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Ildikó Enyedi’s Balaton Brigade wins the Berlinale Co-Pro Series pitch


- BERLINALE 2021: The Cold War-set historical spy drama series will travel to the upcoming Séries Mania Forum in Lille this August

Ildikó Enyedi’s Balaton Brigade wins the Berlinale Co-Pro Series pitch
Gabor Krigler and Emőke Krigler-Tóth (of production outfit Joyrider) accepting the award

The Hungarian drama series Balaton Brigade has emerged as the winner of the Séries Mania Project Exchange Award at the exclusive Berlinale Co-Pro Series pitching event, which, as every year, is organised by the European Film Market’s Berlinale Co-Production Market. The project competed alongside nine others (see the news) during the online event reserved for a handpicked group of professionals, and as Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Séries Mania, announced, it will have the chance to be presented at the upcoming Séries Mania Forum, which is due to be held in Lille from 30 August-1 September. As is customary, for the seventh year in a row, one project that was pitched at Séries Mania last year, and which in this case was the Belgian-French dark comedy series Good People, was invited to Berlin for the Co-Pro Series pitch as well.

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Produced by Budapest-based outfits Joyrider and Film Force, Balaton Brigade is an eight-part historical spy drama set in summer 1986, during the Cold War. The series follows the leader of a small Stasi unit that is stationed at the so-called Hungarian Sea: the Balaton Brigade. The unit is tasked with observing the East German holidaymakers to prevent them from meeting their relatives from West Germany and being infected with imperialist notions or even attempting to escape to the other side of the Iron Curtain. At the same time, the leader of the unit is faced with many challenges of his own. Hoping to protect his family from the East German doping machine, he plans to flee to the West.

Balaton Brigade was created by Gábor Krigler, Balázs Lengyel and Balázs Lovas, and is directed by Ildikó Enyedi. Hungarian broadcaster RTL Klub has just boarded the series.

Talking about the winner, Herszberg mentioned: “We were drawn to the story’s original, sunny lakeside setting, the complexity of the characters, and its fresh and deliciously vintage tone. This period spy drama revisits a historical time that all Europeans think they know from a daring angle, allowing us to deal with our recent past in a way that is both thought-provoking and fun.”

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