By Sahil Patel
Ze Frank, president of the publisher’s original video arm BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, and Oscar-nominated producer Michael Shamberg are scheduled to deliver a joint keynote at the MIP Digital Fronts, a series of showcases at the MIPTV confab focused on the digital entertainment industry. They will discuss the “future of digital Hollywood” and address the shifts in production and distribution that are challenging traditional TV and studio models, said MIPTV.
Video has taken on a greater focus at BuzzFeed since Frank joined the company in 2012 as its EVP of video. The publisher held its first Digital Content Newfront in 2014, a TED-like presentation that led to more than a 100 deals with advertisers for custom, branded video content, according to industry sources.
Last August, BuzzFeed raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz to expand more into high-end original content, with a focus on visual formats ranging from GIFs to feature-length films in partnership with Hollywood studios. Frank is leading this charge as head of the rebranded BuzzFeed Motion Pictures unit. Shamberg, whose film credits include “Django Unchained,” “Erin Brockovich,” and “Pulp Fiction,” is assisting as an advisor to BMP.
Frank and Shamberg’s session will take place on Tuesday, April 14, at 5:45 pm local time. They join Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré and Sky group chief Jeremy Darroch as speakers confirmed to keynote at MIPTV.
Now in its second year, the MIP Digital Fronts were created by MIPTV to establish the first “global” showcase for high-quality, original online productions. The goal, to invite leading producers in the field to present what they have to offer in the hopes of forging partnerships and deals for content that could be adapted across screens and platforms.
Companies scheduled to present during the MIP Digital Fronts include YouTube, Dailymotion, Vice Media, Maker Studios, AwesomenessTV, Collective Digital Studio, Machinima, Vox Media, and New Form Digital.