Series Mania launches a counter-attack

– After stumbling over the health crisis of 2020, the festival will make its comeback in Lille from 26 August to 2 September with a very rich selection, the Series Mania Forum and the Lille Dialogues

Anna by Niccolò Ammaniti

Forced to cancel last year’s edition due to the health crisis, Series Mania had remarkably bounced back by offering an online edition for industry professionals (read the news). It will return to its usual physical format for its 4th Lille-based edition, unfolding from 26 August to 2 September 2021. On the menu of the Festival, which will open with the British thriller Vigil, are more than 50 series, 25 of them having their world premiere at the festival. And among the invited guests shine, among others, Fanny blacksmith (the French creator and showrunner of the three first seasons of Call My Agent) and her fellow countryman Olivier Marchal (Braquo), as well as American guests Chris Brancato (creator of Narcos), Clyde Phillips (showrunner on several seasons of Dexter) and the actress Audra McDonald (The Good Fight).

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Presided by Hagai Levi from Israel (The Affair, BeTipul), the international competition jury will have to decide between eight series, including Anna by Italian creator Niccolò Ammaniti (whose The miracle was very well received), having its world premiere at the festival and produced by Wildside with Arte and Kwai for Sky Italia and Arte.

Also having their world premiere in international competition are the Danish production Kamikaze (produced by Profile Pictures for HBO Max), the Norwegian series Fury (produced by Norwegian company Monster Film and German company X Filme with Viaplay and ZDF as broadcasters), the Icelandic title Blackport (produced by Vesturport with Turbine Studios and with broadcaster RÚV and Arte France) and the franco-italian co-production Germinal (produced by Banijay Studios for Salto and France 2).

The French competition will consist of six series having their world premiere at the festival, and the Panorama International (whose jury will be presided by journalist and writer Florence Aubenas) will present 15 titles, including the Swedish series Dough (produced by Nexiko), the Norwegian series Pørni (produced by Monster Scripted), and The Last Socialist Artefact (which brings together Croatia, Finland, Serbian and Slovenia with Kinorama, Sense Production, Perfo Production and Citizen Jane).

Also worth noting among other events are special screenings, New Season Premieres, the Midnight Comedies section and an online Short Forms competition.

But attention will also be paid to the festival’s professional section, the Series Mania Forum (30 August – 1 September), with 16 projects in development (15 in competition, one out of competition) selected in its co-production market for its Co-Pro Pitching Sessions. Also on the menu are multiple conferences and panels featuring, among others, Simone Emmeliusa (ZDF), Christian Vesper (Fremantle), Moritz Potler (Windlight Pictures), Synnøve Hørsdal (Maipo Film), Anna Croneman (SVT) and David Michel (Cottonwood Media/Federation Entertainment) on topics such as the keys to European diversity, series for pre-adolescents and the obstacles to original ideas. There will also be exclusive sessions for Netflix, Disney+, Newen, Warner Media and Arte.

Finally, the Lille Dialogues will explore the question of the audiovisual sector’s place at the heart of European revival through three round tables: on streaming (European content in a fragmented market), the futur of television (linear broadcasters facing the transformations of the sector) and the European strategy for public service). These topics will be addressed with guests Hanna Stjärne (SVT), Delphine Ernotte-Cunci (France Televisions), Jan Mojto (Beta Film), Bruno Patino (Art), Anders Jensen (Nordic Entertainment Group), Gilles Pelisson (TF1), Priya Dogra (Warner Media), Nicolas de Tavernost (M6), Supernal Kalle (Starz), Stephane Courbit (Banijay Group) and French Culture ministre Roselyne Bachelot.

The Programme:

Vigil (UK – BBC One)

International competition
Anna (Italy – Sky Italia, Art)
Blackport (Iceland – RÚV, Arte)
Fury (Norway/Germany – Viaplay, ZDF)
Germinal (France / Italy – Salto, France 2)
Hamlet (Turkey – Gain Medya)
Jerusalem (Israel – Hot)
Kamikaze (Denmark – HBO Max)
The Echo of Your Voice (Israel – Kan)

French Competition
Young and Golri (France – OCS)
The code (France – France 2)
Opera (France/Belgium)
Nona and her daughters (France – Arte)
Or of him (France –
Rebecca (France – TF1)

Panorama International
Black beast (Canada – Plus Series)
Dough (Sweden – SVT)
Dr Death (USA – Peacock, Starzplay)
Kevin Can F…Himself (USA – AMC, Amazon Prime Video)
Mouse (South Korea – TVN)
Pørni (Norway – Viaplay)
Sort of (Canada – CBC)
The Bite (USA – Viacom CBS Global Distribution Group)
The Last Socialist Artefact (Croatia/Finland/Serbia/Slovenia – HTR)
The Unusual Suspects (Australia – SBS)
Time (UK – BBC, Canal+)
The Vampires of Midland (Russia – Start)
Life of Colors (Colombia – Telecaribe Channel)
Wakefield (Australia – ABC)
We Are Lady Parts (UK – Channel 4, Brut X)

Special Screenings Out of Competition
The ropes (France, Belgium – Arte)
On The Verge (France/USA – Canal+, Netflix)
Meeting with Fanny Herrero: Funny (France, Netflix)

New Season Premieres
The paper house Part 5 (Spain – Netflix)
The Little Murders of Agatha Christie (France – France 2)
Mytho season 2 (France – Arte, Netflix)
The entrants: XAOC (France/Belgium – Frence-tv)

Midnight Comedies
Bloods (UK – Sky One)
Brigade mobile (France – Arte)
Fisk (Australia – ABC)
Frank of Ireland (Ireland/UK – Channel 4, Amazon Prime Video)
Hacks (USA – HBO Max)
The tribulations of Georges and Fernand (France)
Starstruck (UK – BBC Three)

Co-Pro Pitching Sessions
Amal (8 x 60 min – Israel)
Gold Train (6 x 45 min – Germany)
Mozart Mozart (6 x 45 min – Germany)
Prison Boy (6 x 50 min – Canada)
The Palm (6 x 45 min – Norway)
Liberty’s (8 x 52 min – France)
We were legends (6 x 52 min – France)
Noble Cause (6 x 52 min – Ireland, Switzerland)
Moresnet (6 x 50 min – Belgium)
Picadero (6 x 50 min – Spain, Colombia)
Rabbi (6 x 50 min – Israel)
In 1942 (6 x 52 min – France)
Crude (8 x 45 min – UK)
Error (8 x 50 min – Iceland, Portugal)
Red Rainbow (8 x 50 min – Russia)
Balaton Brigade (8 x 50 min – Hungary) (Out of Competition – Partnership with the Berlinale)

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(Translated from French)

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Series Mania launches a counter-attack