For the seventh year running, the Berlinale Co-Production Market invites producers, editors, distributors and other series financiers to pitches and meetings at “Co-Pro Series” from March 2 to 5. “Co-Pro Series” is curated by the Berlinale Co-Production Market under the direction of Martina Bleis, and is simultaneously a component of the “Berlinale Series Market” programme (March 2-5). Successful projects such as Babylon Berlin, Valkyries and Freud are among previous “Co-Pro Series” pitch participants.
This time, ten exceptional international series projects are in search of suitable co-producers and financiers. After the pitch, the project creators meet with interested partners. Registration and booking of one-on-one meetings is currently still open to potential co-producers and financiers.
58 Seconds, a frontline drama about medical humanitarian relief agency workers, brings with it two masters of the British series market: Jeremy Brock (BAFTA winner for the adaptation of the screenplay for The Last King of Scotland) and Paul Unwin, both the creators of the series Casualty, ongoing since 1986.
Three projects have well-known German directors on board: Julia von Heinz (director of the German Oscar entry And Tomorrow the Entire World) is responsible for the historical but freshly narrated Eldorado KaDeWe; Sven Bohse (Ku’damm, Dark Woods) writes and directs the political thriller Hinterland; and Wim Wenders – along with Joachim Trier, Julie Andem and David Byrne – is one of the planned directors for the anthology This Is Music.
This year, two extraordinary projects hail from Eastern Europe: the GDR spy drama Balaton Brigade from Hungary, with Ildikó Enyedi (winner of the 2017 Golden Bear for On Body and Soul) directing, and the drama Afterparty, which follows a group of young adult female friends amidst freedom and conservatism in Croatia, and which recently won the HBO Europe Award in the MIDPOINT TV Launch programme.
Balaton Brigade is historical spy drama, thriller in 8 episodes of 50′
It is 1986. BERNDT REIDER is the leader of a small Stasi unit stationed at the Hungarian Sea: the BALATON BRIGADE. The team is tasked with observing East German holidaymakers and preventing them from meeting their relatives from West Germany and being infected with dangerous imperialist notions or even attempting to escape to the other side of the Iron Curtain. The team and their Hungarian contact Károly Nemere face an absurd challenge. Not only is an unrealistic task to monitor hundreds of turists but it also involves monotonous work on extremely minor cases. This has been taking its toll on Reider’s soul for years, with one result being his estrangement from his family. Reider’s daughter is a young swimming prodigy, and he feels he’s unable to protect her from the East German doping machine. It is no wonder that the agent is secretly preparing to sneak his family to the West. Just when he is about to put his plan into action, however, a routine surveillance case presents him the carrier opportunity of his life, which jeopardizes his plans.
Created by: Balázs Lengyel, Balázs Lovas, Gábor Krigler, director: Ildikó Enyedi, shooting starts in early 2020.
The line-up also includes the adaptation of the John Irving novel “Until I Find You”, whose Canadian and Dutch producers are searching together for more partners at “Co-Pro Series”.
The crime drama Speed hails from Norway, and the Irish project Richter, set primarily in New Zealand, serves up more crime, this time against the backdrop of ecological conflict.
The Belgian-French dark comedy series Good People will be presented in partnership with the Series Mania Forum in Lille, France, where it was first presented online in 2020. The producers hope to find further distribution partners at “Co-Pro Series”. In exchange, one of the new projects being presented at “Co-Pro Series” will have the opportunity to pitch again at Series Mania in early June.
The Berlinale Co-Production Market (March 1 – 5, 2021) is funded by MDM – Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, and the Creative Europe MEDIA programme of the European Union.
“Co-Pro Series” pitches will take place online this time, on March 2, in cooperation with the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI), which is hosting the presentations.
For further information and contact please see the website of the Berlinale Co-Production Market.
“Berlinale Series Market” and its annual conference programme is a joint initiative of the European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents, and is organised in close collaboration with Berlinale Series.
Selected projects for “Co-Pro Series” 2021
(in alphabetical order of presenting production companies):
- Afterparty (Writer: Dora Šustić; Director: tbd), Antitalent, Croatia
- Speed (Creator/Director: Martin Lund; Writer: Thorkild Schrumpf), Ape&Bjørn, Norway
- Until I Find You (Writer: Kaleena Kiff, based on the novel by John Irving; director: tbd), Big Blue, The Netherland & Curiosity Pictures, Canada
- Richter (Writers: Anna McPartlin & Michael Bennett; Director: tbd), Blinder Films, Ireland & Kingfisher Films, New Zealand
- Eldorado KaDeWe (Writers: Julia von Heinz, John Quester, Sabine Steyer-Violet & Oskar Sulowski; Director: Julia von Heinz), Constantin Television & UFA Fiction, Germany
- Balaton Brigade (Creators: Gábor Krigler, Balázs Lengyel & Balázs Lovas; Director: Ildikó Enyedi), Joyrider & Film Force, Hungary
- This Is Music (Creator and writer: Bjørn Olaf Johannessen; Director: Wim Wenders, David Byrne, Julie Andem & Joachim Trier), Oslo Pictures, Norway
- Hinterland (Creator & Director: Sven Bohse), Ringel Film, Germany
- 58 Seconds (Creators: Jeremy Brock & Paul Unwin; Director: tbd), The Mediapro Studio, Spain & BlackBox Multimedia, United Kingdom