At the Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, all eyes were on the final five pitchers narrowed down from 70 entrants over 30 countries. One of them would walk away with €25,000 worth of development money, courtesy of Warner Bros.
International Television Production. For a pitch competition that positions itself as a “unique platform for pitching original ideas of neverbefore seen non-scripted entertainment,” the ideas presented to the near-capacity crowd were somewhat underwhelming. Still, there were noteworthy moments.
Audience interaction weighed in strongly for Janane Mallat’s All for One One for all, as well as Simon Staffans’ Which One Out, with Mallat’s home-audience voting mechanism via tablet and mobile phone an interesting proposition that could dramatically alter the outcome of her proposed game show.
Soreyrith Um of Summertime Entertainment presented his game show to find “the master of persuasion,” where contestants need to out-talk or out-sell to get another to do one’s bidding.
Each pitcher made a 5-minute presentation, accompanied by a trailer and followed by the inevitable bombardment-of-questions from the jury. One pitcher stood out – he was the only one who engaged the in-house audience directly.
Stuart Coxe of Canada’s Antica Productions began by requesting for the house lights and asking how many among the audience had recently used an online dating service. The attempt backfired, since the crowd, who was unused to having the spotlight cast on them, gave lacklustre responses. Still, the quick-witted Coxe managed a quick save by offering the view that online dating sites have become tremendously popular in many nations; demonstrating the format’s international appeal and the ability to “travel” – a surefire way to get the jury’s attention.
Coxe’s idea pits a traditional matchmaker; one he says will select a partner based on what one needs rather than what one wants, versus a guru from online dating service who uses high-tech algorithms to find a match. While not entirely an original concept, it drew enough questions to suggest he had gotten the jury’s attention. All in all, three game shows, one reality-game show, and one dating series later, Coxe’s Looking for Love clearly shone through.
At the post-pitch Q&A (aka jury deliberation), Coxe spoke about his days as a former journalist. One gets a sense that his former training of covering real-life events goes well with the jury who was clearly looking for formats based on real-life concepts.
The jury’s final decision (not unanimous we were told) went to the one idea that stood out. Congratulations to Stuart Coxe and his team at Antica Productions for a job well done, and for nabbing that €25,000 dough!
MIPFormats Pitch Finalists:
1. All for One One for all – Presented by Janane Mallat, CEO, Iproduction, Lebanon
2. Looking for Love – Presented by Stuart Coxe, Executive Producer, Antica Productions, Canada
3. Million Dollar Mystery – Presented by Adam Markowitz, President, Markowitz Media, USA
4. Persuasion – Presented by Soreyrith Um, President, Summertime Entertainment, USA
5. Which One Out – Simon Staffans, Format Developer, MediaCity Finland, Finland
1. Lars Beckung, Programme Director, Kanal 5, Sweden
2. Ana De Moraes, Director of Development, Twenty Twenty, UK
3. Virginia Mouseler, CEO, The WIT, France
4. Laurent Storch, Chairman, TF1 Production, France
5. Geert Willems, CEO, Blazhoffski Belgium, Belgium