Reed MIDEM announced that Academy Award-nominated filmmaker John Stevenson, Director of the Dreamworks’ animation blockbuster, Kung Fu Panda, will address MIP China conference delegates in a keynote interview (previewed by John Stevenson here), with Andrew Eborn, President of Octopus TV, on June 22, 2021.  

John Stevenson has over four decades of experience in TV and film production starting at the Henson Company on projects such as the Muppets and The Dark Crystal. Stevenson directed Kung Fu Panda with Mark Osborne, which grossed over $600 million worldwide and spawned two sequels. In 2009 Stevenson was nominated for an Academy Award with Mark Osborne, and both won the Annie for best direction of an animated feature. Prior to the release of Kung Fu Panda, Stevenson held the post of Head of Story at PDI/DreamWorks serving as a story artist for the worldwide blockbusters Shrek, Shrek 2, and Madagascar. A core member of PDI/DreamWorks’ creative review committee, Stevenson had input on a variety of projects and additionally has worked as a storyboard artist and character designer for DreamWorks/PDI’s Antz, Pixar’s Toy Story 2. Most recently Stevenson directed Sherlock Gnomes for Paramount and MGM, a sequel to the 2011 hit Gnomeo and Juliet. John is currently developing an animated feature with Matt Wilson (Monsterpocalypse) and Kinetic Media as well as an animated series with Axis Studios. 

MIP China Director Ted Baracos, commented: “We are delighted to be able to offer today’s generation of content providers John Stevenson’s unique perspective on directing a global animation hit.”

Now in its 5th edition, this year’s MIP China event is being held as both a physical event for conferences (22-23 June) and an online 1-to-1 meeting event (28-30 June) that brings together content providers from around the world with Asian and Chinese acquisition executives (registration for the 1-to-1 meetings closes May 25). Click here to view the list of confirmed buyers.

MIP China’s conferences will be held physically in Hangzhou, starting 22 June, with a spotlight this year on how to produce global animation hits with local stories. All sessions will also be accessible online and available to delegates on replay.

MIP China’s focus on animation goes well beyond Kung Fu Panda, with some 85 buyers of Kids content and the launch of the Pan-Asian Kids TV Talent Quest, a brand new, high profile platform offering producers the chance to submit new ideas for Asian focused Kids programming directly to key decision-makers. Five projects will be selected to pitch commissioners from pan Asian platforms, iQIYI, Tencent Video, ViacomCBS, and WarnerMedia APAC. The deadline to apply is May 21. Details on how to enter can be found here.