For the ninth time, the Berlinale Series Market (February 20-22, 2023) returns to Potsdamer Platz.
Buyers, creatives, industry experts and content traders can take advantage of the in-person, three-day programme in three EFM locations within walking distance: the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation (conference programme), CinemaxX (screenings and showcases), and Gropius Bau (industry panels). The programme consists of talk events, national and international showcases, and market screenings, again including a curated selection of series with high market potential under the label Berlinale Series Market Selects.
“After several years in the Zoo Palast and two years in a virtual format, I am delighted to see the return of the Berlinale Series Market as an in-person programme at the heart of the market’s infrastructure at Potsdamer Platz,” says EFM director Dennis Ruh. “Since many companies that used to handle exclusively film rights have now added high-quality serial content to their portfolios, and the strict separation of the past has dissolved as a result, we are combining both worlds in one location to structure the market experience even better. Once again, there is a wide and varied spectrum of topics and international projects to discover in the series sector, which will be presented in talk formats and showcases as well as in the series screenings.”
Series World in Transformation: Creatively, Strategically and in the Distribution Business
In line with this year’s EFM Industry Sessions theme “Shift happens”, the Berlinale Series Market will address the current changes in the industry as well as future-oriented topics and trends in the world of series. The focus will be on strategic developments and challenges for content providers and distributors, as well as on the transformation of creative work on serial formats. The showcases will present new programmes from international production companies, streamers and institutions as well as festivals. The Baltic States will be the “Country in Focus” partners, providing insights into current content, as well as both national and international (co-)production conditions.
At the opening of the Berlinale Series Market on Monday, February 20, the data analysis company Ampere Analysis will provide a global overview of the industry. The subsequent opening panel, “Adapting to the Market”, will discuss the role of global distributors and the ways they are responding to changing market conditions, current global challenges and fresh differences in audience behaviour.
The world of series creators is also changing: more and more creatives are working collectively. They are founding their own companies in order to maintain more control and say over their projects. In doing so, they are creating new business models and approaches not only for themselves but for the entire industry. The panel “Entrepreneurial Showrunners: The Future of Creative” will shed further light on this development and on various business models.
David Bernad, producer of the globally successful, twenty-time Emmy-nominated and 10 Emmy-winning HBO series The White Lotus, will be giving market participants an exclusive look at his work on the hit series, which started its second season in autumn. The panel “Quo Vadis Docu Series” will be examining the currently popular docu-series format and exploring what importance this trend now has in the series field.
Ron Ninio, co-creator and showrunner of the Israeli series Kvodo, the original behind the US version Your Honor, whose second season with Bryan Cranston has just been launched, reveals how a series format from a comparatively small market can achieve huge international success through adaptation. So far, Kvodo has been remade for ten markets; the German adaptation Euer Ehren is set to star Sebastian Koch.
The showcase “Up Next: Germany” presents the most interesting series projects from Germany in the coming year. Among others, it includes the geo-political thriller about Alfred Herrhausen, Herrhausen – Der Herr des Geldes (Sperl Film und Fernsehproduktion in cooperation with X Filme Creative Pool GmbH and in co-production with ARD Degeto, RBB, SWR, HR, Beside Productions and Avrio Film Thessaloniki), Feelings, a coming-of-age mystery story with innovative multi-platform distribution (Studio Zentral, a production for broadcasting commissioned by ZDF, ZDF Studios), the historical German-Swiss co-production Davos (Berlinale Co-Pro Series 2019, Contrast Film Zurich, Letterbox Filmproduktion, Amalia Film, Swiss Radio and Television SRF, SRG SSR, ARD Degeto) and the investigative documentary co-production Juan Carlos (AT), (gebrüder beetz filmproduktion, A LEONINE Company, Sky Studios, NBC Universal).
