Event Preview: Series Mania

Series Mania is back—and sooner than you think! Following a successful move from Paris to Lille in 2018, this year’s festival will again take place in the Hauts-de-France region.

“The first edition of Series Mania in Lille was a tremendous success, with more than 55,000 participants, including 2,000 professionals at Series Mania Forum,” says Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Series Mania. “The Hauts-de-France region has been incredibly welcoming, and we think Lille has proven to be a great place to host an international festival—it’s a perfect spot between London, Paris and Brussels, a middle ground easily accessible from anywhere in Europe and beyond.”

The move also allowed Series Mania to expand, both in terms of size and initiatives, Herszberg says. “For instance, Series Mania Forum debuted the Writers Campus to find the talent of tomorrow and Lille Transatlantic Dialogues as the strategic meeting place for political decision-makers and A-list executives in the series industry, all alongside innovative VR panels and conferences.”

In 2019, the international Series Mania festival—open to everyone from series newcomers to professionals—will take place from March 22 to 30. Like past years, three days within Series Mania are exclusively dedicated to professionals: Series Mania Forum (formerly the European Project and Talent Forum) is set for March 25 to 27. Part of Series Mania Forum, Lille Transatlantic Dialogues is scheduled for March 27. This one-day event brings together political, corporate, creative and economic players from the TV and culture sectors in Europe and the U.S. for exchanges on developments and challenges in the media industry.

“Our objective for 2019 is to push the envelope in every way,” says Francesco Capurro, Series Mania Forum’s director. “The second edition of Lille Transatlantic Dialogues is shaping up to be a great follow-up to 2018’s event, which included Françoise Nyssen, French minister of culture; Andrus Ansip, VP of the European Commission; and Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix. Lille Transatlantic Dialogues will feature new speakers of equal caliber on March 27, 2019, further consolidating its status as a key summit for U.S.-Europe relationships in the series industry.”

Having moved up on the calendar from late April to the end of March, “Series Mania will build on the solid foundation established and remain the same nine days of celebrating the best new series from all continents, with more than 100 screenings across the city and dozens of world premieres,” says Herszberg.

Series Mania Forum will again take place in Lille Grand Palais, “with an additional floor open to welcome professionals in the best conditions, improved catering and a shuttle system to bring attendants directly to the festival screenings,” adds Capurro.

Series Mania has evolved since its inception, having started with a few days of series screenings and several hundred participants. The festival has grown to include Series Mania Forum and has “become a significant meeting place for international co-productions,” Herszberg says. “We are now aiming to become the reference point in Europe covering everything related to series, from emerging talent and production companies to passionate fans.”

Above all, Herszberg hopes that attendees leave feeling that Series Mania is “the place to showcase and celebrate the best series from everywhere in the world. We hope attendees recognize the artistic quality of the series and projects we select, and that they leave fully convinced of TV drama’s bright future from both expected and unexpected countries.”

She adds, “More than ever, our mission is to find the best emerging talent in Europe and beyond, link the best projects with the right people and help bring about the next great successes in the series industry.”

Accreditations are now open for Series Mania Forum, and Capurro urges professionals in the series industry: “Save the date for March!”

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