Posted by Larry Gleeson
European Film Market & Co-Production Market
The eighth edition of the “Berlinale Series Market” (February 14 to 16, 2022) will once again offer industry experts, right holders, buyers, and creatives a platform to address and discuss current developments in the world of series. This year, the program will take place online – analogous to the European Film Market – and will include talk formats, showcases by international production companies, streaming platforms and series events, online screenings, and, under the label “Berlinale Series Market Selects”, a curated selection of high-quality series being traded on the market.
European Film Market & Co-Production Market
EFM director Dennis Ruh: “The ‘Berlinale Series Market’ has developed into an integral part of the EFM, reflecting the growing diversification of our exhibitors’ sales and promotion portfolios. What we offer here helps us to create more visibility for serial content. Successfully introduced last year, the label “Berlinale Series Market Selects” has contributed significantly to this. I am especially pleased to note that we will be able to present a very international, varied selection this year. Through the conference programme, we will also offer our professional audience the chance to take a look at current developments in the industry.”
The Talk of the Town in the Series Industry
The “Berlinale Series Market’s” conference program deals with current trends in the series business. The opening panel “MISSION: EUROPE. How Local Markets Muscle Up” co-hosted by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW delves into the varying perspectives of streamers, local TV stations as well as producers regarding European streaming business strategies.
Acclaimed directors Lone Scherfig (Berlinale Special 2009: An Education; Silver Bear 2001: Italian for Beginners; Competition 2019: The Kindness of Strangers) and Daniel Burman (Silver Bear 2004: El abrazo partido; Panorama 2016: El rey del once) have been invited to the Berlinale along with their series The Shift and Iosi, el espía arrepentido, respectively. Our format “In Conversation with Lone Scherfig & Daniel Burman: From Film to Series” will take a look at their career paths from film director to series-maker and reveal some of their experiences with these different forms of content creation.
A round of talks entitled “When the Power Shifts – A New Era for Producers?” – co-hosted by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg – will discuss the ever louder demand for investment commitments in local markets by major streaming services, which already exist in France, for example, and also ask how this would alter the production companies’ role in the series sector.
The African series landscape, in which female authors, in particular, have a large share of the emerging market, will be the focus of the panel “Shaping a New Market – African Female Talent”. The question of whether women in Africa have succeeded in obtaining the same conditions as their male colleagues will be discussed here. Finally, the “Berlinale Series Market” will also be addressing the issue of inclusion: For the first time, the “Berlinale Series Market” co-hosts a two-part talk series with Series Mania debating whether and how talented individuals with disabilities are represented and included in the series industry, both in front of and behind the camera and to what extent they are able to contribute their own stories and perspectives. Subsequent to the opening in Berlin, the topic will be continued in the conference format in Lille.
An official part of the conference program, a half-day summit on Wednesday, February 16, co-hosted by Variety presents three top-class cast talk formats.
The showcase “Up Next: Germany” presents current and upcoming series projects from Germany. These include, for instance, the prominently cast comedy Greenlight – German Genius (W&B Television, Warner TV Comedy, CAB Film, Macadamia & Mothermilk, BBC Studios Germany, Studio Babelsberg), the action series Kleo (Zeitsprung Pictures, Netflix) focusing on the Stasi-killer of the same name, the German-Israeli thriller Munich Match (Amusement Park Films, Sky, CBS Studios) centering around a threat on a friendly game fifty years after the Munich massacre during the Olympics, as well as the high-end documentary series Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 (Gebrüder Beetz, NDR, WDR, SWR, rbb, SHE).
Screening Programme: Highlights from the World of Serial Narration
After a successful first edition in 2021, the “Berlinale Series Market Selects” will be entering their second year with a total of 14 program slots. Series from four continents have been selected, including from Brazil, South Africa, Israel, Russia, and two German productions: ZERV, staged by director Dustin Loose and starring Nadja Uhl and Fabian Hinrichs as an unequal team of East-West investigators, and Oh Hell, starring Mala Emde as an unconventional dreamer in search of meaningfulness.
The short-form program presents no less than three French series: Diana Boss, the second season of Parlement, and About Last Night …; these are complemented by the impressively acted drama Fredløs. Other program highlights include the Swedish music drama Harmonica, co-developed and acted by Josephine Bornebusch and Jonas Karlsson, the Portuguese social study about empowerment, Vanda, Šutnja from Croatia about a web of corruption and human trafficking, and The Fear Index with Josh Hartnett as a genius billionaire.