Berlinale Series Market Selects 2023:
Creator: Willem Wallyn
Showrunners: Peter Bouckaert, Gunter Schmid
Director: Wouter Bouvijn
with Tijmen Govaerts, Mona Mina Leon, Aimé Claeys
Production company: Eyeworks Films & TV Drama
Broadcaster: VRT, RTBF
World Sales: STUDIOCANAL
1985 sheds light on the story of the violent crime spree that shattered Belgium during the 1980s. We follow the youths who fought to make things right, through inspiring and relatable protagonists, with whom we share doubts and delusions.
À propos d’Antoine (About Antoine)
Creator: Cathleen Rouleau
with Cathleen Rouleau, Antoine Parent-Bédard, Claude Legault
Production company: ComediHa!
Broadcaster: Club illico, TVA (Quebecor)
World Sales: ComediHa! Distribution
About Antoine tackles authenticity, sensitivity, humour and a rarely explored theme in fiction: life with a multi-handicapped child. The show gives an insight into the daily life of a special family with all the quirks, highs, and lows it entails.
USA / Serbia
Creators: Dean Devlin, Jonathan Glassner
Showrunners: Dean Devlin, Jonathan Glassner
Directors: Dean Devlin, Milan Todorović
with Christie Burke, Richard Fleeshman, Reece Ritchie
Production Companies: Electric Entertainment, Balkanic Media
World Sales: Electric Entertainment
On a planetary colonization mission to save humankind, the remaining crew of spacecraft “Ark One” fights to survive after a catastrophic event causes massive destruction and loss of life-sustaining supplies.
Creators: Suri Gopalan, Abheek Barua
Director: Abhinay Deo
with Karisma Kapoor, Surya Sharma, Soni Razdan
Production company: Zee Studios
World Sales: Zee Studios
Rita Brown, a suicidal alcoholic, and Arjun Sinha a widower with survivor’s guilt, must push their personal demons aside to find a serial killer whose belief in his divine purpose makes him unstoppable.
Creator: Henrique Oliveira
Showrunner: Henrique Oliveira
Director: Henrique Oliveira
with Beatrix Godhino, Pierre Kiwitt, Margarida Marinho
Production company: Hop! Films
World Sales: Keshet International
Set against the political backdrop of the Cold War, this is the extraordinary true story of Ana Maria Silva Pais, a young Portuguese woman who gave everything to the Cuban revolution and Che Guevara, including herself.
Creator: Nico Scheepers
Director: Nico Scheepers
with Erica Wessels, Wilhelm van der Walt, Thoko Ntshinga
Production company: Nagvlug Films
World Sales: Multichoice
A child’s severed head is discovered in the forests outside the town of Donkerbos, throwing the local police department into disarray. Leading the investigation is Detective Fanie van Wyk, who fled Pretoria three years ago following a traumatic murder investigation.
Handen på Hjärtat (Out of Touch)
Creator: Mikael Ljung
Showrunners: Lina Åström, Marja Nyberg
Director: Lina Åström
with Sara Shirpey, Hannes Fohlin
Production company: Breakable Films
Broadcaster: C More
World Sales: REinvent International Sales
Emma is a successful couples therapist. Her on-point relationship-advice, however, comes not from her education, but a supernatural talent. Emma herself has sworn off love long ago – until she meets John.
Kuppel 16 (Dome 16)
Creator: Thomas Seeberg Torjussen
Director: Thomas Seeberg Torjussen
with Johannes Blumenthal, Flo Fagerli, Edith Haagenrud-Sande
Production company: Tordenfilm Norway
World Sales: Global Screen
120 years from now, Anton and Emma, both 14, live in different climate zones within the same city. They were never supposed to meet, and certainly not to fall in love. But when they do, they must turn both of their worlds to be together.
Creator: Kasper Møller Rask
Showrunners: Iben Søtang, Anni Faurbye Fernandez
Director: Kasper Møller Rask
with Elias Budde Christensen, Emilie Kroyer Koppel, Troels Lyby
Production company: Nevis Productions
World Sales: DR Sales
When a young man disappears without a trace in 1999, his friends and sister fear something is wrong, and their search for him reveals terrifying secrets about the small town where they live.
