Série Series offers a sneak peek of the most highly anticipated TV programmes coming this autumn
by Jasmine Bissete
- Crime dramas and romantic comedies were among the genres presented at the non-competitive French TV series festival
The sixth edition of Série Series was held in Fontainebleau, France, from 28-30 June 2017. The festival showcases the best upcoming European series and provides a behind-the-scenes look with writers, directors and producers via screenings, case studies and master classes.
European crime dramas have flourished in recent years. In addition to the success of French-language programmes such as Spiral and Braquo, Nordic sensations The Killing and Broen have both been adapted into successful US series. The popularity of this trend was reflected in the line-up of Série Series’ sixth edition; many series in this genre were introduced, including Hassel, Stella Blòmkvist and Fenix.
Distributed by Beta Film and produced by Nice Drama, the Swedish series Hassel stars Ola Rapace (Skyfall [+see also:
film profile]) and is directed by Amir Chamdin. The plot follows Rapace as he plays Roland Hassel, a detective working to avenge the death of his mentor. The series begins in Stockholm and ends in Brussels, where Hassel becomes drawn even further into the depths of corruption.
The Icelandic drama Stella Blòmkvist is based on the bestselling series of novels of the same name. The protagonist is a brilliant and cunning lawyer who plays by her own rules. Her cases lead her into the dangerous world of power, crime and murder. Producer Kjartan Þór Þórðarson, of Sagafilm, explained that the format and structure were inspired by the Sherlock series. The mood is characterised by stylised shooting and lighting. The goal of the producers is to get back to the roots of the “Scandi-noir” trend.
The Dutch series Fenix (produced by Lemming Film) centres on organised crime in a Dutch-Belgian border town in Brabant. Two sons from different warring criminal families, Rens and Jara, return home to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. Similarly to Hassel and Stella Blòmkvist, Fenix traces the corruption inherent in the close ties between politicians and organised crime.
Making its mark was Rai 1’s romantic comedy series Mermaids (Sirene in Italian), which tells the tale of a mermaid family who have come to the mainland of Naples. Although the mermaids live in a matriarchal society, they are in search of a man to help them ensure the future of their species. The series represents conflicts between men and women in a new way, and demonstrates that the line between land and sea is simply another border - without which they would be much happier. Director Davide Marengo describes Mermaids not as a fantasy, but rather as a “romantic comedy with tails” and “a re-imagining of Roman Holiday.”
Other series presented at the festival were Match (Norway), Shadow of the Ferns (Czech Republic), Guerrilla (UK), Five2Twelve (Germany), The Swell (Netherlands/Belgium), All Wrong (France/USA), Tabula Rasa (Belgium), The Same Sky (Germany), Our Time is Now (Sweden), The Simple Heist (Sweden), Quartier des Banques (Switzerland/Belgium), Back to Corsica (France), Home Ground (Norway), Aux Animaux La Guerre (France), Clash of Futures – 18 (France/Luxembourg/Belgium), Champion (Belgium), The Lynching (Czech Republic), Once the Dust Settles (Denmark), Genesis (Canada/USA/Germany), Life in the Box (Finland), Hamilton (Sweden) and West of Liberty (Sweden/Germany).
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