MIPJunior 2010 launches new licensing initiative

MUMBAI: Michael Poryes, co-creator and executive producer on Disney Channel’s series Hannah Montana, will give a keynote address at MIPJunior. The world’s leading screening, conference and networking event for pre-school, kid and teens programming will take place in Cannes, 2-3 October 2010.

During his keynote address, Poryes will talk about the secrets behind the success of Hannah Montana and unveil his plans for the future. Poryes is co-creator and served as executive producer of another Disney Channel Emmy nominated series That’s So Raven.

The keynote address will be a focal point of MIPJunior, which is launching a new Licensing Initiative this year. A series of case studies and sessions will feature international leaders from the licensing and merchandising business, to give MIPJunior attendees the most appropriate tools and networking opportunities to interact with this major sector. Key licensing agents will be discussing what they look for in kids programming before committing to a licensing agreement and a new Matchmaking Breakfast will be especially scheduled to let MIPJunior producers pitch their programme licensing rights to them.

As part of this new initiative, the MIPJunior Licensing Challenge returns for the seventh year, with Holly Stein, Vice President, Licensing Acquisitions, Mattel Inc. as president of the Jury. The event will provide producers and rights holders with the chance to put forward their projects as candidates to be pitched to a jury of licensing experts which will judge the licensing potential of the programme. MIPJunior Licensing Challenge finalist “The Hive” was recently picked up by Playhouse Disney for broadcast in 150 territories.

Following a successful launch in 2009, MIPJunior’s Kids’ Jury is back. A jury of 20 children will decide which animation programme they prefer in three age categories – Pre-school (3-6 year olds), Kids (7-10 year olds) and Pre-teens (11-14 year olds). Entries for both competitions close on September 1.

In 2010, MIPJunior is expanding its matchmaking events in order to help producers and content creators meet the key international executives working in youth programming. Leading buyers and commissioners looking for projects to develop will come together at a special MIPJunior pitching breakfast to meet MIPJunior attendees. A second matchmaking event will bring together international agents looking to acquire new youth programming from producers.

As part of the 2010 MIPJunior conference programme, the Buyers’ Summit will see international acquisition executives explaining what their channels are looking for in youth programming and discussing global acquisition trends for 2011 and beyond. Buyers and programme commissioners will also take centre stage in the How to Pitch Workshop, designed as a guide to approaching buyers of youth programming.

Kids’ productions have seen significant growth in the field of games, Apps and emerging platforms. NDi Media’s “Mind Your Manners” has garnered close to 22 million game plays since its debut in March 2009 and NDi’s “Strawberry Shortcake Berrylicious Bake-Off” has reported 18 million plays since its launch five months ago. Cookie Jar Entertainment and NDi Media have teamed up to develop and distribute an online game based on the “Mudpit” series.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics has signed a co-development and licensing agreement to partner with Korea’s Voozclub, Aardman Animations from the United Kingdom and Spain’s BRB Internacional to carry the 52×7’ stereoscopic 3D series “Canimals” across multiple platforms.

“Games, Apps and emerging platforms are fast becoming an integral part of the lifecycle of kids’ programming as they increase audience engagement and provide new revenue streams. We will be focussing attention on this vibrant sector of the industry throughout MIPJunior,” says Reed MIDEM television division director Laurine Garaude.