Series Mania Forum announces 15 projects for its 2024

Winner of the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions to be awarded a grand prize of €50,000

 Laurence Herszberg, Founder and General Director of Series Mania (March 15-22), today announced the 15 projects of 16 selected as part of the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions (March 19), the founding premise and most anticipated event of the Series Mania Forum (March 19-21). The 16th project, Witness 36, which was announced earlier this week as part of the Berlinale's Co-Pro Serieswill be presented but excluded from the competition for the grand prize.  An international jury of industry professionals will determine the best project among the 15 projects and prize the Best Project Award €50,000 to help develop the winning series.  This year, the 15 projects were selected from 413 applications from 57 countries, including four new territories: Mexico, Cameroon, Panama, and Chile.

The Forum has been the launchpad for the release of such series as Off Season (Switzerland / France), No Man’s Land (France), Banking District (Switzerland), Eden (France), Keeping Faith (Great Britain), Manor House (Czech Republic), Stella Blomkvist (Iceland), Tabula Rasa (Belgium), Trepalium (France), Warrior (Denmark), Devils (Italy), The Head (Spain), Ever After (Italy), The Last Socialist Artefact (Slovenia, Finland) and We Got This (Sweden)

'Since its inception in 2013, the goal of the Forum’s Co-Pro Pitching Sessions has been to help the high-end European and International drama projects find potential financial partners. Given the illustrious list of titles which have received their start at the Forum, we know for a fact that this works. This year we have seen a significant increase in projects coming from South America, especially from Brazil and Mexico and have noted the emergence of Asia as a newcomer highlighted by the presence of two Japanese companies in this year's selection', commented Herszberg.

'Also, this yearwe received a number of stories inspired by true events and many projects based on strong IPs. While we saw a decline in dystopian themes in favor of more realistic projects and found that the submissions favored more traditional thrillers with an increasing number of dramedies.We look forward to unveiling the winner of the Best Project Award with €50,000 on March 19 in Lille'. added Herszberg.

The 2024 international jury of industry professionals includes:

Jury President: Nina Lederman (USA),EVP Global Scripted Development & Programming, Sony Pictures Television

Marco Chimenz(Italy), Group Co-General Manager, Federation Studios

Jennifer Ebell (United Kingdom), EVP, EMEA Sales and Acquisitions at FIFTH SEASON

Marianne Furevold-Boland(Norway),Head of Drama, NKR

Karin Marelle(UnitedKingdom),VP Program Acquisitions & Co-Productions, Starz

The following list of selected projects (in alphabetical order) will be pitched by their producers to a panel of potential financiers and are eligible for the Best Project Award of €50,000:

ANTILIA- 6 x 52' - France

Produced by Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin et Vincent Mouluquet for Ego Productions

Written by Maxime Crupaux& Baptiste Fillon Directed by Vincent Maël Cardona 
Short synopsis: The Hell and Paradise are on the same island.

A TRUE NOVEL - 8 x 60' - Japan, USA
Genre: Historical drama Produced by Satoko Ishida and Meri Koyama for Shochiku and Jonathan Kier and Matt Brodlie for Upgrade Productions  Written by RikoSakaguchi
Short synopsis: While investigating the life of reclusive Japanese industrialist Taro Azuma, a famous novelist begins to uncover a complex puzzle of love and obsession which spans decades.

EUROVISION MURDER MYSTERY - 6 x 52' - France, Germany
Genre: Murder mystery Produced by Emmanuelle Guilbart and Agathe de Lorme for APC Stories and Henning Kamm and Johann Buchholz for Friday Film Written by Fabienne Hurst & Bertrand Soulier
Short synopsis: When you have 72 hours to solve a murder, save EUROVISION and the fate of EUROPE.          

FOOD, LOVE, FAITH - 8 x 50' - Israel
Genre: Drama Produced by Efrat ShmayaDror for United Studios IL Written by Yossi Madmoni
Short synopsis: An ultra-orthodox Jewish mother smuggles her gay son from Jerusalem to London, to save him from being forced into an arranged marriage. In the big city, when he experiences freedom of choice, he becomes torn between who he is and everything he knew before that shaped him.