The “Berlinale Series Market” is a joint initiative of the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market, and Berlinale Talents, organized in close cooperation with the Berlinale Series. The official main partner of “Berlinale Series Market” is the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and is also funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
“Berlinale Series Market Selects” 2022
Crna svadba (Black Wedding)
Creators: Nemanja Ćipranić, Strahinja Madžarević
Showrunner: Ivana Miković
Director: Nemanja Ćipranić
with Uliks Fehmiu, Jelena Djokić, Nikola Kojo
Production Company: Firefly Productions
Broadcaster: Superstar TV, Radio Television of Serbia
World Sales: Firefly International
While investigating a bloody massacre in a remote village in eastern Serbia, a Secret Service operative, Petar, becomes entangled in the ancient conflict between good and evil – a war that has been raging for centuries.
The Fear Index
Writers: Paul Andrew Williams, Caroline Bartleet
Director: David Caffrey
with Josh Hartnett, Arsher Ali, Leila Farzad
Production Companies: Left Bank Pictures in cooperation with Sky Studios
World Sales: NBCUniversal Global Distribution
Dr. Alex Hoffman (Josh Hartnett) is a tech genius at the peak of his career, who’s about to experience the worst 24 hours of his life when a sinister force invades it. A fast-paced thriller based on the bestselling novel by Robert Harris.
Filhas De Eva (A Woman’s Fate)
Creators: Adriana Falcão, Jô Abdu, Martha Mendonça, Nelito Fernandes
Director: Leonardo Nogueira
with Renata Sorrah, Giovanna Antonelli, Vanessa Giácomo
Production Company: Globo
World Sales: Globo
Stella gets a divorce, Lívia chooses between her career and a manipulative husband, and Cléo frees herself from her mother’s clutches – three women trapped in social patterns need to reinvent themselves and discover their inner strengths before they can find personal freedom.
Creators: Josephine Bornebusch, Jonas Karlsson
Director: Josephine Bornebusch
with Josephine Bornebusch, Jonas Karlsson, Eric Ericson
Production Company: Warner Bros. International Television Production Sweden
World Sales: Nordic Entertainment Group
Sixteen years ago, Harry and Monica were living the glitzy life playing big arenas with their band, Harmonica. Now the band has broken up and their marriage is in crisis. When they are invited to play a nostalgia tour, Monica gives Harry an ultimatum. Tour or divorce.
Creators: Vladlena Sandu, Nikita Ikonnikov
Showrunners: Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov
Director: Vladlena Sandu
with Lena Tronina, Polina Kutepova, Roman Vasilev
Production Company: 1-2-3 Production
World Sales: 1-2-3 Production
An orphaned girl who has converted to Islam and lives in a local immigrant community, Valeria becomes the main suspect in a murder case at her own wedding. The investigation reveals that her past is no less mysterious than the killing.
Kfulim S3 (False Flag S3)
Creators: Maria Feldman, Leora Kamenetzky, Amit Cohen
Director: Oded Raz
with Miki Leon, Tali Sharon, Lena Fraifeld
Production Company: Spiro Films
Broadcaster: Keshet 12
World Sales: Keshet International
Following a chemical attack at a party for an Israeli high-tech company in Cyprus, Eitan Koppel flies in to investigate. Sophisticated software quickly identifies three suspects who all have something to hide, but can the data be trusted?
Creator: Johannes Boss
Director: Simon Ostermann, Lisa Miller
with Mala Emde, Edin Hasanović, Salka Weber
Production Company: Good Friends Filmproduktions GmbH
Broadcaster: Magenta TV, Warner TV Comedy
World Sales: Warner TV International
24-year-old Helene overpaints reality with her imagination to deal with boredom and family grief. Between fooling her parents with a fake law degree and losing several jobs, an exuberant love story seems just what she needs to get her life back on track.
Recipes for Love and Murder
Creators: Karen Jeynes, based on a novel by Sally Andrew
Showrunner: Thierry Cassuto
Directors: Christiaan Olwagen, Karen Jeynes
with Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tony Kgoroge, Kylie Fisher
Production Company: Both Worlds Pictures
Broadcaster: MNET, Acorn TV
World Sales: Global Screen
When a woman who sought her help is found dead, Tannie Maria and her colleague, rookie journalist Jessie September, spring into action, determined to solve the murder in South Africa’s Karoo region. But all too soon, a second murder is discovered.
Creator: Daan Gielis
Director: Kadir Ferati Balci
with Ella Leyers, Wouter Hendrickx, Anemone Valcke
Production Company: A Private View
World Sales: Keshet International
When ice-cool, late-night radio DJ Lara receives a call from suicidal Suzy, a grueling game of cat and mouse unfolds; soon it seems that Suzy is holding all the cards. Lara realizes it’s time to take a decision and end the game.
