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Austrian gangster drama Big Bones wins the Berlinale CoPro Series pitch


- BERLIN 2019: David Schalko’s drama series has been given the opportunity to be presented at the upcoming Séries Mania

Austrian gangster drama Big Bones wins the Berlinale CoPro Series pitch
(l-r) Superfilm's John Lueftner, Séries Mania Forum director Francesco Capurro, Berlinale Co-Production Market co-head Martina Bleis, Séries Mania director Laurence Herszberger, Satelfilm's Heinrich Ambrosch and Séries Mania advisor Frédéric Pittoors D'Haveskercke (© Lydia Hesse / EFM)

The Austrian drama series Big Bones was the big winner of the Séries Mania Project Exchange Award at the Berlinale CoPro Series exclusive pitching event, organised by European Film Market’s Berlinale Co-Production Market. After competing alongside nine other projects in front of a select group of commissioning editors, producers and financiers, the project by David Schalko has been given the opportunity to be presented at the upcoming Séries Mania Co-Production Pitching Sessions (25 to 27 March), which are due to be held in Lille later this year. The project exchange allows for one project pitched at Séries Mania to be invited to pitch at Berlin, and, in return, Series Mania invites a Berlinale project to pitch in Lille. 

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According to Laurence Herszberg, general director and founder of Séries Mania, “We have chosen Big Bones thanks to its new take on the period drama. This project introduces very strong characters and action into the incredible and rarely seen setting of Vienna after World War II.” 

Produced by Austria’s Satel Film (Heinrich Ambrosch) and Superfilm (John Lueftner), the series has already been picked up by the German world sales agent Beta Film. It is worth mentioning that Beta Film is also handling Schalko’s M: A City Hunts a Murderer, which is part of this year’s Berlinale Series section and celebrated its festival premiere yesterday. 

David Schalkoadapted Big Bones for the screen from his homonymous novel and will also be directing the eight-part series. Set in post-war Vienna, the story follows four small-time criminals who decide to go into business together after spending time in a Nazi concentration camp during the war.

The gangster-drama is currently in development, with principal photography scheduled for March 2020. With an estimated €16 million budget, Big Bones is still seeking broadcast and studio partners.

As part of the Berlin-Lille exchange, Immunity, which was originally pitched at Series Mania Forum for the 2018 Co-Pro Pitching Sessions has been presented as one of the 10 projects at the CoPro Series in Berlin. Created and written by Niels Laupert, the series tells the story of the children of diplomats facing the challenges of adolescence under exceptional circumstances. Immunity is being produced by Jumpseat Filmproduktion and Real Film Berlin.

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