The news came yesterday as the international community reacts to the spread of Coronavirus and specifically in France where the government has introduced a ban on public events with over 5,000 people in confined spaces.
Seven Nordic series were set to compete at the third Canneseries TV drama festival due to unfold March 27-April 1st, parallel to MIPTV, which is now scheduled to run October 9 to 14, 2020, to coincide with MIPCOM.
In an official statement, Fleur Pellerin, former French Culture Minister and President of Canneseries said: "Given the rapidly evolving situation, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the festival. It is our responsibility to protect the health of guests, professionals and the public," she said, expressing her “sincere gratitude to the city of Cannes, CANAL+ and the private and institutional partners” which had supported the festival’s decision.
Five out of ten premium series were set to compete in the festival’s main section: Denmark’s DNA (TV2/Arte), Norway’s Atlantic Crossing (NRK), Sweden’s Top Dog (C More/TV4), Finland’s Partisan (Viaplay) and Man in Room 301 (Elisa Viihde).
An additional two series were due to compete in the short format programme: Norway’s Christmas on Blood Mountain (Discovery Network Norway) and Sweden’s Cryptid (Viaplay).
Meanwhile MIPTV (March 30-April 2) and its sidebar events MIPDoc and MIPFormats (March 28-29) have been cancelled.
Paul Ziik, Chief executive of Reed Midem-MIPTV organisers 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.”
MIPTV that had suffered a drop in attendance in 2019 (9,500 visitors in 2019 against 10,000 in 2018) had transformed its exhibition space for this spring edition in an effort to revitalise the event. The next MIPTV is scheduled to take place April 12-15, 2021 and MIPDoc-MIPFormats April 10-11, 2021.
Among the numerous industry events scheduled during MIPTV was the Drama Series Pitch Event where the Swedish upcoming series in development Eight Months (Anagram/C More/TV4) was slated among 12 drama projects to be pitched, and the popular Buyers Drama Summit, where the Swedish action thriller series The Machinery (Anagram/Viaplay) was to be previewed.
Commenting on the cancellation of MIPTV, long-time attendee Helene Aurø, REIvent Studios sales and marketing director said: “This is very sad but also a very serious situation all over the world." Asked if her business had already been affect by Coronavirus restrictions and fear of outbreak, she said REInvent Studios team had just attended Berlin and business had not been impacted ‘yet’. “We will be attending the Cannes Film Festival and will conclude deals there. We are in the digital age but still we need to think of other ways to do business,” she said.
Lille’s Series Mania (March 20-28), the next major global drama festival and its sidebar industry event Series Mania Forum were still due to go ahead (as of March 2) although organisers said they are “in close and regular contact with local and national authorities to monitor how the situation is evolving.”