Now in its fifth edition, the MIA (International Audiovisual Market) has already become a rendezvous with a well-defined look.
The event, scheduled to be held in Rome from October 16 to 20 in Palazzo Barberini and the Barberini and Quattro Fontane multiplexes, flanks the typical characteristics of a market, i.e. screenings and areas reserved for negotiations between buyers and sales agents, with various moments dedicated to pitching and the showcasing of future projects (every year around 50 film, series and doc projects from all over the world are presented with important spaces specifically for big products), and a rich selection of meetings with high level panels for the speakers involved; all initiatives that in recent years have managed to attract numerous operators, with constantly growing numbers (in 2018 more than 2000 were accred- ited from 50 countries, a rise of 15%).
Born as Business Street – at the origins of the Film Fest – in close synergy with the festival, for 5 years they have followed parallel but distinct paths: there is a partner relationship with the Fondazione Cinema per Roma but today the profile of the Roman market is very different.
Among the over 130 MIA screenings there are obviously many films from the Film Fest and from Alice nella città that grab the dual opportunity of a festival and a market in the capital, but the specific characteristic of the MIA is to have an eye on the future, on films and series that have yet to be released or are often in production and with this identity it has managed to respond to the precise requirements of the audiovisual business.
The Fest and the MIA are, therefore, two events that help each other or, better still, they help Rome and Italy to be perceived as strategic for the theatrical and television sectors.
Lucia Milazzotto is still directing the MIA and she explains the strengths of the Rome market to us.
«In just a few years we have managed to conquer a precise positioning: despite arriving at the end of the year, with the risk of being the “last” market, we are still able to work a lot on brand new products that are in production on or being planned and, therefore, look at the market forecasts and trends».
Trends that can, for example, be fathomed by analyzing the coproduction market projects online:
«First and foremost the search for new talents, with young or very young filmmakers often making their debut and always with interesting fresh touches; or the great experimentation of drama with a specific target such as young adults which, however, ranges between the genres, from the supernatural to crime, from the political to horror.
Then there is the growing preponderance of women: they make up over 30% of the filmmakers, bringing a different taste and style».
The wide variety of languages and content is the distinctive trait of the MIA: «The proposals vary from one genre to another in the various languages, through all the various forms of content, from feature films to long-running series, to documentaries (an increasingly lively genre).
A trendy market, not in the sense of fashion but one that is capable of indicating future trends».
Another characteristic feature of the MIA is the strong Italian and European identity:
«Our country is demonstrating the strength of a rendezvous supported by a whole national system as well as a renewed creativity and the production ability to propose local and global projects. With regard to the European identity, we have created a space for ourselves among the various markets: we are on before Berlin, we work in an area that is missing from MIP i.e. big co-production projects, and we are unbranded from the AFM which is a typically American market».
However the MIA is not just a market but a receptacle with various opportunities for debate in the numerous meetings scheduled for each sector, always very popular with the top members of the trade :
«TV -explains Milazzotto – will bring to the panels the important managers of Lionsgate and Channel Four, there will be a lot of discussion about content (like in the “Content is King” panel which promises to be very interesting) and the changes generated in the market by the streaming platforms, as well as the responses that the new situation demands from television companies.
Cinema will explore the themes connected to distribution both in Eu- rope and in the USA while, for documentaries, there will be a chance to talk about the opportunities offered by coproductions for big universal stories.
Then the special events linked to the announcements of Italian films and series that are currently being made are confirmed and will have a great amount of visibility».
With regard to the big platforms, they will be present in force, «in par- ticular Netflix and Amazon. Which panels will they take part in? No, they are only coming to do business. But I am very happy: after all we are still a market…».