Marie Barraco • Managing Director, Série Series
by Fabien Lemercier
- Interview with Marie Barraco, the Managing Director of Série Series, an event dedicated exclusively to European productions and their creators
Dedicated to European series and set up in Fontainebleau in 2012, Série Series is a forum for reflection on creation and a major event for the masterminds behind series: screenwriters, directors, composers, producers and distributors. We caught up with Marie Barraco, the managing director of the event, the 5th edition of which will be held from 29 June to 1 July 2016.
Cineuropa: What are the trends in production that this 5th edition of Série Series will turn the spotlight on?
Marie Barraco: There is one common thread that came out during the selection process: responsibility and the link between series and society, the convincing way in which European series soak up and reflect the world we live in. For example, Swedish series The Bonus Family is about blended families, Finnish series Downshifters addresses downward social mobility, German series Tomorrow I Quit is about a printer who, forced into a corner by the crisis, starts producing forged notes. This move towards issues at the heart of society is incidentally particularly clear in our new section ‘What’s next?’, which will present projects in the early stages of development: Franco-German project Eden broaches the refugee crisis, Danish project Mayday is an environmental thriller, and so on and so forth. We’re also starting to see the subjects of medical research and counterfeit drugs crop up here and there. Overall, there’s a broader range of subjects appearing, although clearly, the ‘drama’ format is still one that works very well.
Every country in Europe has dived into the development of a series industry. Is this all-out growth in the sector really conducive to diverse subject matter, or do we risk ending up with a certain level of uniformity as a result?
First of all, the industry’s development is a response to demand, as audiences are watching more and more series, and TV channels have realised that to make themselves stand out, to survive in terms of content, fiction is an excellent means of support. This development brings diversity with it. But it is true that thrillers, especially those from the Nordic countries, have set a precedent and that the genre is very popular internationally.
Whilst we’re on the subject of Scandinavian countries, they have a strong presence in this year’s 2016 edition of Série Series.
In a way, our programme reflects the market. The Nords and the British dominate the European scene. They have very quickly managed to follow in the footsteps of the Americans, who have been in the market longest, continue to lead the way for Europe and still have the edge. That said, even though they’re very present on the international scene, their fiction is far from being huge in terms of number of hours produced. What’s most striking, is that whenever they do launch a production, it’s stupendous. And they really have put a model in place, especially when it comes to European co-productions involving the Nordic countries. Nevertheless, things are changing, for example in the Eastern countries, which are producing series modelled on Czech series Cosmic, or in Italy, which is producing some very interesting series such as Rocco Schiavone.
Top professionals attend Série Series, even though the event isn’t a market. What’s the secret to your success?
We’re not a festival with awards. The idea behind our event is to present a snapshot of the series industry at any given time, along with a glimpse into series currently being made that will hit the airwaves in 2017, maybe 2018. We above all want to give professionals tools. Série Series is a forum for reflection and establishing a European network, as our editorial line is very clear, strictly European and eclectic, with original creations. And the general consensus is that the atmosphere is highly conducive to coming together and exchanging ideas.
(Translated from French)