MIA Speakers to Include Paramount, Imagine Documentaries Execs — Global Bulletin


MIA, the international market held annually in Rome, has announced the first confirmed speakers for its ninth edition.

This year, speakers at the industry event — which focuses on co-production, financing strategies and sales and distribution — include Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount of Paramount Television Studios and Paramount+ original scripted series; Sara Bernstein, president of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries; Marge Dean, head of Skybound Entertainment’s animation studio and president of Women in Animation; “Waltz With Bashir” director Ari Folman; Nicholas Weinstock, founder and president of Invention Studios and “Severance” producer; and James Townley, chief content officer of development at Banijay.

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Clemens’ upcoming productions at Paramount include Taika Waititi’s “Time Bandits” and Billy Crystal’s “Before” as well as “Cross” starring Aldis Hodge. Bernstein will give a keynote on her career, focusing on recent Imagine productions including “Judy Blume Forever” and “Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman.” Dean will give a keynote address on developing animated content for teens and adults, including Amazon Prime’s “Invincible.” Townley will also deliver a keynote on creating unscripted IP at Banijay.

Directed by Gaia Tridente, MIA held its first edition in 2015 and has since grown thanks to a partnership with ANICA, the Italian Association of Film, Audiovisual and Digital Industries, and APA, the Italian Audiovisual Producers Association.

Additional speakers, along with a full program of the market, will be released in the coming weeks. MIA will take place from Oct. 9 to 13 at Palazzo Barberini and Cinema Barberini.


ITV Studios Australia has promoted Beth Hart from head of content to chief content officer, who will continue to report to CEO and MD David Mott. Hart will oversee the creative process across the entire production slate. Alex Mavroidakis is elevated from supervising executive producer to creative director, reporting into Hart, who also has two key new roles reporting to her. Former Banijay Endemol Shine Australia executive producer has been appointed as the head of unscripted with Evan Wilkes, who has had stints at Beyond Productions, Eureka Productions and Seven Studios, taking on the role of unscripted executive. Donna Foster has been promoted to director of production and taking on the role of head of production is Sarah Roberts.


Former Netflix director of content Kai Finke has been appointed chief content officer at streamer SkyShowtime, based in Amsterdam and reporting into CEO Monty Sarhan. Finke will be responsible for programming strategy, overseeing the service’s pipeline of partner studio entertainment, merchandising and scheduling and original programming slate and acquisitions. Head of programming Jon Farrar has decided to leave SkyShowtime following a transition over the coming months.


Irish music act Westlife have included India in their ongoing “The Wild Dreams” tour. The band are currently performing in China and have Bahrain, South Africa, Taiwan and Macao play dates before heading to India where they will perform in Mumbai on Nov. 24, Bengaluru on Nov. 25 and New Delhi on Nov. 26. Westlife are brought to India by BookMyShow Live, the live entertainment experiential division of leading ticket booking service BookMyShow.


Screen Producers Australia (SPA) have reacted to cuts being made by the NSW Government to many film programs, including the Made in NSW fund, post digital and visual effects and the digital games development rebate program. “This cut is a disaster for screen practitioners both here in NSW and beyond. It shows disappointing short-term thinking about the value of the screen industry”, SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said in a statement. “To cut a fund that reportedly brings in $20 for every dollar invested and creates thousands of jobs is hard to comprehend, especially when, after years of stagnation and setbacks, the sector had been so optimistic about its future prospects. With the Australian Parliament on the verge of regulating the reinvestment in Australian content by streaming platforms, this action by the NSW Government will see this state missing out on the new investment and job opportunities available.”

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