Series Mania Presentation – March 22,2017
The Series Mania festival was launched in 2010, and in the space of a few editions has emerged as the major annual public and professional gathering dedicated to international television creativity.
Building on the success of the seventh edition, which welcomed 40,000 spectators and 1,300 industry professionals, Series Mania will broaden its reach yet more this year. Its audacious programming will be brought to a wider geographical audience in Paris, promising everyone from the simply curious to the hard-core binge-watcher some rich moments of TV series enjoyment.
The eighth season of the event is a spring cultural marathon. On the menu is a selection of around 60 series, including 31 world or international premieres, along with more than a dozen digital series. At the heart of the festival is the official competition, presided over by showrunner Damon Lindelof, numerous audiences with creators such as Adam Price and Jimmy McGovern and outstanding actors, like Julianna Margulies and Justin Theroux, plus the launch of some new sections.
With 150 screenings over 10 days, Series Mania has enhanced its capacity for audiences and events thanks to some new partner venues – the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles multiplex, the Grand Rex, the UGC Normandie, the Centre Pompidou, the Luminor Hôtel de Ville, and the UGC Ciné Cité Rosny – plus of course the festival’s home venue at the Forum des Halles. This will offer unique exposure to these works encompassing the intimate and the universal.
The Official Competition
Introduced in 2016, the Official Competition of world and international premieres this year features an expanded selectionof 10 series. After David Chase, this year Damon Lindelof, the talented showrunner of Lost and The Leftovers, will be jury president. Alongside him will be four renowned artists, who between them will decide on the Grand Prix, the Special Jury Prize, and two new awards this year, Best Actor in an International Series and Best Actress in an International Series.
The selection will feature the best of European creativity, represented by series from Germany, France, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom, competing alongside Hollywood productions and works from territories whose output is less well-known, such as Israel and Australia.
A renewal in genres can be observed, notably in the thriller and its variants, with gangster series like 4 Blocks set against a Berlin backdrop, thrillers like Monster with its stylized approach, or the portrait of a future serial killer (Born to Kill). Comedy is undergoing a similar renewal through Kim Kong, with its strong dose of the absurd, and I’m Dying Up Here, the adventures of a bunch of stand-up comedians in the 1970s.
These fictions combine audacious formal approaches, such as Seven Types of Ambiguity from the Australian Tony Ayres, and some singular visions of society, such as the biting feminist series I Love Dick by Jill Soloway, the humanist portrait of contemporary England from Jimmy McGovern, Broken, the immersion into the tension between private life and politics in Ride Upon the Storm by Adam Price, or the moral and family dilemma in Your Honor by Shlomo Mashiach and Ron Ninio.
Pleasing the audience is one of the primary missions of Series Mania. For the first time, festival-goers are invited to special screenings, with an exclusive look at new seasons of hit series. Even the most diehard fans will be spoilt for choice: The complete season 2 of Dix pour cent with its impressive cast, Le Bureau des Légendes (season 3), and Hero Corp (season 5). The non-French selection also offers a rich choice, with the second seasons of Occupied, The Missing, Sense8 and Master of None.
Elsewhere, the festival is opening its line-up to series which have marked the collective imagination and the history of TV series. This new section, “Series Mania Cult Shows”, offers the chance to (re)discover a wealth of animated series for adults from Fox, notably the intergenerational phenomenon of TheSimpsons, spending a night in the company of the Masters of Horror, or an immersion in the gay community of Queer as Folk (UK), while the 20th anniversary of Buffy will be celebrated through a conference.
For all those who hold a certain nostalgia for French TV from the 1980s, the festival has partnered with INA to offer two trips down memory lane: Pause Café, in the presence of Véronique Jannot, alias Joëlle Mazart, the social worker with an understanding of youths, and La Famille Ramdam, an iconoclastic series that took on some societal issues.
More than ever, Series Mania is a place where creators, directors, writers, actors, and producers can come to share their experiences following a screening or as part of guest appearances.