ISSAK - 6 x 45' - Japan, Germany Genre: Historical Drama
Produced by Itaru Mizuno from Nippon TV and Lasse Scharpen from Studio Zentral
Written by Itaru Mizuno and Richard Kropf, based on the manga "Issak" by Shinji Makari and DOUBLE-S, published by KODANSHA LTD.
Short synopsis: 1620: In the chaos of the Thirty Years’ War, 11-year-old orphan Zetta finds companionship in the mysterious Japanese samurai Issak, who fights on the side of the Protestants – carrying a dark secret with him…

JUDGEMENT OF SOLOMON - 6 x 45' - Bulgaria
Genre: Mystery/Drama Produced by:  Katya Trichkova for Contrast films LTD and Mirrormind LTD Written by Teodora Markova and NevenaKertova
Short synopsis: A 6-year-old Bulgarian girl starts recalling moments from her past life, which leads her family to cross paths with a Swedish couple, who have lost their daughter.

KISS MY FEET - 6 x 50' - Finland, Netherlands
Genre: Drama Produced by AleksiBardy for Helsinki-Filmi Oy and Fleur Winters for Big Blue, Netherlands.
Written by DaanGielis& Mark Van De Grift
Short synopsis: Max, a successful marketer, finds himself in a spiritual community in Finland, to help his brother Lucas. As he discovers the secrets of the community, Max and his girlfriend Daphne’s view on family drastically changes.

NANGA PARBAT - 6 x 52' - France
Genre: Drama, Adventure Produced by Amaury Ovise for Kazak Productions Written by Caryl Férey
Short synopsis: Elisabeth Revol’s story of survival and tragedy on Pakistan’s “Killer Mountain” and the daring rescue operation that resounded the world over.

THE ART OF MAGDALENE - 6 x 45' - Poland, Ireland
Genre: Drama Produced by Wiktor Piatkowski for Bahama Films and Jonathan Farrelly for PIO Media LTD Written by Wiktor Piatkowski
Short synopsis: A hard-working and religious immigrant is fed up with being used and humiliated. She builds an international art dealing empire based on ignorance, superficiality and greed of rich people. Her financial pyramid grows faster when drug dealers start using it for laundering money.

THE LEFT HAND OF VENUS - 6 x 45' - Greece
Genre: Historical Comedy Produced by Ioannis Kostas, development producer Dimitra Barla, for Arcadia Media
Written by Nikos Panayotopoulos, based on the novel by Takis Theodoropoulos
Short synopsis: When French naval officer Olivier Voutier finds the love of his life on the face of the French consul’s wife of Milos Island, his only hope to conquer her is to steal the statue of Venus that has just been discovered on the islandbefore other suitors beat him to it.

THE ODESA WRESTLERS - 6 x 45' - Norway Genre: Drama Produced by Cathrine Simonsen for Monster AS Written by Joachim Førsund and Thorbjørn Harr
Short synopsis: In a quaint rural town in Norway, two recently arrived young Ukrainian refugees seize the opportunity to shape a brighter future as they meet a local sports icon – a world champion wrestler with a mission to forge an unstoppable team of champions.

THIRST - 6 x 60' - Canada Genre: Thriller, Science fiction Produced by Julia Ferreira Langlois and Annie Sirois for Trio Orange Written by Sylvain Neuvel
Short synopsis: What if Quebec’s greatest resource, water, contaminated the entire region in less than a week. Thirst is the story of a woman shadowed by death who chooses to fight to save humanity.

OUR PEOPLE - 6 x 55' - Slovakia Genre: Political Drama Produced by Jakub Viktorín and TomášHrubý for nutprodukcia Written by Miro Šifra Directed by Tereza Nvotová
Short synopsis: The murder of a journalist overthrows the balance of power in Slovakia.

VATICAN - 6 x 50' - Italy Genre: Drama, Thriller Produced by Nicola De Angelis for Fabula Pictures Written by Flavio Bernard, Ciro Di Maso and Marcello Olivieri Short synopsis: A father investigates the suspicious death of his only son just to discover he was involved in a prostitution ring inside the church used by unscrupulous bishops to control the Vatican policy.

WHITE TIES - 6 x 45' - Germany Genre: Drama, Inspired by true events Produced by Laura Von Portatius for Wüste Film GmbH Written by OkeStielow and Uwe Flade Directed by Viviane Andereggen
Short synopsis: As post-war Berlin is in a state of unrestrained chaos, teenage-gangster Werner Gladow declares himself to become the Al Capone of Berlin - and succeeds. Gladow really existed. He’s a true legend of Berlin – this is his story.

The 16th project, announced on February 20 during the Berlinale's Co-Pro Series:

WITNESS 36 - 8 x 45’ - Argentina Genre: Espionage thriller
Produced by Michael Nozik for Oficina Burman (The Mediapro Studio) Written by Natacha Caravia, Juan Matías Carballo, Daniel Burman Directed by Daniel Burman

Short synopsis: A female writer specialises in creating fictional identities for an international witness protection programme and becomes entangled in a romance with a mysterious man whose past resembles one of her creations.


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