February’s Sizzling Global Media and Entertainment Events

In Cannes since 1967, the annual MIDEM (acronym for Marche International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale) event has thrived as an international b2b event encompassing tradeshow, conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances, as well as a platform for showcasing new artists, musical trends and music-related products, and conferences educating about the music industry and new revenue streams. Since 2000, the night before MIDEM opens, the Palais des Festivals hosts the NRJ Music Awards. The awards ceremony is organised by NRJ, a French multimedia conglomerate.

Slated speakers at this year’s MIDEM Talks include, Rita Ora, Jean Michel Jarre, will.i.am, Marc Geiger, Lyor Cohen and others. Competitions and participative music events at MIDEM 2014 will include: Open Mic, Midemlab, Pitch Your Song, Midem Hack Day, Play Midem Live, Sync Sessions. Reed MIDEM is the owner and organizer of the annual midem conference which runs through February 4.

The Official Country of Honour

The Oscars will honor the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, a best picture nominee in 1939. Oscar Week events begin February 14 and Academy Award ceremonies are on March 2.

In this year’s program, Brazil will be the official “Country of Honour” and therefore will receive special conference and performance attention. “The Brazilian Music Experience,” presented by The Ministry of Culture, will comprise three evenings of concerts demonstrating the musical diversity of this country. The scheduled lineup of performers, including Alceu Valenca, Rita Benneditto, Leandro Fregonesi, Renata Jambeiro and Marcio Faraco offer genres ranging from samba to bossa nova, through shades of jazz and hip hop. There will be a scheduled industry talk, “Inspiration From Brazil” that will explore the impact of emerging markets and Brazil’s role in this trend.

Shortcuts for First-Timers At European Film Market

The European Film Market runs for nine days through February 14 in the city of Berlin as part of one of the most regarded film festivals internationally, the Berlinale. Taking place as early as it does in the year, it is a strong draw for international film industry professionals and is considered a barometer for the upcoming year in film. The EFM is the business centre of the festival, taking place in the renaissance exhibition hall of the Martin-Gropius-Bau (MGB) in the heart of Berlin.

This year on the first day of the Market, the EFM offers an introductory session, “Shortcuts for First-Timers” at the Gropius Mirror restaurant. The event will inform first-time EFM participants about the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and the Berlinale Talents, as well as about current Festival offerings.

For some years at the festival a selection of German films has been spotlighted in a German Cinema series which was reformed in 2011 to become German Cinema – LOLA@Berlinale. The program presents films slated for the German Film Awards (aka Lola) by the German Film Academy. Active honorary member of the German Film Academy, Heinz Badewitz, long-standing head of German Cinema, continues to host the series. LOLA@Berlinale is a joint project of the Berlin International Film Festival, the German Film Academy and German Films, the national company for promoting German films.

The European Film Market 2014 welcomes the Berlinale Talents at the newly instituted Berlinale Talents Market Hub hosted by Canon. Talents prospects will not only learn of EFM structures, but can also use this platform to introduce themselves to trade representatives and establish sustainable contacts. EFM visitors get a first impression of the 40 film projects developed in the various Berlinale Talents project labs, exchange ideas with emerging distributors and producers and discover new Talents.

The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a two-and-a-half-day event for about 450 international producers, sales agents, distributors as well as broadcasting and funding representatives active in the field of co-production. The eleventh Berlinale Co-Production Market takes place from Sunday to February 9-11. Each autumn, production companies from around the world seeking co-production partners can submit projects. What this eventually results in is the arrangement of customized meetings that is part of the service offered by the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Further to the one-on-one meetings, participants can find the latest hands-on information and make new contacts through the many networking opportunities during the market. Case Studies on Berlinale films elaborate on current trends in co-production and financing opportunities and in Theme Talks participants can exchange experiences with experts and colleagues on selected topics.

During the nine days of the EFM, the Martin-Gropius-Bau’s beautiful Renaissance exhibition halls, dating back to 1881, are outfitted to host over 8,000 industry professionals. The main meeting place is in the Central Hall, whose cafe atmosphere make it a comfortable and productive networking area. There is also the EFM Lounge on the second floor – an ideal place to work or meet for a drink. The lounge also hosts events and receptions during the Market.

Westminster Media Forum Examines Challenges

Taking place for one day, February 12, the Westminster Media Forum in London holds a conference that will examine the emerging commercial, regulatory and public policy challenges for the European audiovisual sector in the context of the European Commission Green Paper – “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values.” The conference will offer delegates an opportunity to examine the impact of convergence on media, telecoms and technology markets. In particular, the forum explores the effects on competition, innovation and sector financing, the emerging priorities for reform of the AVMS Directive and options to deliver a future regulatory framework able to keep pace with rapid developments.

Westminister Forum guests who will deliver keynote addresses include, Lorena Boix-Alonso, Head of Unit, Converging Media and Content, DG CONNECT, European Commission and Louise McElvogue, Principal, Macleod Media and Member, Convergence Review Committee 2011-2012, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Australia.

Next, another Westminster Media Forum conference set for February 28 will cover the UK music industry – streaming services, social media and market consolidation. This conference will assess how the music industry is positioned to adapt to the emerging financial and business challenges created by technological and media convergence. Crispin Hunt, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Featured Artists Coalition; Francis Keeling, Global Head of Digital Business, GDB, Universal Music Group and Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) will deliver keynotes offering insight as to how services such as Spotify, Vevo and iTunes Radio are changing the economics of music, and the implications of increased disintermediation between artists and fans – in particular the developing challenges for marketing and public relations from the use of social media.

