ITV Studios & Fremantle to miss MIPCOM, with virtual events planned

MIPCOM 2019

ITV Studios (ITVS) and Fremantle will not be exhibiting at MIPCOM in October, with both instead unveiling plans to offer virtual events.

The moves, which come a day after TBI broke the news that BBC Studios (BBCS) would not be attending the Cannes-based event, will see ITVS launching a three-week virtual event titled Fall Festival, building on its recently rolled-out online events, Spring Drama and Formats Festivals.

ITVS said its Fall Festival would include virtual content and production sessions for buyers, with the event slated to start on 14 September. Its unveiling today came at the same time as ITVS confirmed that it would not be exhibiting in Cannes.

Fremantle has also confirmed that it will not have a “physical presence” at MIPCOM this year, but said in a statement that the company is “looking forward to showcasing our incredible slate through an enhanced digital experience.” Details have not yet been revealed.

“We understand and respect ITV Studios’ approach in the face of Covid-19 and we look forward to welcoming them back to Cannes next year,” said MIPCOM organisers Reed Midem. “We are in conversation with Fremantle about their presence on MIPCOM ONLINE+.”

The decisions come three weeks after Reed Midem outlined their plans for what is normally the biggest TV event on the circuit, but which is facing major disruption as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.

The event is still set to take place 12-15 October in Cannes, but an extensive virtual element is also being planned, based on the ONLINE+ service that was implemented at MIPTV earlier this year after that event was cancelled as the pandemic spread.

ITVS plans ‘punchy, interactive’ sessions

ITVS, meanwhile, said its Fall festival would house a “dedicated space for buyers to connect” face-to-face with the company’s sales teams including its Global Distribution and Global Entertainment arms, and execs from Armoza Formats. A calendar of screenings as well as “punchy, interactive and pre-recorded sessions” will also be on offer, with more details to follow in August.

Ruth Berry, MD of Global Distribution, and Maarten Meijs, president of Global Entertainment at ITV Studios, said the event would be “an unmissable event for our buyers, from enhanced one-to-one meetings to fully produced content sessions.

“It will be a fitting extension to our must-attend Spring Drama and Formats Festivals as well as the Non-Scripted Carbon Neutral Factual Screenings launched earlier this year. We promise to deliver it all in the inimitable style our clients are accustomed to, a valuable experience for them as they look to plan their schedules for 2021 and beyond.”

Sessions will feature CEO of Windfall Films, Carlo Massarella, discussing upcoming projects and the work behind documentaries such as Ancient Cathedral Rescue: Inside The Race To Save Notre Dame, while World Productions’ CEO Simon Heath, who has been behind Line Of Duty and Bodyguard, will explore forthcoming shows including Pembrokshire Murders and Vigil. A gameshow strand will also feature, with creators on hand to discuss shows including The Chase and 5 Gold Rings.

This article was amended after publication to reflect Fremantle’s confirmation that it would not be attending MIPCOM.

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