MIDPOINT chooses promising European television projects
by Martin Kudláč
- The selected TV works hail from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece and Serbia
The 2018 MIDPOINT TV Launch, the international idea-to-market programme for emerging television series creators, has revealed the latest batch of six television projects that will benefit from the platform. The participants will meet with tutors over the course of nine months in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to work on script development. Along with Alan Kingsberg, TV Launch’s head of studies, and guest tutors Giacomo Durzi (script consultant), Ben Harris (head of programmes for Serial Eyes) and Steve Matthews (executive producer for drama development at HBO Europe), two new core tutors will expand the ranks: creative executive for original production at HBO Hungary Gabor Krigler, and head of Shaftesbury US and associate professor at UCLA in the Graduate TV Film and Digital department Maggie Murphy.
Among the selected projects is the Amanda Livanou-produced Dropping the Ball, written by Haos producer Maria Hatzakou and co-written by her colleague Alkis Papastathopoulos, who is also set to direct. The story revolves around a forty-something dietician who has decided to become an actress. When she is not seeing patients, she is auditioning for small parts and meeting old and new friends from all walks of life on the streets of Athens. The Czech project Promotion follows Věra, an aspiring artist working in the marketing department of a factory, where she is tasked with creating communist propaganda. However, in order to keep her job, she will have to prove her loyalty to the main censor. A Polish scriptwriter who has already participated in MIDPOINT TV Launch with her previous project, The Agreement, Malgorzata Biedronska, wrote the script along with Czech Television script consultant Eva Pjajcikova.
The German project The Evil Good, represented by 42film producer Eike Goreczka and 42film head of development Arne Kohlweyer, focuses on older militant extremists who have remained hidden from police for more than 35 years and who cannot avoid their past any longer. The Mind of Primitive Man merges two plotlines: one about a Czechoslovak ethnographer trying to reach one of humanity’s last uncontacted tribes, and another about a present-day scientist grappling with a sudden signal from far beyond our world. Andrea Culkova, the director of Sugar Blues [+see also:
film profile], US-born, Czech-based script editor Christian Falvey and playwright Ondrej Gabriel have all boarded the Czech project. The Belgian project Transit, produced by Earlybirds Films producer Melissa Dhondt and written by director, writer and Earlybirds Films co-founder Domien Huyghe, follows Victor, who is trying to save his failing family transport company by transporting corpses both within and outside the law. Writers Milica Zivanovic and Boris Grgurovic, along with writer-producer Matthias Nerlich, will participate with Turbo, a 1991 Belgrade-set gangster drama following Ivan as he climbs the career ladder of organised crime.
“The selected projects are proof of the innovative concepts and approaches that exist within the European television landscape, but they also present the talented teams behind them. In their content, they also show an interest in addressing contemporary matters,” programme coordinator Katarína Tomková told Cineuropa.
MIDPOINT TV Launch is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Czech Film Fund, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the International Visegrad Fund, and is presented in collaboration with HBO Europe, Finale Plzen, the Sarajevo Film Festival – CineLink Industry Days, CHARACTER – Film Development Association, Serial Eyes, C21 Media, Barrandov Studio and AMU.
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