December 2014
Volume 34 No. 7

December 2014
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Cannes-cun: The Move From Cannes to Cancun

For an update, check out our Water Cooler, "MIPCancun Lindo y Querido"

After two Latin American countries have been recognized as Country of Honor at MIPCOM recently, the Paris-based Reed MIDEM has expanded its presence in LATAM with the well-timed launch of MIP Cancun, its first regional summit for Latin American buyers, held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, November 19-21, 2014.

As a “gathering of buyers,” the new exhibition from the organizers of MIP-TV and MIPCOM in Cannes, France, aims to provide a film-TV content sales and buying environment for Latin American countries.

This is Reed MIDEM’s second attempt to stage a Latin TV market, following the short-lived AMIP (held for the first time in Miami, Florida in November of 1983), which lasted for only two editions when the market was still run by the organization’s founder, Bernard Chevry.
MIP Cancun welcomed acquisitions executives from 40 TV outlets from 15 countries in Latin America and up to 40 international programming distributors who paid 4,000 euro (U.S.$5,180) for a meeting table. The cost included a two-night stay at the JW Marriott. Outside the designated days, the rate per night starts at $172. Overall, at the first MIP Cancun, an estimated 250 people participated, including members of the international press, though not officially.

“The magic number here is 40 companies, in order to maintain a good balance between sellers and buyers,” commented a market representative. The latter were “invited” and limited to two buyers per company. No seminars were planned for this inaugural edition, but they could be an option at future events.

In order to exhibit at MIP Cancun, international distributors had to indicate their intension by registering online with Reed MIDEM. Even though the selection of the 40 companies is guided on a first-come basis, an additional determining factor is dictated by the relevance of their content catalog, which therefore excluded those sellers with programs found to be unsuitable for the LATAM region.

To market organizers, this first MIP Cancun will net an estimated $150,000, but more than the small profit for a $200 million-a-year company, the event could represent a new opportunity, considering that Latin America is one of the expansion markets of Reed Exhibitions, the parent company of Reed MIDEM.

Undoubtedly, if deemed a success, the new TV market will represent a new challenge to NATPE in Miami Beach at the end of January, which is also being squeezed by the Canadian publishing group Brunico that organizes both Realscreen in Washington, D.C. (January 27-30, 2015) and Kidscreen in downtown Miami (February 23-26, 2015). Realscreen will be held four days after NATPE and Kidscreen 30 days later.

Asked about the timing of MIP Cancun, Arte France’s Sales manager Audrey Kamga expressed her belief that “companies can attend both MIP Cancun and NATPE. MIP Cancun is a pre-NATPE market and discussions about deals can begin there and continue at NATPE,” she said.
For about three days, MIP Cancun offered access to Latin American TV buyers, including those who do not regularly attend international content markets. The summit focused on scripted and unscripted content, including drama, formats, factual programming and children’s shows.

According to Ted Baracos, Market Development director at Reed MIDEM, “Many of the buyers that attend[ed] usually don’t come to MIP markets in Cannes. We are going in depth into LATAM, where there is a large development of new platforms and channels.”

The original official press release stated, “buyers and sellers may coordinate their meetings in advance, according to several criteria, and receive a schedule of meetings. Space will be limited and distributors may enroll [at] www.mipcancun.com.”

“Reed MIDEM is committed to serving the needs of international companies seeking to do business with their Latin American counterparts,” said Laurine Garaude, director of the Television Division. She added, “We decided to do this summit-type event because of feedback from our clients, who need to meet in a focused way with LATAM buyers…Following the inaugural event we’ll obviously take into consideration the observations and opinions of attendees, but we are planning it as an annual event.” MIP Cancun is intended to emphasize Reed MIDEM’s commitment to Latin America in collaboration with ProMéxico, the government agency that supports Mexican exports and is in charge of attracting investments in the country.

In addition to ProMéxico, MIP Cancun is getting the support of Mexican TV networks and distributors. Reed MIDEM’s Baracos said, “LATAM buyer participants from 16 countries will be present along with international distributors from at least a dozen countries. The format for the event was first launched by Reed Exhibitions.”

“Latin America is an important and growing market for us,” said Avi Armoza of Armoza Formats. “We [went] to Cancun to meet our clients, and we are very practical; we like to give every new market a chance.”

Latin America is indeed a booming market and this was the motivation for Shoreline Entertainment’s decision to attend MIP Cancun. Shoreline’s VP of Sales Brian Sweet pointed to the recent successful Toronto premiere of No Soy Lorena (I Am Not Lorena) as a good example of the growing potency of Latin American films internationally. As Sweet commented, “Of late we have been exploring smaller markets such as NATPE Europe and the World Content Market in St. Petersburg that are focused on specific regions. As [the number of small buyers] at the larger markets such as MIP and MIPCOM continues to slip, we believe these smaller markets provide local and regional buyers an opportunity to meet with sellers in a smaller environment that is more economically feasible.”

Highlighting the degree to which Latin America has become, “an excellent source of revenue for emerging platforms such as SVoD, and also for traditional broadcasters,” Sweet expressed the hope that MIP Cancun, “will become the precursor to [the Buenos Aires film market] Ventana Sur in a small way, and to NATPE Miami in a big way.”

Likewise, Thomas Davison of APT Worldwide was enthusiastic about having the “valuable opportunity to hold one-on-one meetings with clients in Latin America, which is a growing and desirable market.”

Rive Gauche’s Tomas A. Silva was “very excited” about MIP Cancun and the “opportunity to meet with clients — including those from Central America, Bolivia, Uruguay and more — that I usually can’t meet at NATPE or the L.A. Screenings or even MIPCOM.”

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