MIPTV 2020 cancelled; next edition set for April 2021

Thirty-seven Canadian companies had been set to travel to the event as part of the Canada Pavilion.

After days of speculation, MIPTV organizers Reed MIDEM on Wednesday confirmed that it will be shelving this year’s edition of MIPTV, originally slated for March 30 to April 2.

The move follows a ban imposed by the French government on any large gatherings in a “contained space” that number 5,000 people or more, following an increase in domestic cases of COVID-19, a coronavirus disease that’s a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses, as well as increases in the number of cases both in Europe and globally.

Thirty-seven Canadian companies had been set to travel to the festival as part of the Canada Pavilion, according to a Telefilm Canada spokesperson, who added that three companies had withdrawn their participation prior to the event’s cancellation.

The MIPTV announcement came hours after Telefilm issued a statement saying it was closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and was in daily communication with various event organizers.

Attentions will now turn to the Cannes Film Festival – also attended by the Canada Pavilion – which takes place at the same venue from May 12 to 23.

On Thursday, Cannes festival organizers issued a statement on the status of the event: “We understand the concern that has been expressed following the postponement of Cannes Series and the cancellation of MIPTV, but as of today nothing indicates that the Cannes Film Festival will not take place. The Cannes Film Festival staff, Thierry Frémaux and the selection committee are all currently working on the organization of the event.”

On the MIPTV front, MIPDoc and MIPFormats, slated for March 28 to 29, have also been canceled.

CANNESERIES, the third edition of the Cannes International Series Festival, originally scheduled to run alongside MIPTV, will now take place Oct. 9 to 14, in conjunction with MIPCOM.

The next edition of MIPTV will take place April 12 to 15, 2021 in Cannes with MIPDoc and MIPFormats scheduled for April 10 to 11, 2021. The fourth edition of CANNESERIES will be held in April 2021 during MIPTV.

“In the current context, many of our clients have expressed concerns about traveling at this time. Rescheduling MIPTV in the coming months is not feasible so the most appropriate course of action is to cancel MIPTV for 2020,” said Paul Zilk, Reed MIDEM chief executive, in a statement.

“The well-being of our clients, partners and staff is our priority. We are grateful to clients for their support and constructive input during this challenging period. We look forward to welcoming everyone to MIPCOM in October 12 to 15 and we are delighted that CANNESERIES will be at our side again at the event this year,” he added.

Finding an alternate date for MIPTV proved to be challenging, given the number of events currently on the schedule that make substantial use of the conference’s main venue, the Palais des Festivals. If it goes ahead as planned, the Cannes Film Festival will take place in late May, to be followed by the rescheduled MIPIM for June 2 to 5, and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, geared towards the global advertising industry, slated for June 22 to 26.

This year’s edition of MIPTV was set to be a transition year for the long-running spring market and conference, with all exhibitors set to be housed inside the Palais, and, from a content perspective, more of a spotlight on development, production financing and further “exclusive market intelligence.” However, several global production/distribution companies had already stated their intentions to opt out of having a major presence at this year’s MIPTV, including Banijay Group, eOne and ITV Studios.

With files from Jordan Pinto