Series Mania’s Co-Production Forum began today, with the TV-industry gathering tailored to producers and programming executives from Europe and beyond looking for partners and financing for their scripted series projects.
Series Mania, in its eighth year and running from April 13 to 23, is open to the public and is holding some 370 screenings of series from around the world, including The Leftovers, American Gods, Big Little Lies and Feud from the U.S.; Clique, Apple Tree Yard and Born to Kill from the U.K.; Le Bureau Des Légends and Dix Pour Cent from France; Before We Die from Sweden; 4 Blocks from Germany; Below the Surface from Denmark; Better Than Us from Russia; Seven Types of Ambiguity from Australia; and Your Honor from Israel.
A jury headed by Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost and creator of The Leftovers, will be awarding several honors to programs premiering at Series Mania. A screening of The Leftovers kicked off Series Mania on April 13 with star Justin Theroux in attendance, along with his wife, Jennifer Aniston, much to the delight of fans.
The Co-Production Forum, meanwhile, is only for television executives and consists of pitching sessions and conferences and is taking place from April 18 to 21.
Laurence Herszberg, the founder of Series Mania and the general director of the Forum des Images, opened the pitching session of the Co-Production Forum this morning citing some figures that illustrate the gathering’s growth.
In 2013, less than 100 participants attended the Co-Production Forum and the organizers selected eight projects to present in the pitching session from 40 projects submitted. This year, the Co-Production Forum has 900 participants and 16 projects were selected for the pitching session from 311 submissions.
The jury for the pitching session consists of Francesca Orsi, co-head of drama series for HBO; Piv Bernth, the head of drama for DR; Thomas Bourguignon, a producer with the French production outfit Kwaï; Henrik Pabst, the managing director of Red Arrow International; and Pilar Perez Roel, the head of acquisitions for DCD Rights.
This year, for the first time, the pitching session jury will award a grant of €50,000 to the producer of the best project to help finance its development. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 19.
The Co-Production Forum was, in fact, set up to help producers source financing for their projects and the event has proven very popular among attendees.