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Podcast – Graeme Mason: TIFF, MIPCOM and market prep

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason reflects on Toronto International Film Festival 2019 and looks toward MIPCOM and beyond.

Graeme Mason, Cameron Bailey and Rachel Perkins

Graeme Mason, Cameron Bailey (TIFF Artistic Director) and Rachel Perkins (Director, Black B*tch/Total Control) (Photo: Scott Gillies)

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

Mason attended the Canadian film festival this year – where five Australian films and one TV series – premiered to acclaim, and gives an insight into the reactions and importance of film festivals.

“[Toronto] is really a bellwether for North America, as the whole territory, including both audiences but also you’ve got all the agents and managers there,” he says. “What we want to try and do is have a range of content for different audiences and I think this year TIFF really showed that.”

Titles included features I Am Woman, Hearts and Bones, Dirt Music, The Australian Dream, and True History of the Kelly Gang and the first Australian TV series to be selected for the festival with Total Control “which had people crying in the audience”.

Mason also gives advice on how filmmakers can turn make the most of attending a film festival, before providing an overview of the upcoming television market MIPCOM.

 “You need to be prepared,” he says. “Look online at who’s attending, what are they looking for? Don’t think you can just turn up to a big entity stand and get a meeting.”

He also says people need to be strategic about which festivals or markets they are planning on going to, depending on the ideas they have on their slate and who it would be best suited for.

“Are you better off going to Hot Docs or Sheffield? Are you better off going to MIPTV or Content London? Are you better off going to Cannes [or] Toronto? Are you better off going, not at all, to a festival or market when people can give you dedicated time?”

For more information, visit the Festivals and Markets section of the Screen Australia website.

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