Last year, the Forum part of the SeriesMania festival attracted over 2,700 film and TV industry professionals. This time around, the trade show portion, which has become the premier event for the development and production sectors, expects more than 3,000 professionals to gather for the third year in a row in Lille, France, March 20-28. Before it moved to Lille, it was held in Paris for eight straight years.
The event is divided into three parts: The Festival, the B2C part for the general audience which runs March 20 to 28 and includes public screenings taking place throughout the nine-day program; the Forum, the B2B part for the industry professionals and screenwriters set March 25-27 and consisting of pitching sessions and seminars about writing, production, distribution, and broadcasting; and the Lille Dialogues on March 26, a one-day summit joining together major political decision makers, and debates on the future of the audiovisual industry.
In terms of venues, the Forum unwinds in multiple locations: “Warm-up drinks” will be held at the Chamber of Commerce building on Tuesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m.; seminars, conferences, and exhibitor stands are located at the Lille Grand Palais. There are also six additional sites scattered throughout the center of the city where the general screenings, which are open to the public, take place.
SeriesMania is also seen as assisting MIP-TV, which will be starting two days after its conclusion, perhaps inducing some participating content buyers and development executives to travel south to Cannes since they’re already in Lille.
In terms of additional figures, SeriesMania will showcase 483 series from 54 countries that will be screened, as well as 74 brand-new series, and 38 world premieres. The Festival will close with the world premiere screening of HBO comedy Run, with the series’ writer and executive producer Vicky Jones in attendance.
The Forum continues to expand its international reach, with official delegations from around the world, including Germany, Italy, Australia, Spain, and Brazil. Several new exhibitors include Brazil’s Globo, Russia’s Premier Studios, and Japan’s Nippon TV, the latter of which will be the first-ever Japanese company at the event. In terms of speakers, the Forum will showcase Caroline Hollick, head of Drama at Channel 4, who present a master class, and Nathalie Biancolli of France Télévisions, who will discuss the “acquimissions” phenomenon, regarding the convergence of acquisitions and commissions.
In addition to presentations concerning international series, SeriesMania Forum is home to various writing and pitching showcases. Indeed, 16 projects will participate in the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions at the Forum. The pitching competition aims to direct these European and international drama projects towards potential financial partners. This year, more than 400 projects from 50 countries were submitted for consideration. Polly Williams, head of Drama, Scripted Television – U.K. at Entertainment One, served as jury president. The projects in the Co-Pro Pitching sessions span from Argentina to Brazil to Spain to Russia.
The Drama Series Co-Writing Residency between France and Israel has organized a showcase during SeriesMania Forum, as well. Six French writers and six Israeli writers have been working together to develop series geared toward international audiences. The program was initiated by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée, and the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, in cooperation with the Israeli Scriptwriters Guild, The Israeli Producers Association and the French Embassy in Israel.
SeriesLab, an initiative organized by Italy’s TorinoFilmLab, will present a showcase of nine international series projects that were developed over the last three months. SeriesMania Forum is a main partner for the initiative, which is also backed by Creative Europe – MEDIA and Screen Ireland, in partnership with the Flanders Audiovisual Fund.
In addition, SeriesMania and TV France International have organized the fifth edition of Coming Next from France, a French fiction series showcase. Finally, SeriesMania Forum will be making a major announcement regarding a fourth event that will be added to the SeriesMania event in 2021.