Drama Series Days Fosters Co-Pros with International Pitching


BERLIN: A highlight of the second part of this year’s Drama Series Days at the European Film Market (EFM) was the international CoPro Series pitching event, during which projects seeking co-production and financing partners were presented to a few hundred producers and broadcaster executives this morning in Berlin.

Avrupa (Circe Films/the Netherlands) immediately aroused interest from the audience. Named after the Turkish word for Europe, the story centers on a Turkish family living in the Netherlands in the 1980s and their difficulty in making East and West meet while raising four adolescent children. Avrupa comes from writer and director Sacha Polak, who described the story as “hopeful, funny and totally ironic.”

Also focused on the East-West relations, but on a dramatically different level, Wars Inc. (Drama Team/Israel) brings the Middle East crisis to the screen. The story uncovers a conspiracy connecting Islamic extremists to a group of Western politicians and businessmen. Wars Inc. was written by Maya Hefner and Yael Lavie, who brought 20 years of experience as a war correspondent to the script. “How is it possible that 450,000 men with pickup trucks and black flags manage to terrorize and dominate the entire world? That is the investigative premise of the story,” said Lavie at the pitch.

Equally political and contemporary, The Illegal (Conquering Lion Pictures/Canada) addresses the international migratory crisis. Based on the book by Lawrence Hill and adapted by Clement Virgo, The Illegal follows Keita Ali, a marathon runner who is targeted by a brutal dictatorship in his homeland and must find shelter elsewhere—in the community of international refugees. “Remindful of global current events may feel too immediate, so The Illegal is set in the future in Europe, or a Europe-like nation, to separate it from the daily news cycle,” said producer Damon D’Oliveira.

Further stories presented at the CoPro Series pitching event were The Disappearance (23/5 Filmproduktion/Germany), written by Hans Christian-Schmid, and the Nordic productions Brotherhood (Friland Produksjon/Norway), Lucky Per (Nordisk Film Production/Denmark) and DNA (Eyeworks Scandi Fiction/Denmark).

The CoPro Series pitching event was launched in 2015 as part of the Drama Series Days with the aim of creating a forum for networking and exchange between the film and TV industries. Out of six projects presented last year, two are currently being shot: Tabula Rasa (Caviar/Belgium) and Valkyrien (Tordenfilm/Norway). Also presented in 2015, German production Babylon Berlin (X Filme Creative Pool) has shooting scheduled for early this year. The series Hierro (Portocabo/Spain) and The White Rhino Hotel (Belladonna Productions/U.S. and Germany) successfully found new production partners after the pitching last year.