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By most measures, Rome’s MIA Market, has been a solid success. The eighth edition of the event, which acts as a platform for international series, feature films, animation and documentaries, wrapped up this week, posting a 20 percent increase in attendance compared to 2021.
In addition to the programming highlights — Warp Films’ The Abbess, a project billed as a sharp dramedy about a Machiavellian power struggle among nuns in a cloister, took the Paramount+ prize for best pitch at this year’s MIA Drama Pitching Forum; Forastera, a Spanish drama from first-time director Lucia Alenar Iglesias took MIA’s new ArteKino International Prize, which aims to support emerging international filmmakers — for many, MIA marked a return to the international marketplace after years of COVID-era isolation.
“It was a great event, because while it is still small, the quality of the people in the room and the level of projects being presented was really high,” said Matt Brodlie of Upgrade Productions, who like many international producers went straight from MIA to the MIPCOM television market in Cannes. “You knew that these projects are going to get made, it was only the question of who in that room was going to make them.”
For new MIA director Gaia Tridente, promoted this year from her former position as head of MIA’s TV section, it was important to strike a place between innovation and holding on to the models that have worked well in the past. For 2022, Tridente added an animation section and expanded the international scope of MIA — in addition to Brodlie, MIA attendees this year included Netflix EMEA content lead Larry Tanz, Apple TV+ commissioning executive Oliver Jones and Lionsgate Television Group president Sandra Stern — while still maintaining a focus on Italian projects.
“This isn’t just a trade fair, it’s a curated market,” says Tridente. “The guests we invite are invited for a specific reason, to answer the needs of the market.”
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Tridente after MIA wrapped to find out where the Italian industry event is now and what to expect in the future.
How would you judge the results of MIA this year?
It was amazing: we’ve had 2,400 accredited guests, without considering the guests that attended single events: we’re talking about the industry insiders that have actively participated every day. What we need to work on, now, is perhaps growing even bigger. Our biggest challenge is staying up to date and anticipating the biggest innovations in the industry.
Do you think that MIA has managed to establish itself as a destination for the international industry?
I would say so. Speaking to several players, it’s obvious that they’re interested in participating in MIA [and to] announcing their next projects here. There is definitely room for growth. There is, of course, a certain competition with other markets. But we still work together. We know the importance of networking. I don’t only see competitors; I see potential allies to make deals with and move forward together.
One of MIA’s main goals remains supporting the growth of the Italian industry. Why is that?
MIA was born as a tool to help make the Italian industry international. In 2015, when it was founded, it was a hub, a physical space that allowed people to gather with the support of specialized associations and institutions. Before this year, when I was in charge of the television drama section, I noticed a real trend reversal. Before, we had to convince people to attend; now, people wanted to come on their own. That’s because the Italian market has grown and there’s been an increase in the exchange between producers, distributors and creatives.
What are your goals for the next edition?
My hope is to bring leading producers and creatives together for a masterclass cycle, open to a larger audience than industry people alone.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.
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