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SERIES MANIA 2023 Awards

The Iranian series The Actor triumphs at Series Mania


- The European production dazzled alongside The Fortress, rewarded for its screenplay, Haven of Grace and Best Interests via their acting, and Blackwater, dominating the International Panorama

The Iranian series The Actor triumphs at Series Mania
John Kâre Raake with his Award for Best Screenplay for The Fortress (© Olivier Vigerie)

Having closed to the tune of an astounding 85,000 festival participants, not to mention 3,800 professionals from 64 countries attending the Forum, the Series Mania Festival finally unveiled its winners’ list (following similar revelations from the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions – read our news, Seriesmakers – read our article, and the creative marketing campaign – read our news).

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In the International Competition, the jury presided over by America’s Lisa Joy (flanked by Emmanuelle Béart, Anurag Kashyap, Chris Chibnall, Judah Levi and Lou Doillon) awarded their Grand Prize to the Iranian production The Actor, created and directed by Nima Javidi. Produced and sold by Ha International, this 26 x 52’ series revolves around two brilliant unemployed actors who put their acting talents to original use, hopping from a staged marriage proposal to a graduation ceremony, via an array of receptions and functions. But things don’t always go as planned…

The award for Best Screenplay went to Norway’s John Kâre Raake for The Fortress [+see also:
interview: John Kare Raake
series profile
, a 7 x 45’ thriller (produced by Maipo Film on behalf of Viaplay) catapulting us into the near-future, where Norway has decided to cut itself off from the rest of the world. Surrounded by an enormous wall, the nation has become self-sufficient. Its inhabitants thrive in total safety. But the arrival of a devastating epidemic sees them trapped behind the very wall which was built to protect them…

The trophy for Best Actress, meanwhile, went to France’s Margot Bancilhon for her performance in Haven of Grace (read our article – a 6 x 52’ series produced by Ego Productions on behalf of Arte France and Streamz), while Welsh talent Michael Sheen walked away with Best Actor for his part in the British series Best Interests (a 4 x 58’ work produced by Chapter One Pictures and Fifth Season for BBC One).

As for the International Panorama line-up, the Best Series Award was handed to Blackwater (a 6 x 52’ work produced by Sweden’s Apple Tree for SVT and DR - read our news), an adaptation of Kerstin Ekman’s novel of the same name, which takes us to the heart of a small Swedish community which is shocked and haunted for generations by a double murder.

Last but not least, victory in the French competition went to the political comedy Under Control, produced by Ex Nihilo on behalf of Arte France. Created by Charly Delwart and directed by Erwan Le Duc, this 6 x 30’ series starring Léa Drucker, Samir Guesmi and Laurent Stocker, among other names, revolves around 45-year-old Marie Tessier, the director of an NGO who is appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on the very day five Europeans – of whom two are French nationals - are taken hostage by terrorists in the Sahel. Marie makes this crisis personal and soon crosses every red line in place, while trying her best to make it seem like everything is under control…

Here is the full list of winners:

International Competition

Grand Prize
The Actor (Iran – Filimo, Manava)

Best Screenplay
John Kâre Raake - The Fortress [+see also:
interview: John Kare Raake
series profile
(Norway - Viaplay)

Best Actress
Margot Bancilhon – Haven of Grace (France/Belgium - ARTE)

Best Actor
Michael Sheen - Best Interests (UK – BBC One)

International Panorama

Best Series
Blackwater (Sweden - SVT)

Best Director
Ernesto Contreras - Tengo que morir todas las noches (Mexico - Paramount+)

Best Actress
Rotem Sela and Gal Malka - A Body That Works (Israel – Keshet TV)

Best Actor
Eran Naim - Innermost (Israel/Germany)

Best Series – Student Jury Award
Funny Woman (UK - Sky Max, OCS)

French Competition

Best Series
Under Control (France – ARTE)

Best Actress
Clémentine Célarié - Six Women (France – TF1)

Best Actor
Carel Brown – Aspergirl (France/Belgium - OCS)

Best Original Score
Maud Geffray, Rebeka Warrior – Split ( slash)

Comedy Competition

Best Series – Hauts-de-France High Schoolers Jury
Rictus (France - OCS)

Short Format Competition

Best Series
Autodefensa (Spain - Filmin)

Audience Award
Little Bird (Canada - Crave, APTN lumi)

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(Translated from French)

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