A global roster of honorees were celebrated at MIPTV’s medal of honor luncheon, with Federation Entertainment CEO Pascal Breton, Bambu Productions executive producer Theresa Fernandez-Valdes, Global Agency CEO Izzet Pinto, and Youku and Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group president Weidong Yang receiving honors.
CanneSeries president and former French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin presented Breton with his prize, calling him a “pioneer” in French production. “We are the center of this very strange milieu where art meets business,” Pellerin said of the MIPTV market alongside her newly launched festival.
“We are living in a revolution, and, as you know, us French love revolutions,” the Marseille producer joked of the rapid changes in the industry. “This revolution will be about technology. … You can buy the IP, you can buy shows, but you can never buy our freedom. It’s very important that in the future that we keep a balance between these two worlds.”
Yang, who heads the Chinese streaming platform Youku with more than 500 million active monthly users, said that as China changes to a more global view, other countries should look to China as well.
“Global content in China as a trend is maybe not so obvious, but the content is going to become more and more international,” he said. “I do believe more and more Chinese original content will go to the global stage because of Alibaba and other players who are coming into the entertainment industry now. I hope more global partners – production companies or platforms – will come to China to understand China, to understand the Chinese consumer, and especially to understand young people. They are very international, and we have an opportunity to do core investment in production.”
Pinto took to the stage to tell the story of how he came to his first MIP after being a shoe salesman before blindly Googling “how to sell formats” and borrowing money to land a stand in the back next to the bathroom. “If you can sell shoes, you can sell formats as well,” joked the Turkish exporter who is behind game shows such as The Remix as well as global drama hits 1001 Nights and Magnificent Century.
Netflix’s Cable Girls producer Fernandez-Valdes gave thanks to the Spanish industry as well as the global streaming giant. “We have the opportunity to produce for a global audience, something we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago,” she said, accepting her award.