direttore Paolo Di Maira

ROME/MIA, a Content Hub

It’s August, but in this hot summer period the staff at MIA seem to be looking forward to an “Indian Summer”.
For those of us who have  been involved in cinema for some time, this expression which, in the English-speaking world, refers to a return to the summer heat in the fall, immediately reminds us of Mifed’s flagship section: Indian Summer.
But only the dates of the legendary Milan market have survived.

Everything else has changed in the Market concept on which Lucia Milazzotto has been working.
Milazzotto, formerly head of the New Cinema Network for the Fondazione Cinema per Roma, is now the director of MIA, the International Audiovisual Market, the first edition of which will be launched in Rome from October 16 – 20 in the Hotel Boscolo in Piazza Esedra and the Terme di Diocleziano.

With an investment of 1,940,000 Euros (75% of which was contributed by the Mise [Ministry for Economic Development] and the ICE [Italian Trade Agency], and the remaining 25% by the Fondazione Cinema per Roma), MIA will encompass the whole audiovisual sector: from movies to TV series, from documentaries to videogames.

“Above all it is a great result in terms of unifying the objectives and actions aimed at promoting the growth and internationalization of the entire Italian audiovisual sector” clarifies Milazzotto who, citing the participation of the main sector associations – ANICA [Italian Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries], APT [Italian television producers association], and Doc it – sees the new Roman rendezvous “as a matchmaking and content hub where national and international professionals can establish concrete business connections and, at the same time, discover important opportunities for obtaining knowledge and information”.
The concept is new: “An ‘intimate’ market where professionals can feel as free as when they are brainstorming with their colleagues, that is selective and oriented towards guided networking, that aims to work on international relations – a platform for exchange and know-how that will harmonize B2B sessions, with screenings and meetings, round tables for the in-depth study of business models and of new, little explored territories”.

How will MIA be organized?
There will be various itineraries – cinema, television, documentaries – with specific meeting and market activities organized for each one whilst, at the same time, it will offer opportunities for business and across-the-board exchanges to study topics such as kids’ products, animation, gaming and product circulation.

How do you think it will be able to interpret the requirements of the various sectors represented?
MIA will be an instrument of internationalization for everyone, supporting the Italian industry in order to achieve growth in three fundamental areas: product exports, majority co-productions and minority co-productions.
The latter passage is crucial in order to enable Italy to finally return to being a reliable and effective partner at the negotiating tables of big international projects. In the opinion of many authoritative analysts, the progressive drop in co-productions is the Italian film industry’s biggest problem. MIA seems to have got the message.
MIA is not and does not intend to be a fair. It is a selective platform (of guests) that facilitates networking and, therefore, agreements between members of the trade.
We will also strengthen the co-production aspect with a new section dedicated to projects that lend themselves to be realized as minority co-productions with Italy (the Make it with Italy co-production Forum) and we will give plenty of space to documentary and factual projects, and obviously to television series.

Naturally MIA will also feature screenings (all strictly very recent products), mainly concentrating on TV drama series, cinema and serial documentaries, proposing projects, pilots and finished products.

MIA will be taking over the dates used for Mifed but a lot has changed in the meantime starting with the move of the American Film Market to November.
These dates could constitute a problem not so much for the theatrical sector, being aimed at the European professionals who do not go to Santa Monica, but for the TV sector which meets a week before in Cannes for Mipcom.
With today’s proliferation of events and markets, it is difficult to say what is the ideal date.
Our intention is to be the last important rendezvous of the year, when deals and negotiations are concluded and the prospects for the new year are discovered. With regard to television, this year is particularly complex: from next year the dates for Mipcom and MIA will run consecutively, allowing intercontinental operators the chance to benefit from two different yet complementary markets in the space of just one week, thus saving them both time and money.

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