CANNES: All the naysayers must be regretting not hoofing it down to the south of France for the annual jamboree of the content trading and production community – Mipcom 2021. Not only were the planeloads coming into Nice full of TV, streaming, and feature film executives, the weather gods too seemed to be playing fair, by keeping the sun out blazing strong, and the rain away.
The streets of Cannes were bustling with people most unmasked, the restaurants overflowing onto the sidewalks. Tables at favourite restaurants were hard to get. Welcome Back, read the signs everywhere. It felt like the old times of the content market were back. The Palais was playing host to screening some of the most premium series and TV films. Conversations were being struck in bistros, on the Croisette, on sidewalks. There were smiles everywhere as new acquaintances were made, and old friendships revived.
The reality, however, is that RX France (into which Reed Midem has now been absorbed) announced that it was expecting 4,000 attendees for MIPCom from 11-14 October. That may pale compared to the 13,000-14,000 professionals, it attracted in Mipcom 2019, but once again if truth be told, the number is impressive in pandemic times:
- when only select vaccines are recognised in Europe;
- when media and entertainment companies are still reeling from the financial side effects of covid 2019;
- when travel red alerts and bans continue to be in place between nations;
- when corporate cutbacks have not been reversed,
- when fear and confusion continue in the minds of all about the stage we are in conquering the virus
- when the virus continues to mutate and the new Delta Plus bug now seems to lay millions to waste the world over.
For those not in the know, the Palais’ basement or P-1 where almost 30-40 per cent of the exhibitors used to collect in their booths, is shut this year on account of safety protocols. Riviera 7 area is this year’s new basement as the premium area has been reorganised to accommodate as many booths as possible. But it is here where some of India’s leading content producers, distributors, has decided to locate themselves.
Zee Entertainment (called Zee Content Sales), Indiacast, and AnimationXpress (part of Indian Television Dot Com group) have set up the tent in this very premium location. Around 35 Indians are slated to attend this year’s extraordinary Mipcom. Among some of the known professionals: the new head of Zeel content syndication Ashok Nadmboodri, the new Indiacast distribution boss Sheetal Mehra. Of course, Mipmarkets India, Pakistan Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh head Anil Wanvari was seen going from stand to stand to resolve any issues Indian clients face or requests they may have.
Hopes were running high that offers would be made; deals and collaborations would be struck from 11-14 October.
For those in the Riviera 7 and eight sections of the Palis de festival, however, things were buzzing as the clock counted down to the opening of the exhibition. And those who have chosen to stay back home can also be part of the Mipcom experience by signing up for the digital version of MIPCOM. With a simple-to-use user interface and networking tool, RX France has outdone itself, corrected, whatever errors popped up in the previous edition.