Original stories with global appeal take centre stage at the MIA
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The MIA market in Rome featured a raft of brand-new films, series and projects for the 2020-2022 season
The fifth edition of the MIA – International Audiovisual Market, which took place from 16-20 October in Rome, attracted about 2,500 participants. About half of the industry representatives who attended the various market segments – such as the pitching forums for films, series, documentaries and works in progress, the market screenings, as well as the talks and panel discussions – came from Italy, while the other 50% were international participants from France, Great Britain, the USA and Germany. According to MIA director Lucia Milazzotto, the market represents 25% of sales and annual business in the field of exporting Italian media. “Domestic and international producers consider MIA an event not to be missed for the development and production of global projects,” says Milazzotto. “Fifty percent of the projects presented at MIA have been successfully finished.” The fifth edition of MIA presented 200 brand-new products for the 2020-2022 season, including 107 films and 250 episodes of TV series. Among the nearly 100 international premieres were 47 projects hailing from 25 countries.
The MIA is also nurturing an increasing number of partnerships and collaborations. A long-time partner is the Council of Europe’s Eurimages fund, which grants the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award. The cash prize of €20,000 for the development of the project that best reflects the idea and values of collaboration and co-production was handed to Triumph by directors-producers Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, from Abraxas Film. The jury, composed of Fiorella Moretti, Ewa Puszczynska and Tobias Pausinger, was struck by this very original story that has real contemporary relevance. “The events portrayed seem quite unbelievable... yet they are absolutely true,” stated the jurors. “Absurd but tragic, the film will certainly have much to say about some of the most obvious failures of contemporary society.” The award was handed out by Susan Newman, project manager at Eurimages, at the MIA awards ceremony, held at the Quattro Fontane cinema.
Meanwhile, National Geographic sponsored the Best Pitch Award, confirming MIA | DOC’s knack for identifying projects capable of combining great artistic and production qualities with significant commercial potential. The Best Pitch Award thus went to the documentary The Pope's Secret Diaries – The Vatican Secret Archives of the WWII by Simona Ercolani and Cosetta Lagani, which is being produced by Stand by Me in conjunction with Vatican Media. The project is inspired by a historic decision made by Pope Francis: in March 2020, the Vatican Secret Archives will be opened. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, 16 million documents will reveal, for the first time, the truth about the position of the Church, in particular that of the pontificate of Pius XII, in relation to Nazism and the Holocaust. The evidence that will emerge from these documents, which until now have been classified, ranges from unpublished testimonies to exclusive images.
For the third year running, MIA granted the Carlo Bixio Award, which is given out to reward and encourage television series producers as well as scriptwriters aged between 18 and 30. Traditionally, Rai and Mediaset alternate, handing out the awards every other year. The jurors included Francesca Galiani from RTI, Leonardo Ferrara from RAI, Ivan Cotroneo, Graziano Diana, Francesco Vicario and Monica Rametta. This year, RTI presented the Carlo Bixio Award for Best Screenplay, worth €10,000, to the black comedy Ingannamorte & Figli by Vincenzo Cascone, Eleonora Galasso and Lorenzo Ongaro. The Carlo Bixio Award for Best Concept, which is a cash prize worth €5,000, was given to Fiele by Dario Ascolese, which focuses on the dramatic journey of a protagonist who is torn between rehabilitation and crime. The SIAE Idea D'Autore Award, worth €3,000, was bestowed upon Elia Andreotti and Luigi Cerve for their teenage-focused story In Trap.
Furthermore the Lazio region gave the Lazio Frames Award to the title that, in its view, best showcases the territory of Lazio itself. Projects from the MIA sections What's Next Italy, Greenlit and Italians Doc went head to head for the Lazio Frames Award, which eventually went to If There Is a Fucked Beyond by Simone Isola and Fausto Trombetta.
Here is the full list of award winners:
Eurimages Co-Production Development Award
Triumph - Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria)
Best Pitch Award
The Pope's Secret Diaries - The Vatican Secret Archives of the WWII - Simona Ercolani and Cosetta Lagani (Italy)
Carlo Bixio Award for Best Screenplay
Ingannamorte & Figli - Vincenzo Cascone, Eleonora Galasso and Lorenzo Ongaro (Italy)
Carlo Bixio Award for Best Concept
Fiele - Dario Ascolese (Italy)
SIAE Idea D'Autore Award
In Trap - Elia Andreotti and Luigi Cerve (Italy)
Lazio Frames Award
If There Is a Fucked Beyond - Simone Isola and Fausto Trombetta (Italy)
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