Cannes Plans International Television Festival for 2018

CANNES, FRANCE - view of the beach-H 2016
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The city also is set to begin construction on a massive television and film complex.

With the golden age of television upon us, cinema mecca Cannes is determined not to be left out. Already home to the famed film festival, as well as the MIPTV and MIPCOM television markets, the city plans to launch its own television festival in 2018.

The city is one of five currently under consideration for a government-sponsored festival, but Cannes plans to go it alone before that decision is made, the mayor's office confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mayor David Lisnard first told French business newspaper Les Echos the fest will run alongside one of the television markets, which take place in April and October, respectively.

Bordeaux, Cannes, Lille, Paris and Nice are among the cities being studied for a television festival by the culture ministry. That city will receive government funding, but Cannes will move forward with its own event.

While details of the fest have not been revealed, the city plans an international TV competition modeled on its film festival, a co-production forum of roughly 30 teams pitching to potential funders, an online component and public screenings of series around the city.

That puts it in competition with the eight-year-old Series Mania — Paris' popular TV festival that has been gaining star-studded momentum recently — which is held in April of each year. The smaller Serie Series held outside of Paris each July, which bills itself as “The European Series Summit,” is now in its fourth year.

Lisnard called the planned TV festival a “strategic” move for the city as it starts construction on a massive media complex.

Cannes is slated to start development this month on a 30 million euro ($31.7 million) complex focused on creative industries, including a content institute, a business incubator and a multiplex.

The new complex will be built in the La Bocca district, an area in the western part of the city, including a university campus specializing in writing, new media and film, a business incubator, co-working spaces and a 12-screen multiplex. Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.

The city also will create an artists’ residence within the Villa Rothschild open to both big and small screenwriters.