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Channel 4’s Alex Mahon and BBC’s Kate Phillips to keynote at MIPFormats 2018

Two big hitters of UK broadcasting, Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, and Kate Phillips, controller of BBC Entertainment, will deliver keynote speeches at MIPFormats 2018.

MIPFormats is the discovery showcase for the global formats community that takes place in Cannes, France, on 7 and 8 April, ahead of the MIPTV global entertainment content market, which runs from 9 to 12 April 2018.

Alex Mahon is CEO of the British public-service broadcaster Channel 4. She was previously CEO of Foundry, the leading design, visual and 3D effects software firm, and prior to that, spent 15 years running creative production companies, including a spell as CEO of Shine Group, helping to build the group into an organisation with 27 creative labels in 12 countries, and brands including MasterChef, Biggest Loser, and Broadchurch.

At MIPFormats, Mahon will outline the strategy she is developing for Channel 4 on unscripted formats, and share her insights on the future of the industry in a discussion with Gary Carter, the non-executive director at the Helsinki-based creative content agency KLOK, and himself a veteran of the international format market.

Following her presentation, Mahon will receive the International Formats Gold Award during a gala dinner, presented by FRAPA (the Format Recognition and Protection Association), C21Media, EMC, and MIPFormats. The annual award is dedicated to executives who have helped define the global entertainment business.

Kate Phillips is responsible for the entertainment strategy and output of BBC1, BBC2 and all digital entertainment including BBC3 and BBC4. She commissions over 500 hours of original programmes a year, including shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice, and Top Gear. Previously, she was creative director of Formats for BBC Worldwide. In this role, she oversaw all of BBC Worldwide’s scripted and non-scripted formats, over 200 in total. Her extensive TV production experience was garnered by producing numerous comedy and entertainment shows, as well as being a co-owner and director of Mast Media, an award-winning television formats company. She will share this extensive experience and knowledge of the industry with the MIPFormats audience and give her view on the future for unscripted formats.

These two keynotes are part of this year’s MIPFormat’s conference theme: ‘Formats industry disrupted: preparing for the year 2020.’ While 2017 witnessed a renaissance of unscripted formats, traditional and new players alike are focused on the development and marketing of content in a shifting media landscape. Broadcasters and producers are forging new alliances, and distributors are finding clever new ways to negotiate rights, while SVOD, social media, branding, VR, and even the blockchain have become regular terms in a formats community where everyone is looking for creative solutions to reinvent the industry.

Other speakers expected in Cannes to tackle these themes include Mike Beale, managing director ITVS Nordics and Global Creative Network, ITV Studios; Sebastian Burkhardt , SVP Digital, Keshet International; David Broome, president, 25/7 Productions; Isaac Li, director of Media Acquisition & Cooperation, Alibaba; Lisa Perrin, CEO Creative Networks, Endemol Shine Group; Mikko Pietila, executive creative director/partner, TBWA Helsinki; John Pollak, president, Worldwide Television Electus International; Merilly Ross, VP Formats and Content Development, MTG; and Tom Wright, CEO, Vertical Networks.

Other highlights of MIPFormats 2018 include a series of exclusive screening showcases to discover the newest formats from around the globe including two flagship Fresh TV sessions by the WIT as well as the Japanese Formats Showcase presented by Treasure Box Japan; the K-FORMATS session, supported by KOCCA, offering a curated selection of the hottest new and entertaining formats produced in South Korea, followed by a snack lunch and networking session. The Missing Link Nordic Format Screening conference will also showcase the latest formats that successfully stood out in a market characterised by rapid fragmentation, globalisation and confusion.

MIPFormats conferences will explore the question: ‘Will Nigeria host the next format boom?’ “Nollywood” isn’t just a dream world for drama; it’s also a land of opportunity for unscripted formats. But what are the most successful genres and recent big hits? And what co-development and co-production options exist?

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