The ninth annual Series Mania is now taking place in Lille, France. Last year, the event moved from Paris, where its organizing company is based, to Lille, a city in northeast France near the Belgian border.

For business and promotional reasons, the city is extremely invested in the event. It therefore provides financial support and makes sure the venues are available for the duration of the festival. Locals have also responded well to the public portion of the event with some 56,000 spectators attending the various screenings of 70 total series.

This year’s Series Mania has attracted over 2,500 TV industry executives who are being kept busy with competitions, forums, pitching sessions, case studies, and recreational events.

Since 2011, when it was created by industry experts Laurence Herszberg and Frederic Lavigne when they were at Forum des Image — a cultural institution focused on the French audiovisual industry — Series Mania has brought together viewers, creators, screenwriters, directors, and French and international television professionals to screen international TV fare.

In 2013, Series Mania instituted its professional arm, the Forum, as a marketplace to co-finance international TV projects in development.

In terms of recreational events, its program schedule lists 11 parties for the Forum alone, which runs from March 25-27, and three more parties during the full calendar, which runs from March 22-30.

For the first three days, the event’s headquarters was the Commerce and Industry building on Place du Theatre. After that it moved to the nearby Grand Palais. In all, seven venues scattered around the city center are being utilized, including the Tripostal, which is reserved for the public’s encounter with the invited talent.

The international jury for Series Mania Forum consists of CBSSI’s Meghan Lyvers (who served as jury president), France Télévisions’ Nathalie Biancolli, SVT’s Anne Croneman, Banijay Rights’s Caroline Torrance, and Fremantle’s Christian Vesper.       The five-member jury selected CBS’s Purple, one of the Pitching Session projects, for a grand prize of 50,000 euro.

In addition to its Pitching Sessions, the Forum is comprised of panels, case studies, workshops, one-on-one meetings, and “In Conversations,” all of which are held at the Grand Palais.

The full report will be published in VideoAge Daily at MIP-TV in print and online at www.VideoAgeDaily.com