Industry reacts, adapts to MIPTV cancellation as Coronavirus nears Lille

MIPTV’s cancellation has prompted some companies to launch virtual meetings while others have said they will still head to meetings in Cannes, as the first case of Coronavirus was reported in a town near Lille, due to host Series Mania later this month.

Virtual events

Several companies are understood to be exploring virtual events, with ITV Studios-backed Armoza Formats leading the charge by unveiling ‘ArmozaFest’. It will see the Israeli company’s sales team to meet clients “screen-to-screen” in order to launch their upcoming new formats.

The two-week long virtual event, starting 23 March, “will allow Armoza to continue to connect with the industry despite the current climate,” the formats outfit said. The new format launches for the spring season will be exclusively revealed to participants of ArmozaFest.

CEO Avi Armoza said his company “have always strived to provide unique and innovative solutions to the challenges that we face in our industry and we believe that ArmozaFest will prove to be just that. By using the platform of a virtual market, we will ensure that we not only maintain our relationships but continue to build them.”

Continuing with Cannes

Others have said they will still travel to Cannes despite the cancellation of MIPTV, with companies such as Daro Film Distribution telling TBI that it plans to head to the south of France during the scheduled dates for the annual event – despite the cancellation of the market itself.

Daro said a number of its clients had already confirmed that they too would still travel to Cannes, having booked non-refundable flights and accommodation.

“In light of the recent cancellation of the MIPTV market, we would like to take this opportunity to announce that Daro Film Distribution will still be present in Cannes from Sunday 29 March until Friday 3 April,” a statement from the firm read.

“Our team is currently looking into alternative locations on the Croisette to host our meetings and we will update you all in due course once a suitable location has been confirmed.

“For those of you that are still travelling to Cannes despite the cancellation, we would be more than happy to welcome you to our new location and would recommend that you get in touch with your individual sales contact at Daro to confirm the specific details.”

First Coronavirus case in Lille

Meanwhile, the first case of Coronavirus has been confirmed near Lille, which is due to host drama festival Series Mania between 20-28 March.

A young woman from Lomme, around 5km from Lille, reportedly tested positive with the virus on Tuesday, having recently travelled to Italy, which has become a hotspot for the illness. French health authorities said the woman was in a Lille hospital but added that risk of contamination was low.

Series Mania remains on course as planned, with the event helped by the fact it will not breach the the recent French government ban on group gatherings in excess of 5,000 people.

Organisers said earlier this week they were monitoring the situation closely and had put a raft of hygiene and information measures in place, including the provision of hand sanitizers across all festival locations, “reinforced cleaning schedules” across all festival locations, special notices relating recommended hygiene practices, and additional training for staff.

Series Mania and the Series Mania Forum, which is scheduled for 25-27 March, are set to welcome a raft of execs and talent from around the world including Narcos‘ showrunner Chris Brancato, while shows such as 22 July from Norway and Behind The Door from Japan are among dramas set to air.

MIPTV cancelled, Canneseries set for MIPCOM

The developments come after Reed Midem confirmed yesterday evening that the 2020 edition of MIPTV would be cancelled following the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in France.

Originally scheduled to take place 30 March – 2 April in Cannes, Reed said the event, which had undergone a substantial revamp, had been cancelled “due to concerns related to the Coronavirus (Covid-19).”

MIPDoc and MIPFormats, set to take place between the 28 and 29 March, have also been cancelled.

The third installment of Canneseries, originally scheduled to run parallel to MIPTV, will now take place 9-14 October, alongside MIPCOM.

The next edition of MIPTV will take place 12 – 15 April, 2021, with MIPDoc and MIPFormats scheduled for 10 – 11 April. The fourth season of Canneseries will be held in April 2021 during MIPTV.

Paul Zilk, Reed Midem chief executive, said: “In the current context, many of our clients have expressed concerns about travelling at this time. Rescheduling MIPTV in the coming months is not feasible, so the most appropriate course of action is to cancel MIPTV for 2020.

“The well-being of our clients, partners and staff is our priority. We are grateful to clients for their support and constructive input during this challenging period. We look forward to welcoming everyone to MIPCOM in October 12-15 and we are delighted that Canneseries will be at our side again this year.”

MIPTV attracted almost 10,000 delegates from around the world last year and the 2020 edition was due to feature a raft of new programming strands to entice attendees.

Reed Midem had already postponed the sprawling property market Mipim, which had been due to take place in Cannes this week. It will now take place in June.

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