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Format awards open for entry

The redesigned International Format Awards have opened for entry, looking for winners in 10 categories to be awarded at a Gala Dinner on Saturday April 11 during MIPFormats in Cannes.

The International Format Awards are the world’s leading awards series in the formats genre and are a coproduction between C21Media, Entertainment Master Class (EMC) and FRAPA.

The awards will be judged by a panel of the world’s leading format commissioners and buyers. Entering the awards puts your programming in front of this influential group of professionals.

This panel currently features 21 executives, but will grow to 50 by the time the judging starts. If you are a formats commissioner or buyer and would like to be a judge, please email us by clicking here.

The awards are open to any show that first went to air during 2014 and is being marketed to the international community as a format.

You can enter by clicking here.

The entry period is January 12 – February 27.

The judging period is March 2 – March 27.

The finalists will be announced on March 31.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner during MIPFormats on the evening of Saturday April 11 in Cannes.


Best Studio-based Gameshow Format
Studio-based Gameshows can cover everything from serious quizzes to physical studio games to cooking and dating games. At the core, they must take place in a closed studio environment and some game must be played, almost always with competition and winners.

Best Scripted Format
These are scripted shows (either comedy or drama) that have been formatted for territories outside their country of origin.

Best Multi-platform Format
Formats that, at their core, have some platform aside from television integral to the show’s narrative. A website, social network page or telephony that is merely a promotional vehicle for the show would not qualify. The other non-TV platforms have to interact with the casting, narrative or outcome of the show to make it a significant multi-platform format.

Best Comedy Format
Comedy Format is for unscripted comedies, not sitcoms. These are comedy formats in studio or the field that might involve comedy sketches, improv, hidden camera and/or panels. They won’t be confused with actors in sitcoms but might be confused with quiz shows except, for comedies, the answers don’t matter. The laughs are the thing.

Best Competition Reality Format
Comp Reality takes in everything from Survivor to So You Think You Can Dance. At the core, there is a winner. Participants (celebrities or public) are playing to win. All modern talent shows are Comp Reality. Even though a lot of the competition takes place in a studio, nowadays, nearly all have out of studio elements not least of which is public voting.

Best Factual Entertainment Format
In our award, Factual Entertainment has a broader definition than used in Britain where Factual and Factual Entertainment mean different things. For these awards, Factual Entertainment formats are formats, shot in the field or in studios, where there is not competition but rather the exploration of a slice of life either for elucidation or for entertainment. The topics could be life or death (Deadliest Catch) or lifestyle (cooking).

Best Host of a Television Format
This award is designed to recognise talent in front of the camera and will be given to the person the judges feel has played a key role in enhancing a format by the sheer strength of personality, flair and unique approach to fronting a television format.

Best Brand Driven Format
More than just a bit of product placement or brand integration, this category is about Formats that owe their existence to a brand or advertiser which has played a crucial part in the format’s creation. The format could be a Studio-Based Gameshow or Factual Entertainment chat show, but it was brought to television with the key input of a brand.

Formats Business Gamechanger Award
This award will be presented to an executive, show or initiative that the judges feel has made the most significant contribution to moving the formats business forward. A shortlist will be compiled by the C21, EMC and FRAPA boards for consideration by the jury.

The International Formats Business Gold Award 2015
This award will be chosen by the C21, EMC and FRAPA boards for outstanding contribution to the formats business.

The judging process is curated by a panel of leading buyers and commissioners. The first 21 have already been announced and are:

Camellia Doncheva
Program acquisition manager
Bulgarian National Television

Pavlo Dubovyi
Head of format/programme development

Jeff Ford
Director of content

Justin Gorman
Head of entertainment
Channel 4/E4

Ole K Hedemann
Head of format development

Dermot Horan
Director of production and acquisitions

Mark Itkin
Co-head of television
William Morris Endeavor (WME)

Nick Kalis
Head of entertainment
Antenna TV

Taco Ketelaar
SVP prime time entertainment

Eivind Landsverk
Programming director, content and programming, Nordic region
SBS Discovery Media

Mark Linsey
Controller of entertainment commissioning

Brad Lyons
Director of network production

Paulo Mendes
Director of acquisitions
TV Globo

John Ranelagh

Anette Romer
Head of acquisitions & formats
TV 2 Denmark

Esther Sánchez
Head of formats
Mediaset España

Rida Shan
Style TV

Olga Slisarenko
Head of format department
1+1 media

Lena Strandner
Head of formats and development
SBS Discovery, Sweden

Markus Sterky
Content strategist and format acquisitions

Kristiina Werner-Autio
SVP of programming
MTV Finland

Commenting on the launch of the new awards, C21Media’s editor-in-chief and managing director David Jenkinson said: “We are delighted to take The International Format Awards to the next level with EMC, FRAPA and the world’s leading formats commissioners. This is a new phase for the awards. They will be bigger, better and the most significant awards event in the formats calendar.”

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