No shortage of parties at MIPTV

Distributors getting creative this year with low-cost events

CANNES -- The art of putting on a party becomes trickier in straightened times, but even in the grimmest economic climate in 40 years, the show must go on -- and be promoted.

This year's MIPTV sees its fair share of program launches, but whether it is a party at the Carlton or a launch on the stands, distributors are looking at creative low-cost ways to keep their shows on the road.

"This is not the time to be running and hiding; this is the time to be visible," MGM vp corporate communications Jeff Pryor said. "The challenge is to be visible but cost-effective. It's all about looking at things differently. The new economy is based on creativity."

MGM, which is promoting "Pink Panther 2," starring Steve Martin, is wooing buyers by hosting a wine tasting around its new specially created Pink Panther wine, Bordeaux Pink Panther Rose 2007, a new Appellation d'Origine Controlee label vintage inspired by the Pink Panther movies and produced in the internationally acclaimed vineyards of Bordeaux.

"We wanted to do something nice, and we get to make a little noise," Pryor said. "I think that 'creativity' and 'cost-effectiveness' are the new buzz words."

For Greg Roselli, managing director of yoga and holistic health network Body in Balance, which is now in 15 million homes across Europe, the decision to promote the channel by hosting an 8 a.m. Pilates class on the opening Monday morning of the market is about standing out and doing something a little different.

"Media clutter has filtered its way down to Croisette, and it's harder and harder to make your presence and products known," he said. "The front of the Palais is barraged by silly candid-camera clips, and every MIP night is dominated by another party."

To beat the clutter, Body in Balance is focused on the 7 a.m. crowd running, walking, jogging and doing yoga on the beach, said Roselli, who is hoping that delegates will escape their schedules for an hour and instead tap into the tranquility of the blue sea of the Mediterranean.

Other highlights on the party circuit include the International Digital Emmys on Monday night, which will see "CSI" star William Petersen hand out an award. Petersen is in Cannes for a news conference hosted by CBS/Paramount Tuesday celebrating 200 episodes of the crime procedural.

MIP organizers are hosting a raft of VIP-level networking events, while producer distributor Zodiak Entertainment and Marathon are holding a party at the Mandala Beach to celebrate the launch of the new series "Millennium."

Fox International Channels, Shine Reveille and Shaftesbury Films are also hosting a major event Tuesday night to celebrate the launch of "The Listener," bringing in stars Craig Olejnik and Ennis Esner.
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