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The latest crop of European episodic production to be showcased at Serial Killer


- From 21-26 September, the fourth, hybrid, edition of the international festival for TV and web series will be spotlighting Belgian episodic production

The latest crop of European episodic production to be showcased at Serial Killer
Suspicion by Michal Blaško

The Serial Killer international festival for TV and web series originated in the Czech Republic to promote and support original episodic production from Central and Eastern Europe. The organisers have stated that a major shift is under way in the territory of Eastern Europe, which could lead to an improvement in the global distribution of local titles. The upcoming fourth edition of the festival (this year unspooling as a hybrid event, from 21-26 September) will map out some of these developments via its line-up.

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The domestic miniseries Suspicion, penned by Štepán Hulík (of Wasteland and Burning Bush [+see also:
film profile
fame) and directed by emerging Slovak helmer Michal Blaško (who is currently readying his feature debut, Victim – see the news), will compete in the international competition. The miniseries, inspired by several true cases, revolves around the power of manipulation and the media’s influence on social opinion as a nurse is suspected of intentionally killing a patient.

Other competing titles include the Russian series Chicks, a dramedy following four sex workers in the countryside who want to open their own business; the Polish period drama from pre-war Warsaw The King of Warsaw; the Serbian miniseries The Family, mapping the three days before the arrest of Slobodan Milosevic; and the Ukrainian series Mama, which sees the titular protagonist venturing beyond the demarcation line to save her son from captivity at the hands of Russian separatists. The International Panorama section will showcase the British psychological thriller Too Close (starring Emily Watson in the leading role) and Sophie Willan’s comedy Alma’s Not Normal, along with the French retro-comedy OVNI(s) and the German surreal miniseries Me and the Others.

The festival will be spotlighting Belgian production in particular, offering titles such as the Carice van Houten-led drama Red Light, the comedy about gigolos Callboys, the cult dramedy Clan and a drama focusing on the behind-the-scenes antics in the world of politics, Pandore. A special slot will also be reserved for Nordic comedies, with the Icelandic buddy miniseries Journey, Norway’s Pørni, following the title character as he works in child welfare, and the hit Finnish miniseries Sisäilmaa, set in an employment office. The Special Screenings strand will offer two more Czech titles: Ochránce (Protector) follows a school ombudsman investigating cases inspired by true events, and the crime series Devadesátky (The Nineties) is set during the period shortly after the Velvet Revolution and is directed by Peter Bebjak.

This year, the festival’s Progressive Killer Award will be handed over to HBO Europe producer Tereza Polachová (Burning Bush, Wasteland), who will give a lecture on women’s role in the film and television industry. The TV Days industry sidebar will host presentations on current trends and previews of new European TV series, with guests expected from Scandinavia, the UK, Russia, Germany, Estonia, Ukraine and other countries.

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