One of the most significant strands at Rome’s MIA market is its Co-Production Market and Pitching Forum, which has fast become one of the leading co-production forums in the industry calendar.
This year more than 500 projects were submitted for the industry section for animation, documentary, drama and film from 80 countries. This was a 30% uptick of countries compared to 2022 and of these, 62 were selected (15 animation, 18 doc and factual, 14 drama and 15 film) from 36 countries.
“We build everything around content,” says MIA director Gaia Tridente. “We have built a program that really fits the needs of the industry and the co-production market is the perfect place for people to come and discover good partners for international co-productions.”
While the forum has a global reach, European projects remain at the heart of this year’s event with projects such as Leitzia Battaglia: Her Name is Battle, a documentary about the late photographer that famously photographed the Sicilian underworld mafia; animation Ro, a stop-motion feature directed by Magdalena Osińska, who most recently directed Lucasfilm’s second instalment of Star Wars: Visions series; Anca Damian’s Motherhood, a poetic journey into the female body and desire; 2D animation The Storm from Angela Conigliaro; and Egyptian TV project The Prey.
I Will Find You by Gyorgy Kristof, whose previous film Out played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section in 2017, is another feature film set to be pitched at the co-pro forum this year. British writer-director Aaron Brookner will arrive with his Mystery thriller A Gift to My Mother.
There’s also high-profile television series A Thousand Times at Dawn, which is based on the novel Tre Volte All’Alba by Italian author Alessandro Baricco as well as Turkish female weightlifting feature film from Nursen Cetin Koreken called A Story of Three Girls
“We’re finding that the quality of the stories gets better and better each year and it feels like there are less boundaries in storytelling at the moment,”says Tridente of the market, which will see producers get an opportunity to pitch their projects to a body of industry professionals, studio execs, OTT platforms and broadcasters as they look for financial partners.
As the industry has become more globalized and investors – particularly in the U.S. indie sector – are looking for alternative methods of financing projects, European co-productions are becoming a more attractive option than ever before.
“The challenge right now for producers is to find financing in these economically turbulent times,” said Tridente. “The old models are really changing and we’re finding that having visibility within the market is something that is really important each year that producers come to MIA.”