Série Series: Straight to the heart of European content
by Fabien Lemercier
- The 6th edition of the attractive professional event dedicated to European series will take place from 28-30 June in Fontainebleau
Today marks the beginning in Fontainebleu of the 6th edition of Série Series, three days of professional meetings dedicated to European series including screenings, case studies, masterclasses and meetings. The event, which is run by general delegate Marie Barraco, is a great opportunity to see what productions are set to be broadcast in the autumn and next year, so to take stock of the sector by analysing trends in content, in these rather vague and conflictual times for series festivals in France. Indeed, there are currently three festivals in the pipeline for 2018: one in Lille (from 1 to 10 June 2018 – the town having been chosen by the former government), one in Cannes (in April 2018, at the same time as MIP TV), and one in Paris (also in April) with Séries Mania which already has eight successful editions under its belt. Unprecedented levels of national competition that have perplexed many observers, with the new government not yet having adopted its official position. Watch this space…
Opened by British series Guerrilla (10 x 60-minute episodes – production: Fifty Fathoms and ABC Signature), the 2017 edition of Série Series will see over 80 European professionals (producers, directors, showrunners, screenwriters, distributors) take to the stage after the screening of an episode from their series which will then be studied as part of detailed case studies. And a number of world premieres are on the menu, most notably of Scandinavian series. From Sweden there’s Hassel (10 x 45-minute episodes – produced by Nice Drama) which follows Ola Rapace, a former criminal underworld boss turned detective, The Simple Heist (6 x 44-minute episodes – production: FLX), about two women who decide to rob a bank as they near retirement, and Our Time is Now (10 x 60-minute episodes – production: Jarowskij Sverige AB), which centres around a family managing a prestigious restaurant in Stockholm as it teeters on the brink of bankruptcy just after the end of the war. Also having its world premiere at the event is Norwegian series Match (20 x 14-minute episodes – production: Ape&Bjørn), which follows the misfortunes of a young man dogged by two sports presenters who he can’t see and who comment on every situation he finds himself in.
Belgian series Tabula Rasa (9 x 50-minute episodes – production: Caviar), a psychological thriller which centres around a young amnesic girl who is the only key to solving a mysterious disappearance, will also have its world premiere at an evening event. Last but not least, Germany will also be putting in an appearance with the premiere screening of Five2Twelve (24 x 25-minute episodes – Bayerischer Rundfunk, TV60Filmproduktion), which centres around five teenagers trying to make the most of a last chance offered by the justice system to avoid ending up in borstal.
Turning to the case studies, not including series being shown in their world premieres, the Netherlands will present The Swell (6 x 50-minute episodes – Joco Media), on survival in areas flooded after the breaking of flood barriers, the Czech Republic will present detective series Shadow of the Ferns (10 x 57-minute episodes – Bionaut) which was inspired by British production Life on Mars, and Germany will once again feature with The Same Sky, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (6 x 60-minute episodes – UFA Fiction et Beta Film), which plunges us into the GDR of 1974 with a young man tasked with seducing women with dangerous points of view.
The programme for the Ça tourne! sessions features Quartier des banques by Fulvio Bernasconi (6 x 52-minute episodes – a co-production between Swiss company Point Prod' and Belgian company Panache Productions), which unfolds around the theme of bank secrecy, Norwegian production Home Ground (10 x 45-minute episodes – NRK and Motlys) about a woman who becomes the first woman to coach a men’s premier league football team, Italian series Sirene (12 x 50-minute episodes – Cross Productions) on the "romantic" fight between mermaids and Neapolitans, and Dutch series Fenix (8 x 50-minute episodes – Lemming Film), which explores the grey area between the world of organised crime and civil society in Brabant. There will also be teasers for cross-border series Clash of Futures - 18 (8 x 52-minute episodes – Looksfilm, Iris Group, Les Films d’Ici), which tells the stories of 13 individuals in Europe between 1918 and 1939, Icelandic production Stella Blómkvist (6 x 45-minute episodes and/or 3 x 90-minute episodes – Sagafilm), on the exploits of a scheming and ruthless lawyer, French series Aux Animaux la guerre (6 x 52-minute episodes – Europacorp Television – starring Roschdy Zem, Olivia Bonamy, Tchéky Karyo and Rod Paradot), which centres around a downward spiral of violence in a small valley in the Vosges after the local factory is closed down, Belgian series Champion (10 x 52-minute episodes – Kings Entertainment & Media Group), on a former world football star who tries to re-launch his career at the age of 33, and Back to Corsica (8 x 26-minute episodes – production: Mouvement), which centres around a group of young losers with no future.
Also worth mentioning is the What's next? session, which will feature four series that are currently in production but will not be broadcast until 2018 or even 2019: West of liberty (4 x 60-minute episodes or 6 x 45-minute episodes – Anagram Väst AB, Network Movie), on the misfortunes in Berlin in 2011 of a CIA agent and a former Stasi spy, Genesis (12 x 60-minute episodes – Belladonna Productions), which broaches the theme of biotechnological regeneration, Hamilton (10 x 45-minute episodes – IRLC and Dramacorp – based on the books by Jan Guillou), on the first mission of an intelligence agent, and Life in the Box (10 x 50-minute episodes – YLE), on a young and ambitious engineer who is chosen to head up a virtual reality project that becomes a global success.
The very dense programme is completed by children’s series Max & Mastro (52 x 11-minute episodes – Monello Productions, MP1) and Ernest et Célestine – la Collection (26 x 13-minute episodes – Folivari), a Carte Blanche at the Marseille Web Fest with All Wrong, a web series (produced for Blackpills), and a special screening for TV film Care by Antonia Bird (produced by the BBC).
The European Series Summit of Fontainebleau will also feature masterclasses by Italian composer Lele Marchitelli and Spaniard Fernando López Puig (the director of series for RTVE), discussions including with Norwegian professional Tonne C. Rønning (NKR) and Spaniard Domingo Corral (Movistar+/Telefónica Studios), and One Vision sessions during which British producer Ruth Caleb and her French counterpart Sydney Gallonde will speak, among others.
(Translated from French)
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