Times TV: Scans Cannes for English flicks

With the recent introduction of Romedy Now to its existing portfolio of channels, the Times Television Network (TTN) will be exploring new content opportunities for its channels Movies Now and the newbie at this year’s MIPCOM.

Set to take place in Cannes' eponymous Palais des Festivals off the Boulevard de la Croisette between 7 and 10 October 2013, MipCom is expected to be the biggest since several years, and it appears as though the entertainment ecosystem seems to have shrugged off the economic woes that have been making news headlines in several countries worldwide.

The scale has tilted from being a buyers' market to a sellers' market over the last few years stresses Ajay Trigunayat

For TTN’s English entertainment channels CEO Ajay Trigunayat, this would be his tenth year at Cannes. Having represented Zee from 2002 to 2006 and TTN (Movies Now) from 2010-12, this year, Trigunayat will be scouting for content to be shown on Romedy Now, TTN’s newly launched romance and comedy channel.

“I’ll be looking for movies and series and if there is something interesting, then I will have a look at that as well,” says Trigunayat, adding, “The scale has tilted from being a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market over the last few years.”

While a cross-section of genres like romance, comedy, action, thriller and horror would be under his scrutiny, he isn’t too keen on drama movies. “We don’t buy drama because it does not have too much of traction with Indian audiences,” he emphasises. 

For TTN, MIPCOM is more about meeting people and getting to know them on a personal level. According to Trigunayat, it’s a catalyst for meetings to happen while real deals happen later on.

He is looking forward to meeting biggies like Fox, Warner Bros, and Regency and see what they have in store for them from this year’s releases. On the subject of budgets, he says a substantial amount of money (higher double digit crores) is kept aside for acquisitions, the discussions for which begin or end as deals at MIPCOM.

He gives an example of how discussions were initiated with Monarchy, the production side of Regency, last year, and more than 100 titles were bought from them. He points out that his team is sticking to big titles and from major studios worldwide and Latin American films are not part of his slate as their quality and sensibilities don't appeal to Indian viewers. 

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