Printer Friendly

Catch word for FIPA means more than "quality." (Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels)

Is there a world-wide interest in TV program "quality?" What's more, can quality be turned into profit? The answer, according to Pierre-Henri Deleau, the director of FIPA, the French International Television Festival (Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels) is a resounding "Yes."

FIPA, which unfolded for its sixth year at the Palais du Festival in Cannes in early January, has been growing steadily since its inception in 1987. According to its founder and president, Michel Mitrani, FIPA's goal is quite simply to highlight the best each country's television has to offer.

"We don't shrink from the word |culture,' " said Mitrani. "We are in fact quite proud of it. Television produces the bad, the mediocre, the good and the excellent. We simply focus on the excellent."

Deleau (who also runs the Quinzaine screenings at the Cannes Film Festival) said FIPA has caught on to such a degree that, each year, more and more TV networks around the world come to view and buy the material shown at the Festival. As a result, FIPA is eyeing the possibility of establishing a market to run along side the competition screenings.

"We are thinking about the possibility of a quality |market'", he reported. "Last year's American F]PA entry,

Criminal justice, was bought by La Sept. We find that networks like Canal Plus, Arte, Swiss Television, Britain's Channnel 4 and others come quite regularly to view and buy. A quality market would make it that much more convenient for them to do that."

Deleau said FIPA was growing steadily more popular, with both submissions and attendance at a record high. For last January's festival, 36 countries submitted around 750 programs in FIPA's six categories - TV films, series, documentaries, music, shorts and reportage and social issue. Animation may be added in 1994. Each category has its own six-person jury, which consists of writers, producers, directors, and actors from various countries. The juries award Gold and Silver FIPA prizes in each division along with four acting prizes.

In the non- competitive area, F]PA this year paid tribute to film and television director Charles Brabant, Britain's Harold Pinter, and Italy's Luigi Comencini. Additionally, there was a retrospective presenting 20 original programs produced by French television.

The list of countries participating in FIPA has been expanding every year. In 1992, there were 31. This year the total rose to the aforementioned 36 countries, including newcomers Senegal, Tanzania, Zaire, Zimbabwe and Cyprus.

Each country submits in any category it wants. Final contenders are then picked by Deleau and generally approved by a board chaired by Mitrani. Screenings at the Palais are via large-screen projection from video casettes, utilizing a system that provides outstanding, clear and crisp results on the large screen. All contesting programs are subtitled in French.

France submitted the largest number of candidates this year - 256. U.S. submissions ran to 98. Britain sent 60. Italy and Spain each asked consideration for 50 or more programs. Germany provided only nine.

There is no question that FIPA, while thoroughly international in its presentations, is pronouncedly French-oriented. The National Center for Cinematography and the City of Cannes are among its financial backers. So are a number of French industry groups.

FIPA attendance has grown steadily each year, despite competing events such as NATPE (U.S.), the close proximity of the Monte Carlo TV Festival and a slew of other festivals, such as the recently concluded International Emmy Awards, which was held in New York on November 23. Last year's attendance ran to around 13,000 during the Festival's five days. Along with them, better than 150 journalists from all over the world were accredited, a total which rose by about 20 this year. Last January, some 350 professionals also came to FIPA to view programs, and to discuss the TV state of affairs.

According to Deleau, the FIPA scope may well expand if its budget - currently at around FF6 million ($1.2 million) - can be augmented. To that end, FIPA is having discussions with banks and other possible "partners" (such as Canal Plus).

Commenting on the long -range aims of F]PA, Mitrani said, "To those who scream that television is below the poverty line and to others who would be ready to draw their guns when television becomes cultural, FIPA answers that good television programs exist; we should be able to watch them on TV, at home. The time will come. In the meantime, they can be watched in Cannes, at FIPA."
COPYRIGHT 1993 TV Trade Media, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:Unsolved mystery: who's gonna produce.
Next Article:After Sarasota, role of French Film Office is questioned.

Related Articles
Traveling caravan bothered by TV markets' boom.
Cinema en Liberte: The Quinzaine des Realisateurs at Cannes.
Market to re-stake claim to its dominance.
Television festivals: where are all the big name execs?
Rating TV and film events around the globe.
Suppliers Showcase: INSTRUMENTS.
Polymer analysis.
Polymer analysis.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters