9th MIPCOM JUNIOR opens in Cannes 6 Oct

As it enters year 9, MIPCOM JUNIOR, the youth screenings event held in Cannes from 6 to 8 October, will open amidst a hyperactive and rapidly changing children's content market.

To cater to the growing number of MIPCOM JUNIOR delegates, an extra 30 screening booths will be added this year, bringing the total number of booths to 230, according to an official release.

Last year MIPCOM JUNIOR saw 386 companies from 51 countries and 418 buyers attending. A total of 771 programmes were presented and 12,572 screenings took place.

Kids' programming faces new challenges. With the emergence of additional outlets - enhanced TV and the web - and children's growing attraction to interactivity, producers are creating content suitable for a wider variety of platforms. As a result an increasing number of programmes are now launched with both broadcast and web versions. On the technology side, CGI development is offering vast creative opportunities and is driving programme production towards a new level of sophistication and eye-appeal.

However, the basic premise for children's prgramming stays unchanged. "Innovation and creativity are the key element if you want to create series that will be picked up by the major channels," comments Roberto Mitrani, director of international business, Neptuno Films.

As the competition between terrestrial, cable, and satellite channels for an unpredictable and selective young demographic gets tougher, it is essential to offer content that stands out. Producers must go all-out to crop up quality driven properties with innovative storytelling, strong characters and merchandising spin-offs that will provide broadcasters with longer-lasting brands and allow them to capture audiences.

Andy Heyward, president and CEO, DIC Entertainment - a pioneering participant - says: " MIPCOM JUNIOR is an indispensable event for the children's television business, the only conference where all the children's TV broadcasters participate. I cannot imagine launching a new property without it!"

MIPCOM JUNIOR 2001 is a marketing event and learning forum with global sales opportunities and co-production prospects, the release states.

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