WIFT Around the World: Postcard from MIPCOM Cannes

By Panayiota Pagoulatos

Preparing to attend MIPCOM Cannes this year was really quite something (and not because I’d be back in Cannes). If you work in global television, this is really the crème de la crème of events and it was the first fully in-person MIPCOM market since 2019. Trade media was abuzz with news, pre-market announcements of sales slates and onsite deal closings

Palais des Festivals at MIPCOM


MIPCOM (Marché International des Programmes de Communication) boasted an impressive 10,896 attendees, with the Palais des Festivals packed with exhibitors and the seaside prominently featuring the might of the studios. Everyone was riding high on being back in person and, of course, to talk everything television. And what an amazing time to be in TV. With non-English language content finally getting its due in the U.S. (better late than never), there has been some serious competition from countries like South Korea, Germany, India, Spain, Brazil, France, and Japan, among others. 

Cara Delevingne at MIPCOM


With all this rich global content freshly available (thank you, streamers), it was great to see a MIPCOM conference program showcase this diversity which included a few personal highlights: Planet Sexa panel featuring Cara Delevingne discussing her new series that explores gender and sexuality across cultures; and the 10th annual Women in Global Entertainment Power Lunch featuring actress and activist Alyssa Milano as this year’s keynote speaker. 

Alyssa Milano at WGE lunch

WGE lunch


Another major highlight for me was attending the sixth edition of MIPCOM’s Diversify TV Awards, hosted by British TV presenter and diversity advocate Femi Oke. The projects nominated are excellent shows and very deserving to be recognized on one of the most prestigious stages in the world. Categories included Representation of Race & EthnicityLGBTQIA+DisabilityDiversity in Kids Programing, and two new categories unveiled this year: Premio MIP Cancun (honoring programs originating in and for Latin America, the Caribbean, and/or U.S. Hispanic) and Behind the Scenes Impact Award (honoring a person or team whose influence, actions, and/or vision behind the scenes supports and champions diversity & inclusion). 

Diversify TV Award Winners


Nominations were announced in September and I was delighted to find I had already seen three of the projects included: Sort of premiered last year on HBO Max and is a funny and poignant series that follows gender-fluid protagonist Sabi Mehboob (Bilal Baig); L.A.: A Queer History aired this past summer on PBS, an excellent docuseries depicting the start of the Gay Rights movement in Los Angeles; and Audrey’s Back, a series I had a chance to see because—full disclosure—I consult for the show’s Quebec-based production company, Pixcom, and was there to support them. The series follows Audrey (Florence Longpré) who wakes up after a 16-year coma to a radically different world she must re-learn. It’s full of humor and heart and will be available in the US soon. 

Diversify host Femi Oke

Aside from these three, there were so many nominated shows that I can’t wait to watch. And I hope you do too. These stories deserve to be told, to be promoted, to be seen, and to push more diverse stories out in the world. It’s encouraging to see a market like MIPCOM give a tremendous international platform to content that doesn’t always get the recognition and marketing push that they should (and to the production companies and distributors that champion these projects, bring them to Cannes, and make a big splash—kudos to you and please do more like this, thanks). Especially as some countries push back on LGBTQ+ content, it’s important to double down since it clearly makes an impact and people get to see themselves represented onscreen. 

This MIPCOM was full of hope, full of excitement for content and content creators alike. This is a trend I hope continues despite the consolidation and industry disruption, but that’s for a different post. Till then, see you at the next one. 

(Photos Courtesy of RX France)


Panayiota Pagoulatos

Panayiota Pagoulatos With over 15 years in the global entertainment industry, Panayiota developed a unique perspective and expertise in international marketing, sales, and production for top brands and content companies. In 2017, Panayiota founded Pink Orchid International and now advises global Film & TV content companies as well as collaborating with MJ Global Communications advising major Asian entertainment brands including China's CITVC (CCTV's international distribution arm), South Korea's Something Special, and the Mongolian National Film Council.

View all posts by Panayiota Pagoulatos

Comments are closed

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Eunice Levis

Welcome to NYWIFT, Eunice Levis! Writer and director Eunice Levis is a first-generation Dominican American from the Bronx, New York. Eunice's work focuses on genre-bending stories that combine her love of horror, sci-fi, thriller, and fantasy, often through a diasporic lens. She seeks to disrupt and challenge dominant narratives around technology, race, gender, history, and diaspora identity by altering the stories we tell about them. Eunice spoke to us about her early inspirations, her latest work, and how genre stories offer a unique opportunity to challenge the status quo.


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Amanda DiMartino

Let’s give a warm welcome to new NYWIFT member Amanda DiMartino! Amanda is a director, producer, and editor committed to audience engagement. Some of her career highlights include collaborations with brands such as Harper’s Bazaar, Peloton, NBCUniversal, SYFY, Complex, KIDZ BOP, The Berlin Film Festival, Standard and Poor’s, and The Hollywood Reporter. Altogether, the 500-plus videos she has worked on have garnered more than one billion clicks and views while generating more than $1 million in revenue. She spoke to us about working with Bad Bunny and Usher, and why exploration is key to success!


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Vanessa Meyer

Welcome to NYWIFT, Vanessa Meyer! Meyer is a filmmaker, programmer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to having earned a Ph.D. in Communications with a specialization in personal storytelling, she has worked at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Kiss Off Entertainment, Reel Love Film Festival and most recently, Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV). As an artist, she is interested in exploring the complexities of feelings, a theme that has repeatedly appeared in her work. Meyer spoke to us about championing unique voices as a programmer, moving to NYC, and finding light in the darkness.


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Mohana Rajakumar

Welcome to NYWIFT, Mohana Rajakumar! Mohana is a South Asian American scholar, novelist, screenwriter, and stand-up comic whose work regularly explores feminist themes. Some of her most notable literary accomplishments include winning the She Writes New Novelist Award in 2011 for her coming-of-age novel An Unlikely Goddess and the Best Indie Book Award for Romance in 2013 for Love Comes Later. She co-wrote and appeared in the short film Me Against the World, directed by Kali Bailey, which appeared in NYWIFT’s “Women in Film Night” at the 2022 Montauk Film Festival. Mohana has resided in Qatar since 2005. She spoke to us about working across various art forms, her writing process, and the special honor that comes with writing a banned book!