Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Series Mania
The first edition of the creative initiative SeriesMakers, led by Series Mania and supported by Beta Group, has concluded with overwhelming success: Out of more than 170 submissions by A-list filmmakers from 54 countries, ten TV series projects have participated in a tailor-made program for feature film directors who venture into the world of series.
The three winning projects will be announced in Lille during the upcoming Series Mania Forum (March 21 – 23). Two projects will each be awarded a €50,000 Beta Development Award working closely with Beta Group’s Content Division to develop the pilot script and a full package. Furthermore, they will be invited to Series Mania Forum 2024 to present their projects to the industry’s most influential decision-makers, broadcasters, platforms, co-producers, and financiers.
An additional award of €20,000, courtesy of the Kirch Foundation in collaboration with HFF (University of Television and Film Munich), will be given to a third project.
"Amigas" by director Beatriz Seigner and writer Maíra Bühler (6x52’, Brazil). Five high school girlfriends meet again at their 25th graduation anniversary. In their 40s now, life is far away from what they imagined. The encounter triggers a traumatic experience they lived together as teenagers and which they will need to face in order to free themselves in the present.
"Instagods" by director Eva Husson and producer Didar Domehri (6x50’, France). Cass, 27, a French social media manager, engineers the extraordinary success of Matt, a 35-year-old Serbian-American male influencer. But as Matt embraces more and more the alt-right, she realizes she has created a monster - and that she won’t be able to save him.
"Lady Magic" by director Axelle Ropert and writer Mikaël Buch (8x45’, France). Four women of different ages and backgrounds share one thing in common: each has been mistreated within the patriarchal world of magic. Together, they will have to overcome a great deal of obstacles in order to create a place of their own in Paris: LADY MAGIC, a theater where womanhood can truly be magic.
"Love and Other Severe Burns" by director Ádám Császi and writer Balázs Lengyel (8x50’, Hungary). In a rural Hungarian town, a lesbian police detective investigates the murder of two young gay soccer players. She has to solve the case before the victims’ fathers find the suspect and take revenge. In doing so, she is bound to destroy her career, her family, and her life.
"Manuela: Death of A Nation" by director Ciro Guerra and director-producer Cristina Gallego. (6x45’, Columbia). An epic retelling of the story of Manuela Saenz, a woman who was erased from history and is now only remembered as Bolivar's crazy lover, but who was the first-ever female colonel of the Republican Army and instrumental in the revolution that liberated seven nations from the Spanish Empire.
"The Invisible Ink" by director César Díaz and producer Fernando Epstein (8x50’, Belgium/Uruguay). A former Uruguayan revolutionary leads a peaceful life in Belgium until he receives a visit from his old torturer, who threatens to kill his wife and daughter if he doesn’t hand him a hidden loot. Now he must travel back to Uruguay, confront his past and face those who have considered him dead for 20 years.
"The Stern Sisters" by director Elite Zexer and writer Mindi Ehrlich (6x45’, Israel). Five ultra-Orthodox sisters, who have never spent one second outside of New York’s conservative Jewish community, find themselves boarding a plane and flying to a God-forsaken town in South Brazil. Their mission: to track down the husband of one of them, who left years ago without granting her a divorce, and is about to marry a second wife in a matter of days. They are ready to do whatever it takes in order to help their sister finally break free of him. Whatever it takes.
"The Werewolf & Renée" by director Katrin Gebbe and producer Verena Gräfe-Höft (6x50’, Germany). Paris, 1780. The pious noblewoman Renée (21) gets married only to discover that she was “sold” by her mother to the notorious libertine: the Marquis de Sade (22). She vows vengeance. When de Sade crosses forbidden lines, Renée must liberate herself from this toxic love affair before it is too late.
"Trishanku" by director Pushpendra Singh and writer Seema Dahiya (8x40’, India). Pooja Haji, an ambitious 43-year-old hijra (third gender), who after losing the promised headship of Satrangi Hijra House to a teenager, sets out on a journey of revenge and power, creating a battle for the high seat in an already marginalized world of hijras in early 2000s Delhi.
"Yours, Margot" by director Juho Kuosmanen and producer Jussi Rantamäki (8x45’, Finland). After discovering her father’s letters to an unknown lover, Vilja unearths her family’s traumatic past in 1980s East Berlin.
The creative initiative Seriesmakers is headed by Laurence Herszberg, General Director of Series Mania, and Koby Gal Raday, Chief Content Officer of Beta Group.