execs from Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Paramount, Apple, and Fox Entertainment’s Tubi ad-supported streaming service are all coming to the Eternal City. Apple TV+, which is at MIA for the first time, will be repped by senior commissioning exec Oliver Jones whose curated meetings’ schedule “is packed,” says MIA’s new chief Gaia Tridente.
Established as a driver for the Italian industry and conceived as an international market with a Europe-centric focus hosting the entire production cycle of different types of content, MIA has in recent years attracted a substantial U.S. presence. That is continuing to grow.
Tridente, formerly head MIA’s TV section, has replaced previous MIA director Lucia Milazzotto who stepped down last year to join Rome’s expanding Cinecittà Studios. Since taking the reins, Tridente is particularly proud that she has strengthened ties with Creative Artists Agency, having recruited both CAA head of global television Ted Miller and also Roeg Sutherland, who is co-head of CAA’s Media Finance department, on MIA’s advisory board.
“MIA is strategic for them because of the high level of our executive attendees,” says Tridente.
Industry heavyweights registered for MIA this year include: Lionsgate Television Group President Sandra Stern; former Netflix VP of international originals Erik Barmack, who now heads Wild Sheep Content; Tubi chief content officer Adam Lewinson; 30West executive vice president of film Maren Olson; Netflix EMEA content lead Larry Tanz; Fremantle COO Andrea Scrosati; Femke Wolting, co-founder of Amsterdam-based production studio Submarine; and Wild Bunch head of film Cécile Gaget, to name a few.
At the heart of the curated event, which offers a wide range of specific industry strands comprising project pitching, panels, and networking, are seventy TV, film, doc, and animation projects. These include new projects from Italian horror master Dario Argento, who has a TV series titled “Crimson Crown” in early stages; high-end period drama “La Storia” from director Francesca Archibugi that Beta will be introducing to buyers; and a high-profile Netflix Italian original doc that is being kept under wraps.
“Tinder Swindler” director Felicity Morris will hold a panel with AGC Studios chief Stuart Ford and the company’s TV chief chief creative officer Lourdes Diaz, and also its unscripted chief Joel Zimmer. They are believed to be coming to launch a “Tinder Swindler” spin-off series.
The Alliance, which is a group forged by continental Europe’s leading public broadcasters — Italy’s RAI, France Televisions and Germany’s ZDF — will be announcing new projects.
European co-production fund Eurimages, which this year for the first time is among official MIA partners, has chosen MIA to hold close door sessions regarding their announced plans to create a fund for international co-production of TV drama series to launch during the second half of 2023.
In solidarity with war-torn Ukraine, MIA has set up a program called B2B Exchange to support the Ukrainian film and TV industry that will offer content, events and market activities, mostly virtual, to help keep Ukrainian professionals in the global industry fold.
As in its past recent editions MIA will be held in central Rome’s Palazzo Barberini, which besides being Italy’s National Ancient Art gallery, is also the market’s main hub where company stands are set up amid Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, while screenings are held in nearby movie theaters.
One big novelty is that the adjacent Cinema Barberini movie theatre has just been refurbished with state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos sound and plush seating.
The head of Italy’s motion picture ANICA Francesco Rutelli, who is a former mayor of Rome, at the presser pointed out that MIA is the only content market in the world “where you can meet and do business next to a painting by Caravaggio or Raphael or even a Bernini statue and then walk directly into a state-of-the-art movie theatre.”