Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsBerlinale Series Market 2023: Shift Happens. Current developments in the world of series

Berlinale Series Market 2023: Shift Happens. Current developments in the world of series

  • Opening with market analysis and Global Distribution Panel
  • German Showcase with "Herrhausen" and "Davos”
  • Quo Vadis Docu-Series? with "Capital B" and "A Perfect Crime”
  • 9th Berlinale Series Market from 20-22 February, 2023
  • Film- und Medienstiftung NRW Main Partner from the beginning

Monday 20 February, saw the ninth edition of the Berlinale Series Market opening at the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The business platform is being held under the heading of "Shift Happens" during the European Film Market (EFM) with a focus on the latest trends in the world of international series with a top-notch conference programme, screenings and showcases.

"2023 is a special year for us. After two virtual editions, we are delighted that we are now back as a physical event and can meet here again in person," says Dennis Ruh, Director of the European Film Market. The motto "Shift Happens" is referring to the current transformation in the world of series, both in terms of creative processes and distribution.

"A successful start for the Berlinale Series Market – the new concept at Potsdamer Platz has really taken off!," declared Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the event’s main partner and co-initiator since 2012. "The series have at last become firmly established at the Berlinale with the Berlinale Series programme and the creation of the Berlinale Series Award. We are delighted that the Filmstiftung could be involved here from the very beginning."

v.l.: Robert Franke (Head of Drama, ZDF Studios), Guy Bisson (Ampere Analysis), Rodolphe Buet (Chief Branding Officer, Newen Studios), Beatrice Springborn (President Universal International Studios & Universal Content Productions), Jesse Whittock (Moderator, Deadline), Petra Müller (Geschäftsführerin Film- und Medienstiftung NRW), Ruth Berry (Managing Director Global Distribution & Global Entertainment, ITV Studios), Dennis Ruh (Direktor European Film Market)
(Hojabr Riahi / Film- und Medienstiftung NRW)

"Adapting to the Market": opening with market analysis and Global Distribution Panel

Guy Bisson from the market research company Ampere Analysis introduced the opening panel entitled "Adapting to the Market" with an overview of current developments in the international series market. He revealed that every fourth series production is now being commissioned by a streaming service. Ad-financed VoD models are on the rise. The recent crises have also had an impact on the market for series. This has seen the overall spending on new productions in Western Europe and North America being reduced. In addition, there has been a greater shift towards non-scripted formats, documentary content and entertainment, partly because these were easier and cheaper to produce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bisson’s presentation was followed by an opening panel moderated by Jesse Whittock, International TV Co-Editor of Deadline, with representatives of global distributors: Beatrice Springborn, President Universal International Studios & Universal Content Productions (UCP), Ruth Berry, Managing Director Global Distribution & Global Entertainment of the British ITV Studio, Rodolphe Buet, Chief Branding Officer of the TF1 subsidiary Newen Studios and Robert Franke, Head of Drama at ZDF Studios. Even though the general conditions are difficult at the moment, Franke described the current series market as "inspiring". It is now important to adapt to the increasingly fragmented market and to find the right buyers for the right products. Springborn also recommended that one should see the challenges as an opportunity and offer individual content that meets the needs of current market conditions. Taken altogether, more flexibility is needed, Berry said. Buet advocated even stronger cross-border cooperation with other European partners for the development and production of new series. It is also important to counterbalance the dominance of US programmes, especially in the streaming sector.

German Showcase "Up Next: Germany
Four current German series projects were the focus of the following showcase "Up Next: Germany". They included the six-part spy drama "Davos" by Jan-Eric Mack and Anca Miruna Lăzărescu (Letterbox, Contrast Film, Amalia Film, ARD, SRF, SRG SSR, backed by the Film- und Medienstiftung). Also backed by the Filmstiftung: "Herrhausen – Lord of the Money" by Pia Strietmann starring Oliver Masucci (Sperl Film, X Filme, ARD Degeto, RBB, SWR, HR, Beside Productions, Avrio Film), a four-part geo-political thriller about the assassination of the Deutsche Bank’s CEO Alfred Herrhausen. There were also first glimpses of the coming-of-age mystery story "Feelings" by Clara Zoë My-Linh von Arnim (Studio Zentral für funk/ZDF, ZDF Studios) and the docu-series "Juan Carlos" (gebrüder beetz/Sky Studios/NBC Universal) by the producer-writer Christian Beetz and director Anne von Petersdorff.

More panels and presentations
Several more panels and presentations are featured in the programme of the Berlinale Series Market up to Wednesday, 22 February. They include the panel "Quo Vadis Docu Series?" dedicated to the popular format of docu-series. The panel includes the director Florian Opitz with "Capital B" (Fruitmarket), Georg Tschurtschenthaler ("A Perfect Crime", gebrueder beetz) and Felicity Morris ("The Tinder Swindler"). The successful series producers David Bernad ("The White Lotus") and Ron Ninio ("Kvodo") will also be guests along with showcases of new productions from Sweden and the Baltic countries.

About the Berlinale Series Market
The Berlinale Series Market is a joint initiative of the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents. It is being organised in close cooperation with Berlinale Series. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW joined forces with the EFM in 2012 to launch the Berlinale Series Market as a platform for series. The European Film Market is one of the world’s most important markets for the international trade in film rights and audiovisual content.

The photo of the Berlinale Series Market’s Opening Panel can be found at: here.

The current programme can be found here: