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Monte-Carlo Brings Industry Minds Together

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Without a market component, the Monte-Carlo Television Festival has nevertheless built out and bulked up its industry section with each passing edition. More than anything, the move came out of sheer practicality, says executive director Cécile Menoni.

“We realized that the professionals who were already present could benefit from certain professional content,” Menoni explains. “The idea was to involve the many people who were already in attendance. To federate the juries, nominees and journalists, and to convey their overall vision of cotemporary industry concerns.”

This year’s festival business program runs from June 17 – 19, beginning with a conversation moderated by Variety’s Leo Barraclough that will find Amazon Studio’s Rola Bauer and executive producer Edward Ornelas discussing the challenges and opportunities, casting choices and artistic ambitions of the festival’s opening series, “Harlan Corben’s Shelter.”

From there we’re off to the races with eight more conferences tackling the importance of independent television within the wider scripted landscape with “Everyone Is Doing Great” creators and stars Stephen Colletti and James Lafferty, and arguing for the importance of diversity and authenticity with Toma de Matteis of France TV Studios, producer Sydney Gallonde of Make It Happen, and Kerry Hopkins of Broadcast Academy.

A June 18 panel about the Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) model might have attendees asking if everything old is in fact new again, as this lucrative new market bears a striking resemblance to the reigning 20th century TV model.

Later on June 18, a panel looking at AI’s storytelling potential is of particular interest to Monte-Carlo festival director Laurent Puons.

“I won’t hide the fact that I’m worried about AI,” Puons explains. “I’m not sure if it’s really for the better, and that’s why it’s so important to address this subject at our conference.” Assuaging his concerns, or perhaps ringing the alarm all the more, are Patrick Aryee of Abstract Pictures, academic Leif Holst Jensen, dean of INN University, and “The X-Files” and “The Man in the High Castle” writer/producer Frank Spotnitz, who is also serving on the festival’s John Goodman-led jury.

The business focus will close with a documentary panel asking how best to target younger viewers and emerging demographics in the post-social media era.  This too is a major point of interest for Puons.
“More and more documentaries are being submitted for our competition,” he says. “And in the very, very near future, the format will be on the same level as series in terms of audience addiction and opportunities for creators.”



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