Šutnja (The Silence)
Creators: Marjan Alcevski, Miodrag Sila, Nebojsa Taraba, Dalibor Matanić
Showrunners: Miodrag Sila, Nebojsa Taraba
Director: Dalibor Matanić
with Kseniya Mishina, Goran Bogdan, Darko Milas
Production Companies: Drugi plan and HRT in coproduction with Beta Film, Star Media, OLL.TV and ZDF/ARTE
Broadcaster: HRT, OLL.TV
World Sales: Beta Film
When the body of a young girl washes up on a riverbank in Croatia, a police detective, a reporter, and the wife of a politician are sucked into a dark case that isn’t at all what it first seems.
Denmark, Faroe Islands
Creator: Torfinnur Jákupsson
Showrunner: Torfinnur Jákupsson
Directors: Kasper Barfoed, Davið Óskar Ólafsson, Peter Ahlén (co-director)
with Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Rich, Olaf Johannessen
Production Companies: REinvent Studios, KYK Pictures
Broadcaster: Viaplay, DR
World Sales: REinvent International Sales
Journalist Hannis receives a panicked message from Sonja, an animal rights activist, saying that her life is in danger. After returning home to the Faroes, he discovers Sonja’s body during a whale hunt. His search for answers uncovers a web of secrets.
Creator: Patricia Müller
Writers: Patricia Müller, Carmen Jimenez
Director: Simão Cayatte
with Gabriela Barros, João Baptista, Joana de Verona
Production Companies: SPi, S.A.; Legendary Television; La Panda Productions
Broadcaster: OPTO SIC (Portugal)
World Sales: Legendary Television
Vanda is a hairdresser living in Lisbon, who suddenly finds herself alone, with no husband or home but with two children to raise in the midst of the financial crisis. With a blonde wig and a toy gun, she takes destiny into her own hands and robs a bank.
ZERV (Divided We Stand)
Producers: Gabriela Sperl, Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann, Miriam Klein (EP)
Writers: Jens Köster, Kim Zimmermann, Gabriela Sperl, Michael Klette
Director: Dustin Loose
with Nadja Uhl, Fabian Hinrichs, Max Hubacher
Production Companies: Gabriela Sperl Produktion for W&B Television in collaboration with Wilma Film for ARD, MDR and ARD Degeto for Das Erste
Broadcaster: ARD, MDR, Das Erste
World Sales: Beta Film
In a newly-united Germany, an Eastern and a Western police officer have to work together to solve a murder, despite their differences – they soon learn that organized criminals from West and East were the first to join forces.
Short Form Block:
Creator: Marion Seclin
Showrunners: Marion Seclin, Niels Rahou
Director: Niels Rahou
with Moon A, Tokou, Ilan Bergala
Production Company: La Belle Télé
Broadcaster: France tv slash
World Sales: France tv distribution
By day, Malika helps defend clients; by night, she becomes Diana Boss, battling with other rappers. In both roles, true to her convictions, she fights the same injustices that she herself is a victim of. To find her place in society, Malika must choose: Law or rap?
Creators: Malthe Jagd Miehe-Renard (screenplay), Babak Vakili (screenplay)
Director: Laurits Flensted-Jensen
with Besir Zeciri, Maria Cordsen, Afshin Firouzi
Production Companies: Strong Productions, Splay One
World Sales: DR Sales
Mohammed is looking for a quiet life with his girlfriend Ida. When he is charged with armed robbery, he is remanded in custody and experiences racism and betrayal. With time, he loses faith in his previous dreams and ambitions.
Narvalo S2 (About Last Night … S2)
Creator: Matthieu Longatte
Writer: Matthieu Longatte
with Sandor Funtek, Sofia Lesaffre, Samir Decazza
Production Companies: Studiocanal Original, BDF Films
Broadcaster: Canal +
World Sales: Studiocanal
Each episode, inspired by an actual event, features different groups of friends telling each other about their latest crazy antics. A tribute to all those people who sacrifice their dignity so they will have some good stories to tell their mates.
Parlement S2 (Parliament S2)
Creator: Noé Debré
Showrunner: Noé Debré
Directors: Emilie Noblet, Jérémie Sein, Noé Debré
with Xavier Lacaille, Liz Kingsman, Philippe Duquesne
Production Company: Cinétévé, Artémis Productions, CineCentrum Deutsche Gesellschaft für Film- und Fernsehproduktion mbH
Broadcaster: France.tv, WDR, ONE, SWR & StudioHamburg
World Sales: France tv distribution
Samy, a young parliamentary assistant, arrives in Brussels just after the Brexit referendum. He is obviously not fit for the job. In fact, Samy doesn’t know much about European institutions at all, but he hopes to get away with this through wit and cunning…
Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!
(Sourced from Berlinale Press Release)