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International scripted festival named Cannes Series

Old city and harbor in Cannes, French Riviera, FranceThe upcoming international scripted festival is to be named Cannes Series.

At a press conference here at MIPTV yesterday, festival president Fleur Pellerin revealed the event would run for seven days in April next year, beginning shortly before MIPTV and ending at the same time as the market.

There will also be “teaser” events held at MIPCOM in October to drum up interest.

Cannes mayor David Lisnard said the public screenings element of the festival would cost around €4 million  (US$4.2 million), with finance drawn from private investors.

Currently, there is no government support for the festival, with the French culture ministry instead focusing on a new event in Lille.

Cannes had pitched its plan, but Lisnard claimed he was mandated to create an even regardless of official support and “planned to see this through”.

Cannes will comprise a competition, presided over by an international jury, plus 200-plus free screenings and other public events, debates and retrospectives, parties and mini-festivals, a writers’ residency and a coproduction forum, which will bring together MIPTV delegates, a new screenwriting university department and other international institutes.

The jury will comprise “at least five personalities known for their artistic sensitivity” and an “internationally-renowned president”. They will judge an official selection of ten unreleased series from all genres (though animation will not be considered).

Paul Zilk, CEO of Reed Midem, which is a partner in Cannes Series along with Canal+, said the event was “a perfect fit and makes complete sense”, as “the way people are engaging with series is better than ever before”.

The event will be a boost for MIPTV, which has run in Cannes for 52 years.

The Lille event will take place in June 2018, it was revealed today, with government funding for the existing Series Mania event in Paris diverting over to it.