10 APR 2024

Nadia Chevallard: "Political thrillers can definitely appeal to an audience worldwide"

The SVP International Sales from Newen Connect describes the two political thrillers they had in competition during Series Mania and confirms a trend on this genre in an election year in several countries.

10 APR 2024

Nadia Chevallard

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Newen Connect had two very different contemporary political thrillers in competition at Series Mania, that are expected to attract a great deal of interest over the coming months. "In the Shadows" (6x52') is an exhilarating and gripping journey into the heart of a contemporary French presidential election campaign, full of betrayals, about-turns and low blows between candidates and their staff. The series produced by France Television was written by ex-French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and former political advisor Gilles Boyer, and is based on their acclaimed novel, "Dans L’Ombre". "'In the Shadows' truly illustrates what politics is about today," asserted Nadia Chevallard SVP International Sales from Newen Connect, in an exclusive chat with Señal News. "The series has a huge package of talent attached to it, the director Pierre Schoeller, the actors Swan Arlaud, Melvil Poupaud, Karine Viard", she added.

Another political title that Newen Connect highlighted in Series Mania was "8 Months" (6x45'), based on the best-selling Swedish novel "Åtta Månader" by Magnus Montelius, and set in 2023 against the backdrop of the current war in Ukraine. The story follows Nina, a young journalist who gets fast-tracked to become press secretary for Sweden’s newly appointed Foreign Minister. As she gets to grips with her surprise new role, she uncovers sinister dark secrets and becomes uncomfortably close to a Russian Intelligence operation to undermine Sweden’s relationship with NATO, threatening the country’s national security. "Sweden joined the NATO last month, and it's very weird to see how fiction can be like reality," commented Chevallard. "It's very interesting to see that at Series Mania is giving space to political series. , and it really makes sense, I think this year there are going to be 80 countries voting for the presidential, and everything in our life is political all the time," she asserted.

In addition, Chevallard recognized there is a political thrillers trend coming. "Obviously the series are not pure mainstream and respond to a certain audience worldwide, but they have, global platforms, very appealing public broadcasters as well," she mentioned. "There is definitely room for the series, especially because from the creative standpoint of view, we can think that political is not boring, it's breathtaking, it's thrilling, it's gripping, it crystallises a lot of the human emotions, and when you go through this creative angle, yes, political thrillers can definitely appeal to an audience worldwide," she indicated.

Newen Connect has been growing drastically for the past three years. The French company launches 25, 30 new drama series per year and had got a strong penetration in Latin America. "The Latin American and Brazilian markets are very important to us, and we are mirroring the continent closely," said Newen executive. The company has meaningful partnerships in the region for French procedural series, such as 'HIP' for A&E and 'Candice Renoir' for Sony, but also offer its first slate of British language series, with more procedural series for mainstream audience, and niche series designed for a SVOD platforms, such as "In the Shadows" and "8 Months". "We really want to tackle the Latin and Brazilian markets, so, we will be at MIP Cancun, MIPCOM, and we will definitely attend Content Americas next January 2025," she concluded.