The event’s organization presented all the details for the upcoming Series Mania Festival set for March 18-25 in Lille, France, including its selection of 16 titles competing in its Co-Pro Pitching sessions; as well as Series Mania Forum, the industry arm of Series Mania, set for March 22-24.

At press conferences today in Lille and Paris, Rodolphe Belmer, President of Series Mania, and Laurence Herszberg, Founder and General Director of Series Mania, unveiled details for the upcoming Series Mania Festival set for March 18-25 in Lille, France, as well as details for the Series Mania Forum, the industry arm of Series Mania, set for March 22-24.


With more than 55 series, 30 world premieres, 330 series screened from more than 46 territories/6 continents, prestigious guest stars and plenty of events, Series Mania Festival is this year offering eight days of culture and celebration across Lille.

The event’s main highlights:

1. Jury of the International Competition

The president of the jury announced soon will be surrounded by German actor Christian Berkel (Downfall, Valkyrie), Franco-Belgian actress Cécile de France (The Young Pope, Lost illusions), Israeli actress Shira Haas (The Unorthodox), Turkish creator and director Berkun Oya (Bir Baskadir) and French singer-songwriter and model Yseult.

2. Guests of Honor

Series Mania has the honor of welcoming this year the British showrunner Michael Hirst (The Tudors, Vikings) who will come to present his new series Billy The Kid in the international competition and participate in the Series Mania Forum, as well as the famous French producer, director, screenwriter and actor Mathieu Kassovitz (The Bureau) and actresses Nathalie Baye (Call My Agent) and Isabelle Nanty (Munch) for exceptional public meetings about their careers.

3. Selection For International Competition

The jury will award the Grand Prize for Best Series, the Prize for Best Actress, and the Prize for Best Actor during the closing ceremony on Friday March 25. Nine series from six countries are represented, including France, Israel, Finland, Italy, UK, and USA.

The series are:

Billy the Kid (USA/EPIX Studios, and MGM International Television Productions, in association with NENT’s Viaplay / EPIX / 8×60’)
Fire Dance (Israel / Yes TV / 8×50′)
Il Re (Italy / Sky / 10×50′)
Le Monde de Demain (France / Arte / Netflix / 6×52’)
Soldiers (France / OCS / 7×45’)
The Baby (UK / Sky / HBO / OCS / 8×30’)
The Bird of Daniel F. Harris (UK / Channel 4 / 6×30’)
Transport (Finland / YLE / 8×50’)
We Own this City (USA / HBO / 6×60’)


Co-Pro Pitching Sessions

The event announced the 16 projects selected as part of the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions, the founding premise and most anticipated event of the Series Mania Forum. Having received 330 projects from 56 different countries, the goal of the Forum’s Co-Pro Pitching Sessions is to help these high-end European and International drama projects find potential financial partners. An international jury of industry professionals will determine the best project among the 16 projects (excluding the winner from the Berlin Film Festival Drama Series Days which is out of competition) and prize the Best Project Award €50,000 to help develop the winning series.

The 16 projects are:

A Boy Disappears (6 x 50’, Denmark)
The Accident (8 x 30’, Israel)
The Cuckoo Treatment (8 x 60′, Canada)
Dead End (6 x 50’, Belgium)
Detective Touré (8 x 50’, Spain)
Hormones (6 x 52’, France)
The Impossible She (8 x 50′, Italy)
Island of Youth (8 x 50′, Germany)
The Liberties (6 x 55’, Ireland, Belgium)
Little Hands (6 x 52’, France)
The Mars Project (8 x 52’, Germany, France)
Paradise (8 x 48′, South Africa)
Rank (10 x 30’, Ireland, France & Australia)
Salvation (7 x 50’, Hungary)
The Winter Pack (6 x 45′, Sweden)

And, out of competition (ineligible for Best Project Award), in partnership with Drama Series Days, sidebar of the Berlin Film Festival:

The Report (6 x 60’, Germany)

In addition to the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions, Series Mania Forum will explore the effects of the concentration of European audiovisual groups on creativity as well as the consequences of the appetite of global audiences to watch series in their original format/language.

Aligned with what forged the Forum’s reputation over the years, a large part of the program will feature a selection of new talent, series projects – from paper concept to in-development series – and intellectual properties (books or podcasts) available for audiovisual adaptation. Finally, for the first time, the Forum will look at how, in the midst of a plethoric offer, a series must stand out and, finally, will question the expected effects of certain innovations and technologies on our industry.

The event’s main highlights:

1. New Formats:

Book To Screen: Literary Adaptation Market – Building on the success of the ‘From Best Seller to Box Office’ pitch sessions the Series Mania Forum will host a ‘Book to Screen’ literary adaptation market in partnership with the SCELF (Société Civile des Editeurs de Langue Française)

From Podcast to Screen – Series Mania Forum launches a new podcast pitching session, with the aim to uncover stories from this successful medium of storytelling for audiovisual adaptation.

Forum Innovation Talks – We are pleased to present a new category of ‘Forum Innovation Talks’ which are dedicated to helping TV and streaming professionals have a better understanding of the forecasted impact of new technologies on the series industry.

2. Speaker & Guests

Manuel Alduy (France) Director of Cinema & International Development, France Television
Chris Aylott (UK) Vice President, Brands & Marketing, Scripted, BBC Studios
Caroline Benjo (France) Co-Founder, Haut et Court
Lars Blomgren (UK) Head of Scripted, Banijay
Frank Doelger (USA) EP ‘Game of Thrones’, Showrunner ‘The Swarm’
Simone Emmelius (Germany) SVP International Fiction – Co Production & Acquisitions, ZDF
Emmanuelle Guilbart (France) Joint CEO & Co-Founder, About Premium Content
Ed Guiney (Ireland) CEO Element Pictures
Fanny Herrero (France) Showrunner, ‘Call My Agent’
Michael Hirst (UK) Showrunner, ‘Vikings’
Caroline Hollick (UK) Head of Drama, Channel 4
Julie Meldal-Johnsen (UK) EVP of Global Content, ITV Studios
Laurent Solly (France) Vice President Southern Europe , META/Facebook
Lionel Uzan (France) Co-Founder & Group CEO, Federation Entertainment
Christian Vesper (UK) Head of Drama, Fremantle
Susan Wendt (Denmark) Managing Director, TrustNordisk
Marina Williams (France) CEO, Asacha Media

3. Panels & Conferences

Key themes will be addressed and explored through this year’s line-up of panels and conferences, including:

Sourcing Stories: A selection of emerging and established talents take center stage to share their pitches and creative ideas behind various projects.

Content Showcases: Discover a diverse selection of new content from our various partners. Be curious, be surprised!

Creative Business Inspiration: The series industry is evolving, asking itself questions, and reinventing itself. It is living through one of the most exciting times in its history. Come and join the discussions!

Marketing Of Series & Innovation: Regardless of a series quality, one of the biggest challenges any series faces is standing out in an overcrowded market. How do you get noticed, detect new opportunities, and understand which tools to use to your advantage? Marketing professionals share their views.

4. Lille Dialogues (March 24)

The much-anticipated Lille Dialogues, now in its 5th year, bring together European lawmakers and international TV industry leaders for a day-long international trade summit to encourage joint reflection on the challenges facing the TV industry and to promote international cooperation. The event is organized in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the CNC, and the European Commission. This year’s edition will feature six panel discussions, plus several keynotes delivered by top industry executives, exploring the crucial role of creativity in the European audiovisual industry. This year’s theme is: Empowering the Audiovisual Industry with Creativity. A separate press release will be sent shortly with the details.

5. Creative Bazaar: Writers Campus (March 18-21)

The Creative Bazaar is Series Mania Forum’s incubator for writing residencies, workshops, and unique training programs, attracting screenwriters and producers from all over the world. Residents will have the opportunity to work both independently and in groups, coming together throughout the program’s masterclasses and networking events.

All participants taking part in one of the three writing residencies will come together under one roof at the Bazaar St So in Lille from March 18 to 21. The three programs include: Writers Campus, Israel-France Drama Series Co-Writing Residency and DEENTAL Series Workshop