Every year MIPTV comes around and turns the television industry on its head, and we are always there to watch. MIPTV is an annual industry market dedicated to content development and distribution for drama series (original and scripted formats), kids content (animation & live action), documentaries and formats (scripted & non-scripted).
We sat down with Pulane Boessak, Senior development Producer at Okuhle Media, who shared some insight on all things #MIPTV2019.
MIPTV is one of the most important events in the television industry calendar. Why is it beneficial for Okuhle Media to attend each year?
In short, MIPTV is an annual industry market dedicated to Content Development and Distribution for Drama Series (Original and Scripted Formats), Kids Content (Animation & Live Action), Documentaries and Formats (Scripted & Non Scripted).
It is an opportunity for Okuhle Media to present our concepts to possible distributor partnerships, co-production deals or even commissions from international broadcasters. This year Okuhle Media presented a variety of genres – from true crime series, to lifestyle, food and wildlife. A total of 18 concepts were positioned to be presented to an array of potential clients. Okuhle presented: 3 true crime series; 5 food and lifestyle properties; 4 Wildlife properties; 1 Medical property; 1 Reality; 2 Scripted Dramas and one international format presenting the South Africa as a production hub.
It’s essential to attend to ensure that our content development is in line with international trends; where we have an opportunity to get insight into upcoming trends; as well as positioning Okuhle within the international arena of content development.
What are some of the top trends you picked up at MIPTV?
There are a few experimental trends – some may take off, some may not. A new format to look out for is You vs Wild by Netflix, featuring Bear Grylls. This series, very much like the ‘choose-your-adventure’ styled books of the 1990’s, allows the viewer to ‘decide’ which path Grills has to take next. Ultimately this means that sometimes an episode runs into an untimely end (due to poor viewer decision making), but also means that an episode can be replayed/reviewed with different choices. This is definitely a new viewing experience, and we’ll be keen to see how viewers respond.
Content on trend is always a reflection of what’s brewing within the larger society….what are people responding to? What message is being echoed by many? Currently, being fabulously single is all the rage – fiction properties such as Issa Rae’s Insecure continues to set trends and spark water cooler conversations; and largely seems to be in a response to the numbers of single people of all ages rising globally as outdated stereotypes about singledom are being overhauled. According to scientists at University College London, people who are single are healthier, have more sex and potentially have higher self-esteem. Charlize Theron, Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Handler and Tracee Ellis-Ross are among the rising number of outspoken single-and-proud cultural icons. Dating shows remain popular, with a number of new formats breaking globally over the past year. South Africa local audiences will soon see a few international dating formats being produced locally in response to this trend.
Which format/show preview were you most proud of showcasing and was received the best?
While 3 formats presented seemed to raise constant interest from international distributors, we were particularly proud to present a new take on true crime reality. While we can’t share too much detail at this point, we’ve managed to take a pretty simple, but very relatable concept, and positioned it for a global audience – a concept that can travel easily, and be easily duplicated in various territories. We’re currently in discussion with a local broadcaster, so keep an eye out for further announcements!
What are the plans, post-MIPTV?
Ultimately MIP is not only about showcasing content, but also an opportunity to build relationships with international buyers, distributors, networks and production houses. It is not only a platform to launch new content, but also a platform to solidify Okuhle’s standing in the local and international content production space. The long term goal, is to continue to build Okuhle as a formidable player in the content space – not only for the local market, but for an international market as well. Building on the huge success of Showville, Okuhle has clearly demonstrated its ability to seamless adapt an intermational format for a local market; and so Okuhle has secured the local rights of hugely exciting international formats, to bring to a South African audience.