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SARAJEVO 2018 Industry

An ever-expanding CineLink Drama wraps its third edition

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- Offering a wider overview this year, the platform dedicated to series awarded the Turkish project Greater Than the Death and asserted its importance as a regional hub for high-end TV

An ever-expanding CineLink Drama wraps its third edition
CineLink coordinator Maša Marković on stage before the start of the pitching session

For its third edition, CineLink Drama, the CineLink Industry Days platform for series development, expanded even more in terms of both content and focus. The most important change that was underlined by Maša Marković, CineLink’s coordinator, is that this year, the section not only focused on projects from the former Yugoslavia, but also on the countries of the wider region. Furthermore, the collaboration with MIDPOINT TV Launch intensified, and more events were held prior to the pitching session.

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During the CineLink Talks, experienced Belgian producer and founder of Ciné Cri de Coeur Jacqueline de Goeij presented the advantages and the main drawbacks for a European project when it comes to working for the major networks, also offering guidance on the funding process for international and local financing schemes. With the Croatian political crime-thriller The Paper being the first show from the region to be sold to Netflix, a case study was organised in which director Dalibor Matanić and producer Nebojša Taraba, of Drugi Plan, alongside Paula McHarg (Keshet International), discussed the international success behind it and its upcoming second season. Also, the broader scope of CineLink Drama was underlined by a Norwegian case study, where NRK’s drama chief, Ivar Køhn, offered a wide-ranging overview of the Nordic broadcaster’s most successful programmes.

The CineLink Drama pitching session was preceded by a detailed presentation of the Göteborg Film Festival’s Nordic TV Drama Market by its head, Cia Edström, who gave an overview of one of the biggest TV markets in Europe. The presentation was followed by a speech by Martina Bleis, co-director of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, in which she offered useful insights into the Berlinale’s Drama Series Days, and the specialised CoPro Series pitching and networking event. The pitching session itself was held in a fully packed atrium.

The CineLink Drama jury, made up of Ana Balentović (HBO Adria), Dalibor Matanić and Paula McHarg, awarded the Turkish project Greater Than the Death with the Film Center Serbia CineLink Drama Award, worth €10,000. The black comedy was created by Arya Su Altıoklar and Samim Türkmen, and is written by Avni Tuna Dilligil, directed by Erhan Yürük and Boran Güney, and produced by Metin Alihan YalçındağMehmet Altıoklar and Yaman Birman (KısaKes Production). It follows the head of the homicide bureau on a peaceful island where no murders have been committed in the last 39 years. Nothing seems to change, but then a corpse will appear out of the blue to intensify the detective’s calm desperation.

Also, the Serbian project Anatomy of a Crime was picked by the Göteborg Film Festival to be presented at the next edition of TV Drama Vision. The crime-thriller was created and written by Ana Tomović and Vuk Ršumovilutin, and is being produced by Uglješa Jokić (Baboon Productions) and Mirko Bojović (Work in Progress). "This is an intriguing and universal story, a thriller set in the former Yugoslavia, but it is also about a female outcast accused of murder, who is trying to make her way through a patriarchal society," explains Cia Edström. The series is based on a murder that happened in a Yugoslav village in the 1960s, when a famous Belgrade lawyer decided to defend the childless woman he believes was falsely accused.

The rest of the TV projects presented were as follows:

Bad Blood (Serbia), a historical drama created and directed by Milutin Petrović, written by Vojislav Nanović and produced by Snežana van Houwelingen (This and That Productions), which is set in the mid-19th-century Ottoman Empire and follows Trifun, a wealthy Christian-minority leader who tries to preserve the independence of his people and the reputation of his family.

Frust (Bosnia and Herzegovina), a crime-dramedy that was created and written by Srđan Vuletić and is currently in early development. The story focuses on an introverted young writer who accidentally kills a drug mobster: this act garners him unexpected support in the area, as the public considers him a local hero.

Theseus (Greece), a crime-drama created and written by Panagiotis Iosifelis and produced by Eleni Pnevmatikou (Pnevma Productions), set in modern Greece and linked to the myth of Theseus. A couple of detectives investigate a series of crimes connected to a killer harbouring a secret, who is looking for justice and personal closure.

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