International editor John Elmes highlights which programmes are likely to make biggest splash in Cannes

This year’s Mipcom was always going to feel bigger than its predecessors, as Cannes awaits the full-blown return of the global distribution industry after a two-year absence. But more than that, the titles in Broadcast’s Hot Picks selection feel bigger too.

For the first time – certainly in my tenure as Broadcast international editor – we have picked more international scripted shows than UK series. Their themes and subject matter nod to broadening audience tastes and braver commissioning decisions.

ZDF Studios/Beta Film’s environment-focused thriller The Swarm, for example, sits next to Legendary’s tri-lingual manga adaptation Drops Of God, while Viaplay’s disability foregrounding comedy-drama Below beds in alongside Australian gangster drama The Last King Of The Cross.

UK titles such as All3Media International’s expansive Western The English and Banijay Rights’ World War II epic Rogue Heroes belie the demand for hyper-local stories, while BBC Studios’ Black Ops engenders the same feverish anticipation as The Outlaws did last year.

The factual space, always an oversubscribed genre for Hot Picks, is notable for the sheer range of stories in which distributors are investing. New addition Red Bull Studios is bringing critically acclaimed sports biopic The Real Mo Farah and Passion is diving into technology-driven fact-ent with Send Nudes: Body SOS.

The en vogue ‘con crime’ sub-set of the evergreen true-crime genre has thrown up two premium series – BossaNova’s Con Girl and Beyond Rights’ Drowning In Lies – alongside travelogues, specialist factual, ob-docs and, yes, more true crime.

John Elmes

‘Irreverence’ is the theme of our formats selection, with competition shows accounting for four of the six titles. Bar games, chainsaw carving, naked racing – it sounds like the stag do from hell (or heaven, depending on your outlook), but these shows take account of one of the fundamental rules of entertainment TV: you must have fun.

This also applies to all of you heading to the Palais or the Croisette. We’ll see you there.