LILLE, FRANCE – March 28, 2019 – With the Series Mania Festival set with its closing night ceremony for Saturday, March 30, Ms. Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Series Mania, announced today the final closing number of 2700 participants and key highlights from the Series Mania Forum, the industry arm and professional event of the Festival.
“It was very clear from all of the meetings and feedback we received that our motto ‘where series begin’ is exactly what the Forum is. We are totally about content,” commented Herszberg. “We welcomed over 2700 industry professionals to Lille, including, producers, distributors, broadcasters, buyers and over 500 screenwriters. The response we received was wonderful and we had many positive comments about the friendly, networking, and productive environment where many business deals were concluded.”
“To be able to announce that we had 2700 attendees at this year’s Forum is something we are very proud of and beyond our expectation. We are already starting to plan for next year and will be announcing the dates very shortly,” added Francesco Capurro, Director of Series Mania Forum.
Highlights of the event included:
CO-PRO PITCHING SESSIONS
Purple, a drama set at a ‘90s Paris lesbian nightclub, was awarded the prize of €50,000, selected by a jury of international industry executives, presided over by Meghan Lyvers, SVP Co-Production & Development, CBS Studios International. Purple is from Harold Valentin, Aurélien Larger, and Simon Trouilloud from Mother Production, who are teaming with Judith Nora and Priscilla Bertin of Silex Films and writer-creators Judith Havas and Noémie de Lapparent to produce the series. Purple was one of 16 projects highlighted during the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions and was selected from a total of 399 submissions from 41 countries.
LILLE TRANSATLANTIC DIALOGUES
The key highlight of the Forum this year was the second annual Lille Transatlantic Dialogues, a high-level rendezvous that brought together major political, corporate, creative and economic players from the TV and culture sectors in Europe and the US for exchanges on developments and challenges in the field. Key figures attending included:
Ted Sarandos,Chief Content Officer, Netflix, USA
Nicolas de Tavernost,Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO, M6 Group, FR
Charles Rivkin,Chairman and CEO, MPAA, USA
Lorenzo De Maio, Head of TV Advisory and Partner, Endeavor Content, US
Georgia Brown, Head of European Originals, Amazon Studios, UK
Gilles Pélisson, CEO, TF1 Group, FR
Delphine Ernotte-Cunci, CEO, France Télévisions, FR
Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, FR
The Forum this year also included the newly named UGC Writers Campus by Series Mania, a week-long intensive writing workshop for 20 emerging TV drama writers throughout Europe. Under the editorial supervision of Lorraine Sullivan, the writers participated in key activities, including speed dating with industry executives, mentoring sessions, pitching sessions and workshops. Guest of honors this year were celebrated writers-producers André and Marie Jacquemetton.
VR CO-PRODUCTION INITIATIVE
This year the Forum introduced the all-new VR (Virtual Reality) Co-Production Initiative. The core of this initiative was the VR Pitching Sessions which allowed eight international VR series projects to be presented by their creators on stage in front of potential financiers and broadcasters. Voyelle Acker (ex-Nouvelles Écritures at France Télévisions, immersive experience producer) and Michel Reilhac (VR program advisor for the Venice Film Festival) oversaw this initiative.
On day two of the Forum, Laurence Herszberg signed the 5050x2020 Charter for equality and diversity in cinema, audiovisual and animation festivals. On this occasion, she gathered the women of the industry attending Series Mania Forum, as well as anyone who wants to support this commitment, for a picture on the steps of the Lille Grand Palais.
ABOUT SERIES MANIA
Created by Laurence Herszberg in 2010 with artistic director Frederic Lavigne while both were at the Forum des images, the Series Mania Festival brings the best international series to the big screen and offers audiences (over 55,000 spectators in 2018) the rare opportunity to meet and learn from renowned showrunners, directors and television talent. Series Mania has developed into a unique event with wide recognition, entirely dedicated to series, aimed at both the general public and industry professionals. For the 2019 edition, from March 22 to 30, the Festival will once again be held in the charming northern French city of Lille (Hauts-de-France). As usual, it will include a program of world premieres and series selected for competition, overseen by a prestigious international jury.
ABOUT SERIES MANIA FORUM
Launched in 2013, Series Mania Forum, the industry arm of the Series Mania Festival, has become the place to be for all those involved in the creation of series from around the world. In just a few years, Series Mania Forum has already seen many projects come to fruition, including Eden, Stella Blomkvist, Keeping Faith and Tabula Rasa, with many others currently in production. In 2018, the Forum launched the first edition of Lille Transatlantic Dialogues, a one-day summit bringing together high-level political, corporate, creative and economic players from the TV and culture sectors in Europe and North America. With more than 2,000 registered professionals expected in 2019, the Forum is now the place where industry talent and decision-makers meet to create the new generation of serial fiction.