REPORT: SERIESMAKERS @ Series Mania Forum
- The initiative led by Series Mania Forum and Beta Group has unveiled its first selection, which includes Juho Kuosmanen, Ciro Guerra, Eva Husson, Katrin Gebbe, Ádám Császi and Cesar Diaz
Launched last year by Series Mania and Germany’s Beta Group with a view to supporting film talent looking to make the move to series, the SERIESMAKERS initiative is proving a bit of a hit, given that 170 projects (hailing from 54 countries) steered by first-rate filmmakers have applied to take part in the event. Ten projects have been selected from amongst these interested parties, whose teams got to participate in a tailored training programme supervised by renowned consultants who helped them to fine-tune their pitch decks. These mentors included German producer Janine Jackowski (Toni Erdmann [+see also:
Q&A: Maren Ade
film profile]), Israeli screenwriter Ronit Weiss-Berkowitz (Girl From Oslo), French-Danish international development specialist Isabelle Lindberg Pechou (Trom), and Brazilian producer, screenwriter and showrunner Felipe Braga (Sintonia), without forgetting Poland’s Agnieszka Holland, America’s Frank Doelger (who took part in last year’s festival – read our news), the UK’s Michael Hirst, Israel’s Hagai Levi and German Stefan Arndt, among other participants.
The projects come from renowned filmmakers such as Finland's Juho Kuosmanen (winner of the Cannes' Un Certain Regard award for The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] and the Grand Prix for Compartment No. 6 [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile]), Colombia's Ciro Guerra (selected at the Directors' Fortnight with Embrace of the Serpent and Birds of Passage [+see also:
film profile], nominated for the Oscar with the former), France's Eva Husson (selected in the Cannes competition with Girls of the Sun [+see also:
interview: Eva Husson
film profile] and in Cannes Première with Mothering Sunday [+see also:
interview: Eva Husson
film profile]), Germany's Katrin Gebbe (selected in Cannes' Un Certain Regard with Nothing Bad Can Happen [+see also:
film profile] and in Venice's Orizzonti with Pelican Blood [+see also:
interview: Katrin Gebbe
film profile]), France's Axelle Ropert (selected many times in Locarno, the last one with Petite Solange [+see also:
interview: Axelle Ropert
film profile]), Hungary's Ádám Császi (selected in Berlinale's Panorama with Land of Storms [+see also:
interview: Adam Csaszi
film profile]) and Guatemala's Cesar Diaz (Cannes' Caméra d'Or winner with his Critics' Week entry Our Mothers [+see also:
interview: Cesar Diaz
Three projects are set to win awards next week (with two development grants worth 50,000 euros in the offing, courtesy of Beta, and another worth 20,000 euros, courtesy of Kirch Foundation in collaboration with HFF - University of Television and Film Munich) within the Series Mania Forum (running 21 - 23 March – read our news), which is the international arm of the Series Mania Festival (which kicks off on Friday 17 March in Lille – article). The winning trio will also be invited to the 2024 edition of the Series Mania Forum to present their projects to decision-makers within the sector.
The selection is as follows:
Amigas (6 x 52’ - Brazil)
Director: Beatriz Seigner
Screenwriter: Maíra Bühler
Five high school friends meet up on the 25th anniversary of their graduation. Now in their forties, life is a far cry from what they imagined it to be. This reunion reawakens a traumatising experience which they experienced together as teenagers and which they must now come to terms with if they wish to break free.
Instagods (6 x 50’, France)
Director: Eva Husson
Writers : Eva Husson and Conrad Hamilton
Producer: Didar Domehri
27-year-old Cass, a French social media manager, engineers the extraordinary success of Matt, a 35-year-old Serbian-American influencer. But when Matt takes an increasing interest in the far-right, Cass realised she’s created a monster and that she won’t be able to save him
Lady Magic (8 x 45’, France)
Director: Axelle Ropert
Writer: Mikaël Buch
Four women of different ages and backgrounds have one thing in common: each of them has been mistreated within the patriarchal world of magic. Together, they must overcome a great many obstacles in order to carve out a space of their own in Paris, namely Lady Magic, a theatre where womanhood can truly be magical.
Love and Other Severe Burns (8 x 50’, Hungary)
Director: Ádám Császi
Writer: Balázs Lengyel
In a rural Hungarian town, a lesbian detective is investigating the murder of two young, gay footballers. She must solve the case before the victims’ fathers find the suspect themselves and take revenge. But to do so will destroy her career, her family, and, ultimately, her life.
Manuela: Death of a Nation (6 x 45’, Colombia)
Director: Ciro Guerra
Director and producer: Cristina Gallego
An epic retelling of the story of Manuela Saenz, a woman who was erased from history and is now only remembered as Bolivar's crazy lover, despite also being the first-ever female colonel of the Republican Army who played an instrumental part in the revolution which liberated seven nations from the Spanish Empire.
The Invisible Ink (8 x 50’, Belgium/Uruguay)
Director: César Díaz
Producer: Fernando Epstein
A former Uruguayan revolutionary is leading a peaceful life in Belgium when he receives a visit from his former torturer, who threatens to kill his wife and daughter if he doesn’t hand over his hidden loot. He is forced to travel back to Uruguay to confront his past and to face up to those who’ve believed him to be dead for the past 20 years.
The Stern Sisters (6 x 45’, Israel)
Director: Elite Zexer
Writer: Mindi Ehrlich
Five ultra-Orthodox sisters, who haven’t spent a single minute outside of New York’s conservative Jewish community, find themselves boarding a plane and flying to a God-forsaken town in South Brazil. Their mission: to track down one of their husbands who left years ago without granting his wife a divorce and who is about to marry for the second time in a matter of days. They’re prepared to do whatever it takes to help their sister finally break free of him. No matter the cost.
The Werewolf & Renée (6 x 50’, Germany)
Director: Katrin Gebbe
Producer: Verena Gräfe-Höft
We’re in Paris in 1780. Pious, 21-year-old noblewoman Renée gets married, only to discover that she was “sold” by her mother to the notorious 22-year-old libertine the Marquis de Sade (22). She vows vengeance. When de Sade crosses forbidden lines, Renée decides to free herself from this toxic love affair before it’s too late.
Trishanku (8 x 40’, India)
Director: Pushpendra Singh
Writer: Seema Dahiya
After losing the promised headship of Satrangi Hijra House to a teenager, ambitious 43-year-old hijra Pooja Haji sets out on the path of revenge and power, stirring up a battle for the high seat in Delhi’s already marginalized world of hijras in the early noughties.
Yours, Margot (8 x 45’, Finland)
Director: Juho Kuosmanen
Producer: Jussi Rantamäki
After discovering her father’s letters to an unknown lover, Vilja unearths her family’s traumatic past in 1980s East Berlin.
(Translated from French)
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