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MIFA 2015 Attracts Record Number of Accreditations

30th Anniversary edition of the annual European marketplace to feature keynote sessions from Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Melendandri and director Genndy Tartakovsky.

Just a week before the 30th Anniversary edition of the annual European marketplace kicks off, the International Animation Film Market (MIFA) has announced a 10 percent increase in accreditations. Primarily on the international side, the trend includes a rise in North American professionals and Latin American countries like Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

China leads Asia with the largest number of delegates, with India not far behind. And, for the first time, Hong Kong will have an umbrella presence at the European animation marketplace as well. Guest country Spain leads Europe with a greater number of delegates than ever before (over 200 professionals), and France's participation is also up by seven percent.

Out of the 297 pitches submitted, 31 TV, short, feature and transmedia projects were selected to be pitched during MIFA 2015. There's a decidedly more international feel to them this year, with projects coming from Australia, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Chile and Columbia. Also new for this year is the Animation du Monde category for projects from emerging territories in animation.

The Video Library has a total of more than 450 films and projects available for viewing -- a record number -- including 257 films and projects (119 projects and 138 productions) to be pitched at MIFA and all the films in the Official Selection.

New exhibitors visiting this year include Western Digital (partner of the MIFA Pitches), Nickelodeon, Digimania, Kenzan Studio, Swedish Film Institute, Netherlands Film Fund, Vancouver Economic Commission, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Arsenalet, Lithuanian Film Center, National Film Center of Latvia, Master Video, INTHEBOX, Kolor, Agencia Portuguese Short Film Agency and Agence Film Réunion. Even more buyers, distributors and investors will be visiting this year as well, including Amazon, Canada Media Fund (CMF), Discovery Kids, Netflix, and, attending for the first time, Senator Film.

Three keynote sessions are set for MIFA’s 30th Anniversary:

  • Chris Meledandri: How His Vision Changed the Animation Industry
    Founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, Chris Melendandri is the force behind the Despicable Me, Ice Age, and the animated Dr. Seuss franchises, which have collectively grossed over $4.9 billion worldwide. Upcoming films include Minions (2015), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Despicable Me 3 (2017) and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (2017). Melendandri will explain his affinity for creation, the reasons behind his decision to work with Mac Guff on Despicable Me, and his vision of the animation industry's future.
  • Genndy Tartakovsky: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrrow
    Genndy Tartakovsky has received 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and is the recipient of the coveted Winsor McCay Award for his hit series Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. His new film Hotel Transylvania 2 is coming out this Fall. He will share some lessons and insights he's obtained throughout his impressive career, from what inspired a young boy growing up in Russia to his first break in the business, successes and challenges. He will also discuss the projects he's currently working on, including Hotel Transylvania 2 and Can You Imagine?
  • The Future of Animation: Combining Viewpoints
    Based on her experience at STUDIOCANAL, Françoise Guyonnet will talk about the place animation holds in Europe, the development of a new film genre that is a cross between animation and live action, adapting brands or famous characters into feature films and guiding original creations through brand content. Producer and Consultant Jinko Gotoh has over 15 animated features under her belt, including The Little Prince. There have been a lot of changes over the past 50 years and animation is now an exploding global industry. Now is the time to empower all the untapped talent, especially women. The third perspective comes from Lisa Henson, daughter of The Muppet Show creator Jim Henson, and CEO of The Jim Henson Company.

Held in conjunction with the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, MIFA 2015 takes place June 17-19.

Source: MIFA 2015

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.