FRAPA’s rebranding, which includes a revamped website offering a suite of new services, has seen it reposition itself as a “global community, a meet-and-greet platform, a networking forum, an advice shop, an information resource and an industry thought leader”, said Ute Biernat, FRAPA chairman and CEO of Grundy Light Entertainment.
The new-look FRAPA was in evidence at last month’s MIPTV content bazaar, making its presence felt on the Cannes conference stage — notably with a convincingly acted ‘mock mediation’ — honouring format legend Dick De Rijk with the 2011 C21Media/FRAPA Format Awards Gold Medal and fielding a team of board members to dispense format wisdom in one-on-one counselling sessions while recruiting new faces to the FRAPA family.
Board member Patty Geneste, founder of the Amsterdam-based format boutique Absolutely Independent and one of the driving forces behind FRAPA’s new image, is not surprised by the surge in membership. “It’s actually what I expected to happen when I was pushing hard to renew the website,” she said. “It was a big investment, but I think the rise in members proves it was a good decision. There was a lot of positive energy around FRAPA at MIPTV — I had a lot of great feedback about the mock mediation, for example — and I’m sure that buzz will be converted into even more new members in the months to come.”
Geneste observed that the “clout and credibility” of FRAPA membership is particularly beneficial for smaller companies, which lack the resources to protect their IP on a global scale. One such company is Madrid-based Spiral Design Innovation, which signed up to FRAPA during MIPTV.
“The more we learned about how FRAPA assists content creators with great industry research, as well as best practices for the protection of formats under international law, the more we appreciated the valuable support it offers,” said CEO Michel Tarrisse, who was in Cannes with four paper formats: battle-of-bands reality show Music Heroes; new-media dating contest Fool Pool; travel/sport/edutainment format Extreme Languages; and mockumentary/comedy show Space Rescue.
Tarrisse ticks off the benefits of FRAPA membership: “First, it offers great access to a worldwide community of professionals with whom to exchange insights and contrast experiences. Second, this network of business experts in their territories provides an extraordinary platform to access up-to-date market reports, discover potential partnerships and reveal collaborative opportunities. Third, FRAPA offers a great source of information for international best-practice and format-oriented IP protection. Last but not least, if offers legal advice and dispute mediation, which we all hope will not be necessarily but it’s always reassuring to know it’s there if it’s needed.”
This summary delights Biernat, who has spent the last year spreading the message that FRAPA is no longer a simple protection association but “an inclusive, relevant organisation” at the epicentre of television’s most dynamic sector. “Like the industry it represents, FRAPA is heading into a new era,” she added.
WELCOME TO FRAPA…
ACE Experiences, India
Anand Gurnani, India
Dwinelle Entertainment, US
Eriz Zapirain, Spain
Felix Steuer, Germany
Homegrown Productions, Malaysia
LandM Productions, UK
Notorious Entertainment, Germany
Phileas Productions, Spain
Spiral Design Innovation, Spain
Stars Entertainment, UK
Vorst Media, the Netherlands