The 2019 awards will be awarded to: Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, CEO, EbonyLife Media (Nigeria); Ilene Chaiken, Writer, Showrunner and Producer (USA); Stéphane Courbit, Chairman, Banijay Group (France); and Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision (United Kingdom).
The four will receive their MIPTV Médailles d’Honneur at a cocktail and awards ceremony taking place in Cannes, France, at the InterContinental Carlton Hotel on Monday 8 April 2019 . The prestigious MIPTV Médailles d’Honneur are awarded to senior executives who have, through their talent, leadership and passion, made a significant contribution to the world of television and the development of the international TV community.
Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Media, has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”. One of the most prolific producers in Africa, Abudu launched Nigerian broadcaster and producer EbonyLife TV in 2013, producing over 1,000 hours of original programming each year.
Abudu took the plunge into filmmaking, with the creation of EbonyLife Films. She is the Executive Producer of Fifty, the no.1 Nigerian film of 2015; The Wedding Party (2016), the most successful Nollywood film ever at the Nigerian box office; The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017), the highest grossing Nollywood film of all time; and Chief Daddy (2018), the third-highest grossing Nigerian film.
In March 2018, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced a three project deal with EbonyLifeTV, the first of its kind between SPT and a Nigerian television company.
Best known for creating the Showtime series “The L Word,” Ilene Chaiken received an Emmy, among many other awards, for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She was the showrunner for the first four seasons of the Golden Globe-nominated Fox series “Empire,” and serves as Executive Producer of “The L Word” reboot, which was recently picked up by Showtime.
Chaiken recently renewed her multi-year producing deal with 20th Century Fox Television, where she is actively developing several new projects for broadcast, cable and television streaming services. Prior to that, she produced the docu-dramas “The Real L Word” and “The Real L Word Mississippi” for Showtime, which won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. She also executive-produced pilots for Jerry Bruckheimer, McG and Joel Silver, and served as showrunner of the ABC drama series “Black Box.”
Stéphane Courbit is a French entrepreneur and Chairman of Banijay Group. He started his career as a producer for Coyote and in 1994, he formed a partnership with TV producer and host Arthur to create Case Productions, later called ASP Productions. In 1998, Endemol merged with ASP Productions to form Endemol France and Courbit was appointed CEO. In 2006, he sold his shares before leaving the group in 2007 to create LOV Group, which would concentrate investment in growing markets such as audiovisual production, luxury hotels, the Internet and energy sectors.
In January 2008, Courbit created Banijay Group, and in 2016, he triggered the merger between Banijay Group and Zodiak Media, creating the world’s largest independent production and distribution company (one billion euro business), responsible for global hit brands including “Temptation Island,” “Survivor,” “Wife Swap” and “Versailles.”
Jane Millichip is the Managing Director of Sky Vision. Since 2013 she has spearheaded Sky’s investment in nine UK and US production companies; and expanded the distribution business into high-end dramas and primetime factual, delivering 2000% growth, through smart development, deficit-funding and co-production.
Previously, Jane was MD of Zodiak Rights, COO of RDF Rights, Senior Commissioning Editor at Living TV; and MD of South Pacific Pictures in New Zealand, where she was also Executive Producer for entertainment and factual.
“It is a great honour to recognise these four exceptional industry figures, who have each, in their own way, made and continue to make major contributions to the international entertainment content sector, and whose vision and leadership set the standards in their respective fields,” said Laurine Garaude, Director, TV Division, Reed MIDEM, which organises MIPTV.
The international market for both TV content development and distribution, MIPTV takes place in Cannes, France from 8-11 April 2019.
(On the picture from left to right: Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, Ilene Chaiken, Stéphane Courbit, and Jane Millichip)