Cannes spring TV market’s organisers Reed Midem were on the hot seat as attendance was down this year, forcing them to promise improvements for 2020.

Despite the good weather and buzzy industry mood, MIPTV was confronted this year with half empty keynote sessions, several vacant exhibition spaces and a general drop of attendance, from 10,000 delegates in 2018 to 9,500 this year, according to Reed Midem’s official figures. MIPTV has suffered over the last two years from an almost frontal competition from Series Mania, and growing discontent from attendees about high registration fees and unpopular practices from MIPTV organisers such as non-guaranteed office spaces at the busy MIPCOM fall event, in case of no-booking at MIPTV.

In an effort to communicate to their clients and send signs of reassurance, Reed Midem held the usual closing press conference of the MIPTV not on the last day but on the opening Monday, when Laurine Garaude, Reed Midem director of the TV division announced that plans to revamp MIPTV were in the making.

First results from a B2B consultation identified two areas for Reed Midem to focus on, according to Garaude. “Content development is key to buyers, distributors and producers and is central to the development of MIPTV, she said. The other point is the need for more flexible solutions for exhibitors and visitors to meet their changing needs,” she said. Although no specific details were given about adjustments for 2020, Lucy Smith, newly appointed Deputy Director of the television division said a different exhibition space and more pitches and matchmaking events would be part of MIPTV’s future facelift.

Meanwhile the second Canneseries TV Drama Festival, preamble to MIPTV, upped its numbers from 20,000 in 2018 to 25,000 visitors this year.
The top prize for Best Series went to Spain’s Perfect Life, which also collected Best Performance Prize for its lead actresses Leticia Dolera, Celia Freijeiro, Aixa Villagrán, while Belgium’s The Twelve from writers Bert Van Dael and Sanne Nuyens won Best Screenplay.

Although the Norwegian competition entry Magnus created by Vidar Magnussen for Viafilm/NRK left empty-handed, the innovative sci-fi/comedy/crime mix was the number one pick for the influential French cultural magazine Telerama and received overall critical praise.

Other Nordic creators and talents were celebrated at various Cannes events such as the 7th International Emmy® Kids Award, handed out on stage by Finnish actor Pelle Heikkilä (Invisible Heroes), and creator Mira Awad.

The award for Best Kids: Digital went to NRK/Bivrost Film & TV’s programme Overgrep (Sexual Abuse Awareness Week) directed by Tonje Voreland, Marianne Müller, Christoffer Alve, while the Kids: Non-Scripted Entertainment award went to SVT/Fremantlemedia Sweden’s Fixa Bröllopet (Marrying mum and dad), written/directed by Tomas Schubert and Theo Bolin.

At the ‘In Development Drama Producers’ Pitch’ co-organised by MIPTV and Canneseries, the Norwegian supernatural thriller series Ice Valley produced by Cinenord was one of three winning projects. The 8x45’ series pitched by co-creators Silje Hopland Eik and Cindy Hanson won support both from Federation Entertainment and French investment Fund La Fabrique des Formats.

Written by Sofia Lersol Lund (Twin, Home Ground 2) and directed by Janic Heen (Atlantic Crossing), Ice Valley tells of university students Thea and Amir who investigate the disappearance of their housemate Ida in Ice Valley. They start to uncover chilling mysteries and deaths connected to this legendary area. No local broadcaster is yet attached.