Among the highlights this year are Damon Lindelof, creator of Lost along with J.J Abrams, who left his stamp on a whole generation, looks back over his career in an exceptional Q&A session. This will also offer an opportunity to discuss the genesis of The Leftovers, his latest incredibly beautiful and highly symbolic series
Lindelof will open Series Mania by presenting the international premiere of the first two episodes of season 3 of The Leftovers. Justin Theroux, star of the series and a hugely talented actor, will also be in attendance, much to the delight of festival-goers.
Series Mania also has the honor of welcoming the actress Julianna Margulies, who has picked up numerous prestigious awards for her roles in the hit series ER and The Good Wife for CBS Television. She will discuss her career, spanning the stage, movie and television, and has also put together a Carte Blanche selection of her favorite episodes of the two series which made her a global star, which promises to be a special moment for all present.
Among other Series Mania guests are two writers with international reputations whose latest series feature in the official competition. The creator of Borgen, which has been broadcast in more than 80 countries, Adam Price will introduce the world premiere of Ride Upon The Storm, while Jimmy McGovern, whose credits include Brookside and more recently Banished, will be on hand for the screening of his latest series Broken.
For these 10 days, festival-goers will have the chance to meet and chat with around 60 guests, including the cast of French series, along with creators, actors and producers from around the world.
Around the world
Series Mania festival-goers will be able to enjoy premiere screenings of some of the very best of French, American, and international series.
The section dedicated to stateside shows brings together the “Best of American Production”, representing Hollywood’s mastery across a range of genres, from legal drama with political overtones (The Good Fight), social critique of today (Atlanta), or yesterday (When We Rise), comedy drama (Downward Dog), or a satirical portrait of a generation (Search Party). Esthetic virtuosity is also on display in series Legion.
French production is marked by a successful return to sci-fi series with Missions and Transferts. Aurore, a mini-series written and directed by Laetitia Masson, portrays a unique story of violence and innocence, driven by a prestigious cast. The ensemble production, La Forêt, describes the implosion of a community during a police investigation.
The International Panorama sidebar comprises 19 series, produced in 14 countries, providing a taste of global output and opportunity to discover fresh talent.
For the first time, Series Mania is screening two Russian series, one a forward-looking show, Better than Us, presented as a world premiere, the other a cop series with a social twist, Salaam, Moscou !.
Among highly-anticipated productions from Northern Europe is the dazzlingly directed Dutch disaster series The Swell, alongside Before We Die from Sweden and Below the Surface from Denmark.
British series always offer some gems, and this year’s crop includes portraits from different ages and stages in life (Clique, Fleabag, Apple Tree Yard), while liberty and a certain sense of the absurd prove to be a mainstay of Israeli production (Dumb, Juda).
The international competition for digital series
In an age when formats, genres and distribution platforms are becoming more diversified, the festival is for the first time organizing a world premiere competition for Web and Digital Series, submitted to the appreciation of an industry jury.
The selection, which the audience will watch on a big screen, reveals the pre-eminence of French production, (TheMan Woman Case, Loulou) and the emergence of coproductions like Ø, with Denmark, and Lifer, with Bolivia. And from as far afield as the United States (BKPI), South Africa (People You May Know), and Belgium (La Théorie du Y), women creators are taking center-stage.
In parallel to this competition, as it does every year, Series Mania offers web-users the chance to discover its favorite short online formats courts ahead of the festival on series-mania.fr. On the menu is Snatchers, an American horror comedy; Kali, a feminist drama from Bangladesh; and Mental, which has become a phenomenon in Finland.
Series Mania is organized by the Forum des images, an institution backed by the City of Paris.
Festival programming: Laurence Herszberg, Frédéric Lavigne, Charlotte Lainé, Katia Kirby, Mélissa Blanco, Jules Marco, in collaboration with François-Pier Pelinard-Lambert and James Rampton, assisted by Solenne Vallette and Florent Augizeau.
Webseries programming: Oriane Hurard, in collaboration with the Series Mania selection committee.
Coproduction Forum: Francesco Capurro, in collaboration with Frédéric Pittoors d’Haverskercke, assisted by Raphaëlle Averty, Victor Branger, Gaëlle Desormeaux, Mathilde Ferrato, Juliette Fournier, and Adriana Rabe.