The town of Cannes is partnering with exhibition organiser Reed MIDEM and broadcaster Canal+ to launch Cannes Series, a Festival showcasing the best international TV series. The inauguaral event is scheduled to take place in April 2018 wrapped around Reed MIDEM’s existing MIPTV market.
At a briefing event announcing the Festival, David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes and Vice President of the Alpes-Maritimes Department, stressed the suitability of Cannes to host the project, given its heritage, location, facilities and infrastructure.
The event, which will encourage public participation will highlight ten previously unbroadcast series, covering all territories, all durations and lengths and all broadcast platforms. There will be a Grand Jury Prize, a Prix du Public and a short-form digital series competition.
Lisnard is joined as co-founder by Fleur Pellerin, former French Minister of Culture and Communication, who will take the role of President of the Association of the Cannes International Series Festival, who promised “glamour and big audiences”.
The French government overlooked Cannes’ application to be the host of a proposed international series project, along with Paris’s established Séries Mania event, but both were overlooked by Pellerin’s former Ministry in favour of a rival bid from the northern French town of Lille. Pellerin was in post when the Ministry launched the call for Festival bids.
Lisnard said the project’s ambition was to become “the first international television series festival,” which he described as “a cultural and economic challenge also”.
Both Lisnard and Pellerin stressed the links with training and the industry to foster talent and promote creativity, including a writers’ residency, university training programme and creative workshops.
Paul Zilk, Reed MIDEM CEO, noted that since the first edition of MIPTV in 1965, “thousands of programmes have been distributed here in Cannes,” suggesting it was “the right time in the right place to launch Cannes Series.
Maxime Saada, CEO Canal+ Group, confirmed the broadcaster would be an exclusive festival partner, and welcomed the association with MIPTV, suggesting that “there is no festival in the world that works without a market”.
Benoît Louvet, a former senior executive at French commercial broadcaster TF1, has been appointed Festival Managing Director. Initial indications are that the new event has a €4 million budget and is likely to begin two days before MIPTV 2018 gets under way.