HBO Europe and MIDPOINT TV Launch give out their inaugural award for TV series development
by Martin Kudláč
- The German-Bulgarian project Hausen netted the first Award for Best Television Project
The MIDPOINT International Script Development Programme has ventured into episodic storytelling through the MIDPOINT TV Launch platform (read the news). The international screenwriting workshop focuses on the development of television series, helping the submitted projects to grow from an idea into a fully elaborated concept while maintaining their international appeal. HBO Europe entered into a partnership with MIDPOINT TV Launch, which led to the inaugural HBO Europe Award being handed out for the first time at the workshop’s last session of 2016. “HBO Europe is proud to be associated with the MIDPOINT programme and its commitment to nurturing new talent in the fast-developing and exciting arena of European TV series. As we had expected, the standard was extremely high, and selecting a winner was a very difficult decision,” commented Tereza Polachová, a producer from HBO Europe, and Steve Matthews, executive producer, HBO Europe Drama Development.
Among the selected projects were the Romanian-Slovakian-Polish project 1989, a series focusing on the crucial titular year and the subsequent era, as seen through the eyes of the employees of Radio Free Europe, with each episode set in a different Central and Eastern European country; For the Love of Prague, billed as “the true story of the only free American living in communist Czechoslovakia”, which unfolds in 1959; and the mystery Hausen, about a run-down housing complex and a sinister force inhabiting it.
The Award for Best Television Project went to Hausen, written by Till Kleinert from Germany and produced by Anna Stoeva from Bulgaria. “Hausen stood out for its strong and coherent ongoing series concept; its highly imaginative use of genre, dealing with very real and current social issues of disenfranchisement and alienation in today’s Europe, filtered through the metaphor of modern urban horror fables; and its excellent, high-quality atmospheric writing fuelled by a very personal vision,” said the HBO Europe representatives.
At the same time, MIDPOINT TV Launch hosted the first session of its 2017 edition, which will continue next year at Finále Plzeň and the Sarajevo International Film Festival. The current line-up of projects in development consists of Greece’s 10 Bullets, Slovakia’s American Dream, Fractures from Iceland, Czech project Gamblers, Croatia’s Nuts, The Midnight Shift from Cyprus and Polish series The Tribe.