London based Westminster Forum Projects (WFP) operates a group of influential, impartial and cross-party forums. The forums organise senior-level seminars on a wide range of public policy areas. None of the forums has a policy agenda of its own, other than simply to raise the quality of debate on public policy developments and so create opportunities for informed discussion.

Country Radio

The Country Radio Seminar is an annual Nashville convention put together to educate and promote through an exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. The Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony unofficially opens the Country Radio Seminar each year. February 18, the Country Radio Hall of Fame Cocktail Reception is followed by the Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony.

The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the Country format. There will be an official opening night reception set for February 19 and a kick-off night performance with a lineup includes Grand Ole Opry members Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Old Crow Medicine Show, along with Thompson Square, Love and Theft, Brandy Clark, Will Hoge, and Eric Paslay. The event will start at 19:00, immediately following the CRS Opening Night Welcome Reception.

Some of the CRS highlights to expect include conference presentation of data from a comprehensive Country music research study on the increased popularity country music is seeing with 12-34 year-old age groups. Iconic producers/musicians (Hall, Johnson and Oldham) are featured in a new documentary: Muscle Shoals (Magnolia Pictures), telling their tale of the surge in music trend setting within a small town on the Tennessee river which started in the sixties amidst the backdrop of the societal revolution of the 60’s Civil Rights movement, and that helped to set the benchmarks for the Rock, Pop, R and B, Soul and Country movements. The screening will feature clips from the film and conversation with the musicians.

And in other CRS highlights running through the February 21 conference close, the CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town, presents a panel about perseverance in the country music industry at CRS 2014. Bob Kingsley will conduct an interview with the band throughout the session, which will take place February 19 in the Nashville Convention Center. A “Team UMG at the Ryman” luncheon will feature artists from the Universal Music Group roster.

The Future Of Publishing At Publishing and Media Expo

Publishing and Media Expo in London is an event intent on revealing the future of publishing with its multi-channel content demands, and unites the media industry reflecting the emerging new and traditional forms, with new ideas and solutions. Established in 2005, Publishing and Media Expo sets out to define the future of publishing through keynotes, seminars and exhibition areas from February 25-26. Keynote speaking assignments happen in the Keynote Theatre. Simon Birkenhead, Director of Global Advertising Sales, Telefonica Digital will address the “Future of Mobile – What’s next after the Smartphone.”

The expo will have education content spread across three key areas representing the industry. The “Audience and Data Theatre” program will examine the next wave of digital disruption in publishing is aimed at removing boundaries and enabling people to interact with digital content across their devices. Catherine Flynn, Manager, Global Marketing Solutions (UK), Facebook will delve into “The future of social media as a marketing platform” and how Facebook will continue to adapt and evolve as a marketing tool. Simon Birkenhead, Director of Global Advertising Sales, Telefonica Digital reviews the Future of Mobile and What’s next after the Smartphone. There will be an exploration of the issues and pitfalls facing the real monetisation of mobile media.

Numerous networking hot spots situated across the show floor including: the TFM&A Networking Bar, the OA&A Networking Bar, the GMA Lounge, the By Invitation Only Lounge (Open to VIP only). The latest solutions & technology. Ensure attendees are adapting ahead of their competitors, visit the vast range of solution providers offering the latest technology and innovation.

Independent filmmakers from over 40 countries and at all stages of their careers are able to to showcase their work across all genres at the Byron Bay International Film Festival in New South Wales. Social networking engagements include the gala red carpet opening and closing night parties, or festival-wide access to the sunset bar for a quiet drink, mingling with Australian and international industry figures. A free Full Moon Beachside Cinema event will be held on February 14. The film’s chosen selection for the evening will be heart-warming, funny and impacting with the themes of ‘connection’ and ‘relationships’ chosen for the evening’s programming.

This year the festival during the course of its run from February 28 – March 9 will host a range of workshops, panels and networking opportunities. There is a presentation through alternative funding and distribution options and how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. There is a scheduled talk about composing music for different screen environments and how to develop a career in composing for screen. A Masterclass with Australian cinematographer Don McAlpine will be held following the BBFF screening of Show Me the Magic (Cathy Henkel).

An opportunity for filmmakers to meet international and Australian film buyers and find out what they are looking for is on the agenda. There is to be a constructed meeting place sanctuary for established and emerging filmmakers to greet, network and make creative connections with figures in the film and television world. Charles Schuerhoff, Don McAlpine ACS ASC, Mandy Chang (ABC) and Ted Emery and other special guests will be in attendance. A final Red Carpet Gala Party happens a day before festival close on March 8 where awards will be handed out, including the big one for Best Film.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. The events blog also shows links to pages that are translated into ten of the most widely used international languages read over the Internet other than English. This month’s picture placement reflects The Oscars will honor the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz.” Oscar Week events begin February 14 and the Academy Award presentations will be March 2. In a look ahead into next month’s calendar events, we have: American Model Awards, in Las Vegas; Guangzhou International Interactive Multimedia Fair 2014, in Guangzhou; the 6th Annual Film Finance Forum West comes to Los Angeles; SXSW Convention, returns to Austin; 6th Annual Film Finance Forum West, comes to Los Angeles; Hong Kong International Film & TV Market 2014, in Wanchai; The Oscars, will be held in Hollywood.