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SARAJEVO 2016 Industry

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CineLink Drama holds its first edition


- Sarajevo’s Industry Days welcome a new strand dedicated to TV drama series from Southeast Europe, introducing six projects to industry professionals

CineLink Drama holds its first edition
Ognjen Sviličić pitching his project Takeover at CineLink Drama (© CineLink/SFF)

One of this year’s most relevant additions to the Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Industry Days was CineLink Drama. The new strand, dedicated to welcoming and introducing TV drama series projects to professionals, aims to fill in the gap between the film industry and the TV industry, which has been getting smaller and smaller over the last few years. The initiative took place on 18 and 19 August.

Jovan Marjanovic, head of industry at the Sarajevo Film Festival, said, “There has been an interest from audiovisual producers, directors and writers in working on TV over the past few years. We have noticed that recently, many of the film professionals are breaking through to the small screen, and they were also coming to us to ask if we could help them with that as much as we help them with the film co-productions. At the same time, broadcasters, TV executives and commissioning editors approached us with the same question. If they appreciate what we've done to support co-production in the film industry, why not do it for TV series? TV is already huge in other parts of Europe, and while it’s not yet the case in this territory, players are really interested in working together and having a place to do it.”

Through the setting-up of a project pitching session, panel discussions, presentations and business meetings, CineLink Drama created a space intended for creators and broadcasters, where they could connect and come to understand the current panorama as well as each other’s needs, especially within the territory. The projects selected for the first edition range from period to crime drama, welcoming renowned filmmakers such as Danis Tanović (with his Bosnian crime drama 9034, co-created by Amra Baksic Camo, 8x60 min) and Ognjen Sviličić (with his Croatian political soap opera Takeover, 10x60 min).

Sviličić, known for his recent Venice-awarded film These Are the Rules [+see also:
film profile
, said, “I had a TV series in development for a long time. Takeover is a series about morality and corruption, and I think it has great potential. I was writing a lot for television, but I wanted to take a step further, internationally. In our region, we have enough knowledge and experience, but we have to work together between countries. So far, we don’t have any big players in TV production; this is kind of new to everyone. But there is something going on in Eastern Europe; we have this energy that is leading us to find new TV production methods. We know that it won’t be anything by the book, that it’s kind of an adventure, but I’m very excited about it. And we need audiences - it’s the only way for us to survive.”

The rest of the projects came from Zvonimir Simuner and Vladimir Andric (the Serbian period drama Golden Era, 12x45 min), Drago Hedl and Davor Šišić (the Croatian crime drama Silence, 5x60 min).

The discussions included a case study on the successful European co-production The Borgias, as well as introductions to Nordic co-production and co-financing models for TV drama series, writing for TV, the current world of drama series and Creative Europe - MEDIA’s TV Programming Support. The CineLink Drama programme was brought to a close by the gala screening of the first two episodes of Croatian TV series The Paper, directed by Dalibor Matanić (well known for his recent Cannes-awarded feature The High Sun [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Dalibor Matanic
interview: Tihana Lazovic
film profile

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