‘American Woman,’ Produced by HUMANITAS Trustee John Wells, Set for Series Mania Festival in Lille, France
After moving to the northeastern French city of Lille from its longtime base in Paris, Series Mania will open its newest edition April 27 with HBO’s media empire drama “Succession,” written and created by Jesse Armstrong. The festival will close May 5 with the French premiere of Sky’s “Babylon Berlin,” a Beta Film co-produced series that pushed the bounds of scale and production values for high-end foreign-language European series.
Series Mania’s upcoming ninth edition is its first in Lille after eight years in the French capital. The event, a French government-backed drive to create a TV fest with the cachet of the Cannes Film Festival, expects to welcome Chris Brancato, Carlton Cuseand Maria Feldman this year.
A co-writer of “Lost” with Damon Lindelof, who was last year’s Series Mania jury president, Cuse will present exclusive excepts from Amazon Prime Video’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” at Lille.
“Narcos” co-creator Brancato presides over this year’s jury, which includes “False Flag” co-creator Feldman, as well as French actor-director Clovis Cornillac and French novelist-scriptwriter Pierre Lamaitre (“See You Up There”).
Potential highlights among the official competition lineup of 10 shows include Paramount Network’s 1970s single mother drama “American Woman,” with Alicia Silverstone, produced by John Wells and John Riggi and written by Riggi; and BBC One and Sundance TV’s “The Split,” from Emmy- and BAFTA-winning writer Abi Morgan (“The Hours,” “The Iron Lady”), starring Nicola Walker and examining modern marriage through the prism of two sisters who are rival divorce lawyers.
Anticipated drama series in competition take in Netflix’s first Danish Original Series, “The Rain,” a post-apocalyptic survival thriller; “Autonomies,” Israeli creators Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon’s follow-up to big breakout hit “Shtisel”; and “Warrior,” a FremantleMedia Intl.-sold thriller about an Afghanistan soldier-turned-bike gang infiltrator, from Danish film director Christopher Boe.
France is represented by “Ad Vitam,” a dystopian thriller directed and written by Thomas Cailley, whose debut, “Love at First Fight,” topped Cannes’ 2014 Directors’ Fortnight. Israel’s “On the Spectrum,” penned by Dana Idisis (“Secret Bar Mitzvah”) and directed by Yuval Shafferman (“Things Behind the Sun”), turns on three autistic young adults.
Also making the competition cut: ABC Australia’s “Mystery Road,” an Outback cop serial starring Aaron Pedersen and Judy Davis, directed by Rachel Perkins (“Jasper Jones”); and social parable “The Miracle,” a new production from Sky Italia, with Fremantle Media-owned Wildside and French-German broadcaster Arte.
Thriller “An Ordinary Woman,” created by Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov (“Infidelities”) for TV3 Channel, flies the flag for Russia in Official Competition.
Series Mania’s International Panorama features the world premiere of Mar Coll’s family tragicomedy “Killing the Father,” from Telefonica’s Movistar.
The French-series competition section consists of “Ad Vitam”; “Thanksgiving,” a series created by Nicolas Saada (“Taj Mahal”) and produced by Capa Drama, the outfit behind “Versailles” and “Braquo”; and “Insoupçonnable,” a gritty crime drama created by “Spiral” writer Virginie Brac, a remake of Allan Cubitt’s hit British series “The Fall.”