Pad (The Fall)
Based on the autobiographical book by Žarko Laušević
Director: Bojan Vuletić
with Milan Marić, Andjela Jovanović, Milica Janevski
Production Company: Firefly Productions
Broadcaster: Superstar TV
World Sales: Firefly Productions
Having become the culprit of a double homicide, a popular actor ends up in a notorious prison where rules apply, extremely different to those in ‘the outside world’.
Poemas Malditos (Cursed Poems)
Creators: Paula del Fierro, Enrique Videla, Miguel Angel Rodríguez
Showrunner: Juan Ignacio Sabatini
Directors: Pepa San Martin, Juan Ignacio Sabatini
with Paula Luchsinguer, Consuelo Carreño, Gonzalo Valenzuela
Production company: Villano
World Sales: Mega Global Entertainment
A woman persecuted for witchcraft, a young woman possessed by the devil, two women living a secret love, a tormented man who starts a massacre. Four stories that intersect in an electrifying period thriller.
Creator: Michaela Taschek
Presented by: Barbara Albert
Directors: Catalina Molina, Esther Rauch
with Brigitte Hobmeier, Robert Stadlober, Marie-Luise Stockinger
Production companies: Primary Pictures in co-production with X-Filme Production, in collaboration with Beta Film and Mestiere Cinema, in co-production with ORF, BR, NDR in collaboration with ARTE.
Broadcaster: ORF, BR, NDR, ARTE
World Sales: Beta Film
A mystery thriller set in the age of the climate crisis with a terrifying scenario at its core: What if nature finally demands the respect it is owed? To save her daughter, a mother must leave her rational world views behind.
Creator: Asaph Polonsky
Showrunners: Amit Cohen, Ron Leshem
Director: Asaph Polonsky
with Lior Ashkenazi, Or Zehavi, Niv Sultan
Production company: WestEnd Films
World Sales: WestEnd Films
From the writers of Euphoria and False Flag comes a new thriller series. When a flight from Tel Aviv to India vanishes in mid-air, a blind intelligence officer is brought in to investigate, as his family is among the plane’s passengers.
Trolių ferma (Troll Farm)
Creators: Domantė Urmonaitė, Martynas Mendelis, Gabija Siurbytė, Ernestas Jankauskas
Showrunner: Gabija Siurbytė
Director: Ernestas Jankauskas
with Gabija Siurbytė, Valentinas Krulikovskis, Andrius Paulavičius
Production company: Dansu Films
Broadcaster: Lithuanian National Television and Radio, TeliaPlay+
World Sales: Dansu Films
After being wrongly fired, corporate diva Ana struggles to clear her name, while slowly embracing the dark side of revenge and becoming the monster she’s fighting.
The Way Home
Creators: Marly Reed, Heather Conkie, Alexandra Clarke
Showrunners: Heather Conkie, Alexandra Clarke
Directors: Grant Harvey, Nimisha Mukerji, Shamim Sharif, Norma Bailey
with Chyler Leigh, Sadie Laflamme-Snow, Andie MacDowell
Production companies: Hallmark Media, Neshama Entertainment in association with MarVista Entertainment
Broadcaster: Hallmark Channel
World Sales: Hallmark Media
A family drama with a time travel twist, The Way Home follows three generations of Landry women as they reunite and begin to heal from their family’s mysterious past when their youngest member finds herself on an unexpected journey.
Zwei Seiten des Abgrunds (Two Sides of the Abyss)
Creator: Kristin Derfler
Director: Anno Saulwith Anne Ratte Polle, Anton Dreger, Lea van Acken
Production company: Warner Bros. ITVP Germany
Broadcaster: RTL+, Warner TV Serie, HBOmax
When the young man who murdered her daughter is released from prison after just six years, police officer Luise Berg sets in motion a chain of events, which puts her and her other daughter on course for an inevitable catastrophe.